Cumberland River Moonbow Trail, Kentucky
Backpacking Workshop and Weekend Trip
Backpacking Workshop and Weekend Trip
Skill: Level II
April 14 - 16, 2017 - Easter Weekend
Cumberland Falls State Park near Corbin, Kentucky
Meets at noon
Prerequisite: Our Backpacking Workshop & Overnight Trip or equivalent.
Ready to take your backpacking skills to the next level?
Join other adventurous hikers on this Level II trip. This is a two night, backpacking trip for people who have completed our one night backpacking workshop or have equivalent experience. Let's take the skills you have learned and put them to use on a weekend trip. It includes four workshops on backpacking essentials that every backpacker should know. This trip is designed for those with prior backpacking experience who want to take the next step and learn more. Note: Participants must be at the trailhead by noon on Friday.
Limit 6 participants.
Spots Open: 2 as of March 31, 2017.
Disconnect on this trip! We'll be out of cell range for most of the time!
About The Moonbow Trail:
This is a scenic hike right in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Moonbow trail is part of the Sheltowee Trace which is Kentucky's longest trail. It is 320 miles long and goes from Tennessee north to near the Ohio River. On this hike we will see Cumberlands Falls which is called the "Niagara Of The South". Cumberlands Falls is one of two places in the world where a "moonbow' can be seen in the mist of the falls during a full moon.
About The Sheltowee Trace:
The Sheltowee Trace is a 319 mile National Recreation Trail that stretches from Tennnessee to almost the Ohio River. It is Kentucky's longest trail and traverses the length of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Along the way are numerous sandstone cliffs and recess cave, rivers, streams and waterfalls. The trail is marked with white diamonds with the outline of a turtle. "Sheltowee" is the Shawnee word for "Big Turtle" which is the name they gave Daniel Boone.
We'll see Dog Slaughter Falls, Star Creek Falls and a number of beautiful streams cascading down to the Cumberland River. We'll hike among giant sandstone boulders, tall hemlock trees and profuse rhododendron. The Moonbow Trail follows the Cumerland River, a state wild river, for its entire length. Although there are no great elevation changes on this hike there are many short steep ups and downs which can be challenging. This is a very scenic trail.
We’ll hike ~12 miles over three days. This trip is designed to be both a learning experience and a backpacking adventure. The goal of this trip is to help each participant become more confident in his/her own backpacking ability while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Rockcastle Narrows region of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Plan to arrive no later than noon at the starting trailhead. We'll get shuttled to the start of our hike near the Mouth of Laurel. We will hike hike ~3 miles at a moderate pace along the Cumberland River on the Moonbow Trail to our campsite where we will spend the night.
We will pack up, hike about ~6 miles over varied terrain which includes some rugged trail to our second campsite along the beautiful Cumberland River. Along the way we will visit Star Creek Falls and take a short side trail to Dog Slaughter Falls.
We will hike ~3 miles back to our cars arriving before noon. We will finish at beautiful Cumberland Falls in Cumberland Falls State Park.
Map Link To Cumerland Falls State Park
During this backpacking trip we will conduct four short workshops and cover these topics:
- Bear Bagging - Beyond The Basics.
- Map reading, route finding and basic compass skills.
- Water treatment. Pros and cons of the different methods.
- Campsite selection - How to pick a great campsite.
If needed we will do a refresher on these topics we learned in the one night backpacking workshop:
What Is Included?
- Proper Backpack Fitting
- Bear Bagging - Hanging Your Food In A Tree
- Backcountry Sanitation & Hygiene In The Woods
- Fire Building
- Backpacking Stoves & Cooking
- Leave No Trace Principles
Your registration fee includes professional guides, all workshops, course material and any shuttle, camping, parking or permit fees.
Not included: Gear, meals, snacks, transportation, and optional guide gratuity.
Don't Have Backpacking Gear? Rent It For A Low Cost!
- Backpack and backpack rain cover
- Pair of trekking poles.
- Tent (1 person tent if solo or 2-3 person tent if shared with a friend)
- Sleeping Bag & Pad
- Headlamp or Flashlight
- Warm Clothes (warm hat, gloves, long underwear, down jacket or equivalent, 2-3 pairs of wool socks)
- Stove and fuel (if cooking hot meals)
- Water treatment (filter or chemical)
- Rain Gear
- Bandanna, whistle, drinking cup.
- Food: Friday Supper through Sunday Breakfast.
- Pack weight not to exceed 35 pounds.
- Personal medications: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Antacids, Pepto-Bismol, Prescriptions (as needed).
For only $45 you can rent a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad for the night. We have both two-person and one-person tents. People renting a two-person tent will be paired with someone who is renting gear also. Let us know your preference for a two-person or one-person tent and if you already have a tent mate selected. The gear will be distributed at start of the hike for you to carry. The rental gear is first come-first served and must be paid for in advance. Rental gear quantities are limited. Choose the rental gear option from the PayPal drop down box below.
Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp.
Andy Niekamp is the Chief Adventure Officer for Outdoor Adventure Connection, which specializes in backcountry adventures. Andy has backpacked over 14,000 miles including four end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail and thru hikes of the Buckeye Trail, Ohio To Erie Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Long Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Colorado Trail, Superior Hiking Trail and the Bartram Trail. Andy is founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, the largest outdoor recreation group in Dayton, Ohio, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Andy Niekamp grew up and lives in Dayton and has a passion for long distance hiking which he shares with others. Andy brings his wealth of backpacking experience and his passion for hiking to this program. He has two rules for his backpacking trips. Number 1: Be safe. Number 2: Have fun!
Here Is What They Say About Our Workshops:
OUTSTANDING trip and experience! I didn't know a thing about backpacking before this trip and by the time we got back to our cars on the last day, I no longer felt like a novice! I feel very comfortable going backpacking again without my wonderful guides now and actually am planning on going on a solo trip soon.
– Ashley O.
What a fabulous adventure! Where to start? This section of the Roan Highlands is magical in its beauty. The flowers, the trees, the boulders, the steep climbs, the grassy balds, set against the backdrop of mountainous ridge after ridge were breath taking.
– Karen P.
This trip had everything, great leadership, fellow hikers & weather. God blessed our trip, it was awesome!
– Bob B.
I am so appreciative of the gentle manner in which Andy guides, coaches, encourages you to learn and grow. He sets you up so you feel confident to tackle a backpacking trip on your own.
– Traci B.
Amy and Yvonne are excellent leaders and work well together. Very professional and well educated. They made the experience enjoyable and backpacking seem very manageable and meaningful.
– Lori D.
Best hiking group ever! I loved the guides. They were both so kind and patient and answered all those questions I had about stoves, filters, packing backpack.
– Tippi M.
The guides did everything possible to make it an enjoyable and worthwhile workshop. They took special care to ensure everyone had a good experience.
– John L.
I don't think you could have done anything better. Your attention to detail and consideration for others are tremendous. Everything was top-notch. Thank you!
– Shauna M.
This trip was one of the best times I've had in a long time. I'm not really sure what I would change. The gear list was very clear. The guides were very open and helpful with there thoughts on different gear and tips to make things easier. Thanks for a great trip.
– Jeremy L.
Had a great time, and everyone was friendly and fun as usual. Weekend was well organized, and super relaxing.
– John S.
Operated on the Daniel Boone National Forest under a special use permit. Non-Discrimination Statement.
Your workshop fee is fully refundable if you cancel 21 days in advance or if this event is cancelled or rescheduled.
All participants must complete an adventure application and sign a liability waiver. Adventure Application PDF with fill-able form fields or Adventure Application PDF to download/print.
Application must be returned for your registration to be confirmed. Note: If you've attended one of our trips in the last 12 months we have an application on file for you.
Minimum age is 14. Adult family member must accompany minor children. Inquire about children younger than 14. No pets permitted. All of our trips are non-smoking. A recommended gear list, meeting location and trip details will be sent via email to registered participants.
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Make a check payable to Outdoor Adventure Connection
(add $45.00 for rental gear) and mail to our address
. Please include your include your name, telephone number, email address and name of trip. Please send an email to
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I had an absolutely amazing time in the Roan Highlands. We hiked over beautiful grassy balds and mountains and had gorgeous weather, and were able to see all the mountains surrounding us. We saw beautiful flowers: rhododendrons blooming and fire azaleas and all sorts of wild flowers. I wish everyone could see such beautiful things and experience such peace, being out in nature. – Alyssa R.