In support of the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, AMC has closed all lodging and foodservice operations until July 1. Dates for all in person activities and programs posted below remain subject to change based on the latest public health guidance and government directives. Cancelled programs are not displayed. We encourage you to join AMC's online socials, educational programs, and trainings.

Novice Backpacking Workshop for Adults w/Overnight Backpack (2C6) (Pet Friendly)

Date and Time

Friday, August 21, 2020 5:00PM - Monday, August 24, 2020 1:00PM


Seneca Rocks WV,
West Virginia,
WV United States


Registration is required for this activity.


The NY/North Jersey Backpacking Committee has been offering the Novice Backpacking Workshops each year since 2017 at the AMC Harriman Outdoor Center in Haverstraw New York. This year, we are moving the program to better serve members in the Potomac Chapter and the central and southern portion of our service area to offer an exciting workshop at Seneca Rocks in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. A wonderful place for an outdoor backpacking workshop. This year's workshop consists of a two-night program at Seneca Shadows National Forest Campground and an overnight leader led beginner backpack. The workshop will occur from Aug 21 to Aug 24, 2020. Arrival time Friday Aug, 21, 2020 is anytime after 3:00 PM but before 7:00 PM. Quiet hours begin at 9:00 PM. Saturday we learn camping skills and take a hike to prepare everyone for their overnight backpack on Sunday. Leaders will work one on one practicing skills in water treatment, food options, food security, Leave no Trace, foot care, tent setup, clothing options and hiking safety so everyone is confident backpacking. Participants will need to bring their own tents, sleeping bags appropriate for the season, pads and backpack. Programs leaders will help advise you if you don't already have this gear. For the hike to a remote campsite, the routes will be about three miles or less each way on suitable terrain for novice backpackers. We will be splitting the larger group into smaller groups with destinations to some of the most attractive locations in the Monongahela National Forest including Seneca Creek Backcountry, Dolly Sods Wilderness and Otter Creek Wilderness. While the park service provides 8 free parking spots, these will be used by the instructors. Therefore, participants bringing their cars will be required to pay a parking fee (currently $8.00 for the weekend) to the park service upon arrival at the park. Other than the parking fee, the cost of the program is free. All AMC programs are open to the public. Membership is encouraged but not required. The screening process to participate starts with a phone conversation with a leader/instructor. Contact the registrar by hitting the REGISTER NOW button and provide them with a contact phone number and times when available to talk with them about the program. In past years, these workshops have filled up quickly. Therefore, we have space for a total of 31 participants plus nine instructors/leaders for 40 spots. This program is pet friendly. All pets must be social with people and other pets and have been hiking with you previously. They must be on leash at all times. Tell registrar about your pet. Contact Richard Breusch or David Mong for more information.

AMC Trip Policy



Related Link(s):

Seneca Creek Backcountry
Dolly Sods Brochure
Dolly Sods Map
Otter Creek Brochure
Otter Creek Map

Driving Directions

Click map for driving directions

We have reserved group campsite D at Seneca Shadows Campground near Seneca Rocks WV. Pinned location is the entrance to the site. Arrive anytime after 3:00 but before 7:00 PM. Photo is from the viewpoint from one of the overnight backpacking locations.

Rohrbaugh Plains Trail Overlook



Offered By







Adults (18+)


I have been leading backpacking trips for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club since 1975. I enjoy taking the time to look at the scenery and have a relatively slow pace. I am patient with beginners and enjoy helping them learn new skills.


I grew up hiking in state parks, national forests, and wilderness areas throughout West Virginia and have been backpacking since 2015, including three section hikes on the AT in Virginia. I am interested in exploring out-of-the-way places, helping women gain confidence to be outdoors, and providing a means for everyone to experience extended trips in the wilderness. We humans need to spend time in nature in order to protect it and understand our connection with it.


Graduated Mountain Leadership School in 2014; years of hiking and/or horseback riding through the woods. Started leading backpacking trips in 2017; Wilderness First Responder, volunteer faculty for AMC and created the Novice Backpacking Workshop. I have years of experience, training and education in the creation and implementation of training courses in many areas.