Tri-State Area Council, Inc.
Boy Scouts of America
823 Adams Avenue
Huntington, WV 25704
50TH ANNIVERSARY HIKE
12-13-14 OCTOBER 2012
Final Update and Registration
This is the final information package for the 50th Anniversary Hike.
Included are new maps of the Kanawha Trace, maps to the Trailhead at Wildcat,
Blackjack, the end of the trail, and registration and order forms. A laminated set of
maps of the entire trail will be issued to groups as they start or may be picked up in
advance at the Council Service Center. Also included in this final mailing is a roster
that must be turned in before you start hiking. This form to be filled out in
duplicate. It is extremely important to turn in an absolutely correct and complete
roster of all participants, both hikers and workers, as we have to account for
literally hundreds of youth and leaders over a 30-mile stretch of trail running
through three counties. Final updates on trail routing or hazards will be made as
groups start and are issued their maps.
There have been some questions regarding various elements of the weekend.
I will try to answer these questions as completely as possible. I will also cover some
salient administrative items as well.
Some units and individuals have asked whether they may hike part or
parts of the trail prior to the Anniversary weekend and still get the
anniversary awards. The answer is yes, so long as you finish the hike
within a four-day maximum period to conclude on the Anniversary
weekend. The special anniversary awards will only be available on
the Anniversary weekend, including the 3” patch that will be available
to hikers on the Family Camp and Fall Hike also occurring on the 13th
of October. This hike is tied to the Anniversary as part of the hike
will be on the Kanawha Trace. Hopefully, through hikers and day
hikers will both be on the trail during that period.
Patches, medals and possibly clothing items are available on a first
come first serve basis. We will order additional items if required to
do so, with a 3-4 week turn around. To this point, 250 patches will be
ordered and 250 medals will be on hand. There will also be previous
anniversary patches on hand for sale. These are only sold on
Anniversary events and in limited numbers as they continue to be
purchased through the years. Some years are no longer available.
As in past years, the 4H group on Barkers Ridge will be selling
snacks, hot dogs, and drinks on the trail where it crosses Barkers
Ridge, specifically the forks of Barker’s Ridge Road, about mile 14.8.
This is a way to meet your Saturday lunch needs and help provide
income to another worthwhile group. We would encourage everyone
to avail themselves of this opportunity. Many of these 4H members
and leaders are also land owners along the trail and have
demonstrated their support of Scouting and the Kanawha Trace for
many years. This is another way of thanking them as well. There
will also be water and portable toilet at this point. There will also be a
first-aid station at this point with particular focus on foot care. This
station will be manned by members of the Cabell-Huntington Medical
Reserve Corps and will have two registered nurses and an EMT on
Groups, starting on Friday the 12th need to be aware that darkness
will occur earlier, as the fall season moves on us. The distance from
the Wildcat Creek trailhead to Camp Arrowhead is a little over four
miles. It is possible that groups may find themselves in darkness if
they start much later than 5pm. It is the responsibility of all leaders
and groups to accordingly “BE PREPARED”. We will cruise that
section of the trail to make sure that everyone is safely off the trail,
but we will not be able to provide individual unit guides for every
group. We are asking all groups, even those starting on Friday to start
at Wildcat. This to avoid the heavy traffic and congestion at the
normal start of the trail at the junction of Merritts Creek and Old
Mud River Road. Please observe the traffic pattern that will have
units traveling in a clockwise route into [Wildcat Road] and out [Old
Mud River Road] of the start point. This will set up a one-way
pattern to limit passing problems on the narrow access roads. This is
especially important as some units may be pulling trailers. Please
cooperate in this matter. The traffic /start map is provided in this
A reminder, that if units need help in transporting gear to Blackjack
please let the service center know. Try to keep gear and vehicles to a
minimum. Space is at a minimum at Blackjack for non-four wheel
drive vehicles and, if it is wet, even 4wd vehicles may have problems
getting in and out of the campground.
A reminder, units ordering the meal package must have their order
into the service center no later than close of business on the 8th of
October. We recognize that your numbers will fluctuate, but other
groups will probably offset them. We have to have as good a count as
you can provide, to order and prepare food. If you have requirements
for special dietary needs please let us know prior to the 8th so that we
may accommodate those needs.
Unit leaders should be aware of any medical conditions and
medications that may impact a youth member or adult over the
weekend. Please make sure that you and your youth are medically
prepared. Medical response in remote areas of the trail will take
time! Advance coordination has been made with emergency response
authorities in Cabell, Mason, and Putnam Counties.
We will have radio-equipped guides on the trail during the entire
weekend. They will be there to monitor and assist, as needed, and to
provide a means of tracking movement on the trail. We will also
provide a cell phone number for the weekend so that those having cell
phones will have a way of communicating in the event of an
emergency. I would point out; there will be areas where cell phones
will not have service because of terrain obscuration of the signal.
There will be on the trail checkpoints operated, as noted on the
registration sheets. All hikers must check in at these points. We
cannot over emphasis the need to account for everyone. Please
cooperate in the matter. Try to keep your group together. Almost
certainly, there will be individuals who will run ahead or fall behind.
We all need to watch out for everyone on the trail. The whole body of
hikers on the anniversary weekend is one trail community. If you see
someone needing help or assistance, render it. If someone from a
leading group falls back into your group, temporarily pick them up
on your roster. If someone joins your group at a faster pace, note it
on your roster and identify them. This will help to track everyone. If
you are planning on starting at some other point than Wildcat or
Camp Arrowhead you must provide that information to us and
arrange to have a totally accurate hike roster provided to us. This
may be done by providing it to the Council Service Center or calling it
in to the provided cell number at the earliest possible moment cell
service is available. The cell number for the event will be available
when you start on Saturday morning.
You will probably encounter dogs along the way that will want to
become part of this great adventure. Try to run them off. If you
cannot accomplish this then note where they start following you so
that we can return them. We don’t want anyone’s pet to be lost or
run over. Don’t let your kids encourage animals by feeding them or
We will be at the start of the trail on Saturday morning the 13th of
October, prior to first light, approximately 0545. No group will be
permitted to start before first light and confirmation of their roster.
We will insert radio guides at intervals, with one of our guides being
near the beginning of the column and one of our guides as the
absolute last person on the trail sweeping up stragglers. Typically, the
column will be as long as five miles or more at some point in the day.
The average hiking time from Wildcat to Blackjack is nine and one
half hours. No group will be permitted to start the trail from Wildcat
later than 9:30AM. We will be able to pickup individuals that may not
be able to continue. 99.9% of the people hiking will make it. Work to
encourage and motivate your youth. We know that many of you have
been conducting practice hikes. Great!!!
Anyone wanting to assist by manning a checkpoint or helping to guide
please contact the service center [304-523-3408] or Frank Geer at
Meals will be served for Saturday supper starting about 5:30-6:00 PM
and run until everyone is off the trail and accounted for. Sunday
breakfast will be served on a “to order” basis beginning at 7:00 AM
and run until all have been fed. We will try to have groups underway
between 8:30Am and 10:00 Am. This will stagger arrivals at the end
of the Trail. The Sunday trail lunch and drinks will be issued and
consumed at about mile 26.85 where the trail leaves the road and
enters the woods prior to Lookout Point.
The tentative menu: Sat supper is roast, seasoned/barbequed chicken,
green beans, corn, baked beans, seasoned red potatoes, rolls/bread,
and drinks. Sunday breakfast will be eggs to order, scrambled, fried
omelets, sausage, bacon, biscuits, sausage gravy, pancakes, syrup,
milk, juice, assorted cereals, fruit. Sunday Trail Lunch, to be issued
at mile 26.85, sandwich, mixed chips, candy bar, fruit, drinks. Water
will be available at most road crossings and will be provided more
often depending on temperatures. A REMINDER TO ALL
LEADERS, KEEP YOUR YOUTH HYDRATED. IN THE EVENT
OF EXTREMELY HOT WEATHER, AS WE HAD ON THE 45TH
ANN, WE WILL ENFORCE A REQUIREMENT THAT ALL
PERSONS HYDRATE AT THE CHECK POINTS OR AS
The trail for the Anniversary Weekend will end at the Point where the
trail crosses 5&20 Mile Creek just beyond Mile 30. This is to avoid
traffic on old US 35 at the end of the trail. Typical hiking time on the
backside of the trail is five hours. Your group should arrive
approximately five hours after they leave Blackjack School. You
should time your arrival accordingly. The world has been turned
upside down with the construction of the new US 35 at the end of the
trail, pay close attention to the maps that we are providing on how to
get to the end of the trail.
Awards will be issued at the end of the trail. In the event that there
are not enough awards available, an immediate reorder will be placed
on Monday with delivery to units or individuals as soon as humanly
possible. Each medal will be individually numbered.
Portable toilets will be available at Blackjack and on Barkers Ridge.
Water will be available at Camp Arrowhead, Eagles Nest Shelter,
Barkers Ridge, Blackjack, and the lunch site on Sunday. We ask that
all units haul away there own garbage. We will provide cans for food
and meal generated trash. Statutory fire season will be in effect, as
such; we ask that fires at Blackjack be keep to a minimum. Smoking
is not an approved activity on Scouting events and during fire season
extreme caution should be observed.
Camping along the trail will be only at designated or previously
approved sites. The designated sites for the Anniversary hike are
Camp Arrowhead, Eagles Nest Shelter, and Blackjack. Any other site
will require permission. Groups are responsible for their own shelter.
Special requests for tentage will be accepted if placed by the 8th of
October. The tents will be delivered to Blackjack. You will need to
set the tents up yourself.
The hike will go regardless of the weather. The only exception would
be flooding or snow conditions that would preclude travel along the
All groups are responsible for their own personnel transportation.
Some limited assistance may be provided on special request, for
example someone hiking in one day on Saturday.
Groups utilizing gear transport assistance must SECURELY tag or
label their gear by name and unit number. We will have a truck and
trailer at the start of the trail on Saturday. Please ensure that your
request is in by the 8th of October. Gear also will be transported to
the end of the trail, if required.
Observe the Scout Oath and Law along the trail. Please do not litter
or damage fences or other property. If you accidentally cause damage
report it so that it may be quickly repaired. We continue to enjoy this
trail because of the graciousness of the many landowners along the
route. The Kanawha trace is a very unique trail, in that it is totally
located on private property. If you have the opportunity to meet or
talk with landowners be sure to thank them for their kindness
Finally, we will be sharing the woods with hunters; we would
recommend the use of some blaze orange in each group. Word has
been passed to the community so we do not expect many hunters to be
along the trail.
The list of anniversary associated costs and options are as follows:
1. Registration/Trail maintenance fee [required]………………………....$.50
2. Special Anniversary Medal [optional]……………………………… $10.50
3. Special Anniversary Patch [optional] 6 inch diameter…………….....$8.50
4. Special Anniversary Patch [optional] 3 inch diameter……………….$3.00
5. Meal Package, Sat Dinner, Sunday Breakfast, Trail Lunch[opt.].....$15.00
6. There will also be anniversary clothing available [optional], long and
short sleeve t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts and moisture wicking shirts.
The prices on these items will range from $12 - $25. These prices are
based on current estimates. Prices are impacted by quantities ordered
and materials selected.
7. A final note to unit leaders. Our policy has always been that no boy will
be denied a medal or patch due to legitimate limited family financial
circumstances. You need only to let the registrars at the end of the trail
know and the matter will be dealt with confidentially.
8. The anniversary medal will have a gold colored ribbon denoting the
“golden” anniversary of the trail. Additionally there will be a single
miniature arrowhead pin gilded in 24 carat gold attached to the ribbon.
This is a nod to the fact that all hikers on the opening hike of the
Kanawha trace in 1962 had a miniature “silver” arrowhead attached to
their ribbon. The 24 carat gold leaf was donated and its cost is not
reflected in the cost of the medallion.
The trail is in superb condition. While we did suffer extensive damage during
the storm in June, we were able to clear the trail in time for the 50K and 10K
Anniversary runs in July. Many groups and individuals worked to make this
happen. There are many new features and structures on the trail since the 45 th
anniversary hike, to include, the 238 foot long pedestrian tunnel under US 35 in
Putnam County and six new bridges, three of them eagle projects, and three large
bridges, Big Cabell Creek, Bear Hollow Creek, and Barnett Branch, funded by the
Federal Highways Recreational Trails Program administered by the West Virginia
Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.
If you have any further questions or suggestion please contact the Council
Service Center [304-523-3408] or Frank Geer [304-638-3440]. Look forward to
seeing all of you on the hike!
Charlie Dundas, [304-654-9153]