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The Appalachian Trail
Running through 14 states from Georgia to Maine, the 2192-mile Appalachian Trail (AT) is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Initially, our week-long trips will take advantage of the beautiful scenery, relatively easy terrain, and ready accessibility of the AT in the Mid-Atlantic region, starting and ending near historic, scenic Harpers Ferry, WV. Harpers Ferry is less than a two-hour drive from many metropolitan centers, including Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD.
Experienced, compassionate leaders
Trip guides are experienced wilderness experts, emergency medical responders, and seasoned AT hikers. Grief counselors and mental health professionals are also part of our leadership team, working in conjunction with trip leaders to create an empowering therapeutic outdoor activity that honors the griever and promotes the healing process.
What’s a typical day like on a hiking trip?
All trips will be conducted in small groups supported by experienced trip leaders. Except for the first night, when we’ll be staying at a campground, the group will be backpacking on beautiful sections of the AT and camping under the stars. We’ll have tarps to protect from weather, and we’ll be camping near AT shelters that have access to water and a privy. After we’ve set up our camping area, we will be preparing our own meals. Evening activities will foster sharing and bonding, with time for fun, rest and reflection.
But I don’t have any camping gear!
No worries! The Umbrella Project will provide everything you need except your hiking shoes and everyday outdoor clothes. We’ll supply all hiking, cooking, and camping gear, including backpacks, sleeping bags and pads, rainwear, etc. Participants will receive a list of recommended clothes and personal items to bring.
Our trips are therapeutic, not therapy
All trip participants are grieving—which means everyone has bereavement in common. The purpose of the Umbrella Project is not to provide group therapy or counseling sessions, but to bring together grieving young adults—some of whom may not know other people their age who have suffered a similar loss—and spend a week in nature.