|The Yockatomac Trek ™|
Most people plan their treks along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O canal by themselves using resources such as Linking Up. Some plan private trips with the help of outfitters (listed in Linking Up). Others prefer to join a trip that has been organized by a group or a company and is open to the public. We maintain s a Planned Passages Calendar showing these public scheduled trips.
In the past the The Yockatomac Trek has been a one week ride, loosely affiliated with the Allegheny Trail Alliance. Now the Yockatomac Trek expands its scope to include several sections of various styles on different dates. Each section has its own organizer and shares the philosophy of the Trek, and they'll all share the sense of community in the trail and of accomplishment in completing the trip.
The lead section this year is again the Classic Yockatomac Trek June 13-21, organized in the same style as the previous nine trips. Organized by Harpo Rogers, it will use hotels and B&Bs, and it will offer van support to carry baggage, meet the trip at lunch, and provide rides for anyone who wants to sit out for half a day or a day. Other sections, for example, self-supported camping using the primitive camping areas along the trail, may also be scheduled.
Now that the trail is finished to within shouting distance of Pittsburgh, it's pretty easy to set up a trip. If you prefer to let someone else do the work, there are already several commercial trips scheduled for 2009. So it's no longer a challenge to make your way from one end to another, and there are numerous opportunities to let other people do the planning. If you're planning your own trip, though, you may want to be a little careful about choosing dates so that you don't compete for the (relatively scarce) lodging with other groups.
To help you find trips and pick good dates, we have set up a Planned Passages Calendar so that people can find public trips and announce their own plans and so that other people can tell when the trail will be most busy. If you are offering a public trip, let us know via our information form.
Remember that if you start your own trip a couple of days before or after a big trip, you're not likely to encounter them for very long. Capacity of the hiker-biker sites is limited, so these public trips are probably too large to be using them. If you plan to camp in these sites, you should probably limit the number of tents to two (maybe three 2-person backpacking tents) in case you want to share a site with a group that's already set up.
In previous years we tried to keep track of planned private trips. To our great delight, in 2007 there were many more of these than we could keep track of, so we stopped trying to record all the private trips we hear about. Nevertheless, everyone is welcome to register their private trips on the calendar by filling out our information form.
In previous years we tried to let people record the information directly, but vandals found a way around the moderation. We've shifted to a Google calendar. Unfortunately, the navigation from month to month isn't as nice as it used to be.
If you're looking for a trip or if you're looking for more people to join a trip you're planning, we encourage you to say so on the Great Allegheny Passage or C&O Canal Yahoo groups.