CommunityEvents

Join us at the Mid-Atlantic Bikepacking Summit: August 23-26, 2024

Are you a Mid-Atlantic-based bikepacking organization, gear maker, advocacy organization, or bike shop?
Consider joining our Expo to connect with bikepackers in the region.

We at Bikepacking Roots are thrilled to host the very first Mid-Atlantic Bikepacking Summit, set for Friday to Monday, August 23-26, 2024. We’re gathering in the scenic town of Confluence, PA, at the riverside Outflow Campground. This event is open to everyone, from those curious about bikepacking to seasoned adventurers. We can’t wait to see you there and share this amazing experience together in the Appalachian/Mid-Atlantic Region!

Our summit is all about building a vibrant community, exploring the stunning Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian landscapes, and making bikepacking accessible to everyone. We’re passionate about creating a grassroots event that brings together bikepackers from diverse backgrounds and experience levels here in this region. Whether you’re a newbie eager to learn or a pro looking to connect with fellow enthusiasts, we’ve got something for you.

We’re excited to share our love for the cultural, physical, and ecological wonders of the Mid-Atlantic region, from country roads and paw-paws to hellbender salamanders and luscious green mountains. Our carefully planned rides and activities are designed to help you discover and connect with these beautiful landscapes in a meaningful way. And for those of you who are just starting out, we’ve got beginner-friendly programs and a welcoming overnight option to help you get rolling on your bikepacking journey.

At Bikepacking Roots, we believe in giving back to the trails and landscapes we love. Let’s come together to ride and also contribute to the preservation of these incredible landscapes and support of the rural communities that we ride through, ensuring they remain thriving and accessible for future generations.

We’re counting down the days until we can gather in Confluence, PA, for a weekend of riding, learning, and building connections. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, explore new trails, or learn more about bikepacking, the Mid-Atlantic Bikepacking Summit is the place to be this August. See below to register now to secure your spot!

🗓️ Summit Schedule: Mark Your Calendars!

Friday, August 23rd: Arrival and Social Rides

  • Flexible Arrival: Roll into the Outflow Campground whenever you like. Check-in starts at 5 PM.
  • Social Rides: Join us from 3:00 – 6:30 PM for optional rides exploring the GAP Trail and surrounding areas.
  • Welcome Session: At 7:00 PM, we’ll gather for a brief welcome from the Bikepacking Roots Executive Director and Mid-Atlantic Stewards.

Saturday, August 24th: Rides, Expo, and Community Talks

  • Check-In: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Morning Rides: Various route options from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM, all with a stop at the Bikepacking Expo and to grab lunch in Ohiopyle.
  • Makers Mart and Expo: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle.
  • Bikepacking Basics Workshop: A must for first-timers or those curious about bikepacking (time TBD at the Expo)
  • Panel Discussions: From 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM, we’ll focus on supporting and growing the bikepacking community in the region.
  • Casual BBQ: Join us at 6:30 PM for a BBQ, win some awesome prizes in our raffle, and bring your bike to show off in our bikepacking setup display.

Sunday, August 25th: Overnight Bikepacking Excursions

  • Departure: From 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM, set off on overnight bikepacking trips with options for all skill levels.
    • A beginner-friendly trip
    • Women, trans, femme, nonbinary & gender expansive trip led by the Hellbenders Adventure Collective
    • Intermediate and advanced options

Monday, August 26th: Return and Reflect

  • Return: Riders will come back from their overnight trips at varying times. There are no formal closing activities, so feel free to reflect on your journey and say your goodbyes.

We hope that you join us for the whole extended weekend, but dropping in for some of the activities is a possibility.

Note: Activities are subject to change. Stay tuned for updates!

Check out these FAQs for more info!

I've never bikepacked before and am nervous about attending. Will this be appropriate for beginners?

Absolutely. This is a great event for people who are curious about bikepacking. We will have beginner friendly rides and a beginner friendly overnight.

What type of bike do I need?

If you are planning to stick to the beginner rides, those will mostly be on the GAP trail. Per the GAP website, “Many types of bicycles work well on the Great Allegheny Passage, including touring bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, urban commuters, and department store specials… A 28 mm tire or larger is your best bet.”

If you are planning to join the intermediate or advanced rides, wider tires (45mm and wider) are advisable for navigating diverse surfaces.

What do I need to pack?

See our suggested packing list here.

I don’t have any bikepacking bags? Can I still join an overnight trip?

We have a number of bikepacking bags that we can lend out to participants to try them out for the overnight trips. We will try our best to accommodate everyone, and you can get pretty creative to get out there for just a night! Please indicate on your registration form if you may need to borrow gear and we will follow-up.

Do we need to reserve/pay for a campsite?

Nope! We have reserved a very large group campsite that will accommodate all Summit participants. Our suggested donation to attend the event will go toward covering costs such as campground and pavilion reservations.

I can’t make it for all 4 days, can I still come?

Yes, definitely. While we would love to host you for the full weekend. Saturday will be a great day to come for a mix of riding, an Expo, great panel presentations and some social activities. Or perhaps you are most interested in joining for an overnight from Sunday – Monday.

What if I don't know exactly how long I can attend for yet?

That is ok, you won’t be locked into the details you provide on the registration form. We are just trying to get an overall sense of when people are joining us and what rides they are interested in so we can have the right ride leaders.

What are the routes?

We are currently working on a variety of route options for rides throughout the weekend. We plan to share those in advance of the event, although there may be some last-minute adjustments based on how many people are interested in specific types of rides.

How do I get there?

  • Our basecamp for Friday thru Sunday is at Confluence Outflow Campground in Confluence, PA.
  • If you are driving, we encourage carpooling! Driving distances from major cities in the region include:
    • Morgantown, WV ~1 hour
    • Pittsburgh, PA ~1 hr 45 min
    • Baltimore, MD ~3 hrs
    • Washington, DC ~3.5 hrs
    • Cleveland, OH  ~3.5 hrs
    • Richmond, VA  ~4.5 hrs
    • Philadelphia, PA ~4 hrs 45 min
    • New York, NY ~5 hrs 45 min
  • If you are feeling adventurous, ride your bike! The event is happening right along the popular GAP trail which connects Pittsburgh and DC. If you are looking to ride from elsewhere in the region, we can try to help with route planning.
  • There is also an Amtrak train connecting Pittsburgh and DC which stops in nearby Connellsville, PA. Please note, the bike spots on this train fill up quickly in the summer!

What is the plan for food for the weekend?

  • If you are arriving Friday afternoon or evening, please make your own plans for food on Friday.
  • We are working on a coffee vender for Saturday & Sunday morning at camp and at the Expo – please look out for confirmation.
  • Saturday, there is a great restaurant at Wilderness Voyageurs where people can stop for lunch while visiting the Expo in Ohiopyle.
  • Saturday evening, we plan to have a very casual BBQ – think hot dogs and veggie dogs, chips and some other snacks + non-alcoholic seltzers, sodas and water (no alcohol is allowed at the campground). Feel free to bring your own food for yourself or something to contribute.
  • If you are going on an overnight trip, please bring your own food for Sunday – Monday. It is likely that some of the overnight routes will end near towns where provisions can be picked up at the end of the ride for eating at camp. If you need help with ideas of what is best to pack for bikepacking, please reach out and we can share more details as the event gets closer.

I’m super stoked on bikepacking in the region, how can I get more involved?

We would love to connect. Reach out to [email protected] if you want to join our expo, host a workshop or have any other ideas.

About Ohiopyle and Confluence, PA

Nestled where the Youghiogheny River meets the GAP trail, Confluence is a gateway to adventure. Nearby Ohiopyle is an outdoor paradise, featuring breathtaking waterfalls, hiking trails, and the historic GAP trail, which links up with the C&O Canal Towpath. This trail convergence provides a continuous route from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., a perfect route to ride to the Summit on!

Ride to the Summit!

Why not extend your adventure by riding to the summit? We are happy to try to connect riders who may be interested in riding to the event from nearby cities like Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Morgantown, and others. We may even have some of our Regional Stewards leading a ride or two—stay tuned!

Get Involved and Support the Summit

  • We’re looking for sponsors to help make this summit a success. Whether you can provide financial support or in-kind donations for our awesome bikepacking raffle, we’d love to hear from you!
  • Are you a Mid-Atlantic-based bikepacking organization that wants to help play a role in the Summit? Reach out to us to see if there may be ways to get more involved.

Meet the Team

This summit is brought to you by Bikepacking Roots, with guidance from our fantastic Executive Director, Noelle Battle, and support from an incredible team of regional stewards: Jacob Rex (WV – Hellbender Bikepacking), David Landis (VA – V2V Trails), Geoff Patterson (DC – Canal Byways), Margaret Livelsberger and Kayla Layng (PA – Hellbenders Adventure Collective), Helena Kotala (PA – Pennsylvania Environmental Council), and Laura Kelly (NY). We’re dedicated to making this a memorable and inclusive event for everyone.

Stay connected for more updates and join the conversation using #MidAtlanticBikepackingSummit. We can’t wait to ride, learn, and explore with you this August!

See you at the summit! 🌲🚴‍♂️

For questions or more information, feel free to reach out to noelle@bikepackingroots. 

Thanks to the sponsors of our Summit Raffle!