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Backpacking class at Matson Hill Park includes 5-mile hike

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If you’re interested in backpacking and don’t know where to start, enroll in St. Charles County Parks’ “Backpacking, Shakedown and Hike” class! This new ranger-led program is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, November 2, at Matson Hill Park, 670 Matson Hill Road in Defiance.

Participants ages 12 and older will learn how to prepare for an enjoyable backpacking adventure. Rangers will cover:

  • needed gear
  • packing for a long-distance hike
  • outdoor ethics
  • hiking safety

After the lessons, attendees will take a moderate 5-mile hike through the 475-acre rugged, heavily forested parkland to experience a backpacking journey.

Participants should wear hiking-appropriate clothing and bring a brown bag lunch and their own backpacking equipment, including the following gear necessary for a longer backpacking trip: backpack, sleeping bag, bug spray, first aid kit, rain gear and water.

The program is $2 per person and ideal for students, scouts, and other organizations. Pre- registration is required by calling the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department at 636-949-7535 or visiting

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