Event Information

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge 2006


The tenth annual Rachel Carson Trail Challenge is on Saturday June 24, 2006, the Saturday nearest the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Sponsored by Elite Runners & WalkersThe Challenge is a 34-mile long, one-day, sunrise to sunset endurance hike on nearly the entire brutal Rachel Carson Trail. Unlike a footrace, the "challenge" is not to "come in first" or "win", but to endure, to finish the hike in one day. This time, the Challenge starts in Harrison Hills County Park at sunrise, 5:50 AM, and ends 34 miles later in North Park. The deadline for finishing is sunset, 8:54 PM or 15 hours, 4 minutes.


Register online!Advance registrations may only be submitted online, via active.com. Click here to register! We are accepting up to 600 registrations this year. Note that advance registrations will be accepted through June 21 and are non-refundable.

Planning to register on-site? If so, in order to expedite registration please print out the On-Site Registration form in MS-Word or Adobe PDF format in advance and have it ready to go.

For one day only and provided we haven't reached our registration limit, we'll be accepting advance registrations via cash or check at our Annual Public Meeting on Saturday, May 13. Registration forms will be available at the meeting for you to fill out and payment must be made there.

Training Hikes

There will be four 8-9 mile training hikes covering the entire trail prior to the Challenge. These allow you to learn trail blazing and navigation, as well as see firsthand the trail itself if you've never been on it before, in addition to helping you get in shape for the event. These hikes will be on 6/3 & 6/4 and 6/10 & 6/11. There is a $3 activity fee ($1 if Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy member) per person, per hike, collected on the day of the hike.


Camping: Both North Park and Harrison Hills Park are county parks and camping is not permitted. The closest campground is the Mountain Top Campground, about 7 miles away from Harrison Hills Park and 17 miles from North Park.

Hotel: These hotels are closest to the parks:

HotelPhoneMiles Away
Near North Park
Econo Lodge(724)443-59115
Comfort Inn(724)444-87005
Holiday Inn(412)366-52007
Hampton Inn(412)939-320010
Near Harrison Hills Park
River Avenue Hotel(412)828-93004
Clarion Hotel(724)335-91719
Armstrong Farms B&B;(724)352-285810
Maggie West B&B;(724)274-890613
Days Inn(412)828-540015
Super 8(412)828-890015


The Challenge needs volunteers on Challenge Day! We will need people throughout the day, from morning registration to checkpoints along the trail and the finish. People can volunteer for as few as two hours. If you'd like to help out, review the Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities and mark the meeting dates on your calendar. What's in it for a volunteer? As a thank-you, all volunteers receive a coveted Marshal t-shirt, admission to the cookout, and the gratitude of hundreds of strangers!