Have you ever wanted to do the 50 Mile Alonzo Stagg Hike but felt like you needed more time? Well, this is your year. While there is no formal Alonzo Stagg again this year due to COVID, Troop 149 is going to do our own COVID-style version. 50 miles in 50 days instead of 20 hours. This will give everyone a chance to experience the entire 50 mile route in preparation for coming back next year and conquering the true 50/20. We will start at sunrise on Saturday March 13th and you will have until sundown on Sunday May 2nd to finish. This is an excellent opportunity for Scouts to mask up and get out in small groups, with your patrol or with your family.
For Scouts who are interested in earning the Hiking Merit Badge (Eagle rank requires hiking, biking, or swimming merit badge), this is an excellent opportunity to complete several of the hikes required. Remember, like any Merit Badge you need to contact the Merit Badge Counselor (Mrs. Vargas) and request a Blue Card from Mr Vargas before you start the Merit Badge. We'll be handling it electronically via Scoutbook but Mrs. Vargas will still hold an initial meeting for anyone doing the merit badge.
For fun, Troop 149 will develop a web site so we can keep track of everyone's progress. We will also have a contest for most interesting thing spotted each week, so take your camera(phone) and if you come across anything interesting take a picture that you can share at a Troop meeting. Who knows, if anyone completes 50 total miles while McDonalds is still serving the Shamrock Shake, we might reimburse you for a small shake (a Troop 149 tradition for those finishing the last of the infamous Bluemont Loops).
How Will It Work?
There's two goals you can shoot for - trying to complete the 50, or just to get miles.
To help make tracking easier, we've split the hike up into sections that you can complete on your own time. These sections should also make coordination with friends easier, if you want plan out sessions.
The sections are (with the exception of the A/B split) split up where there would normally be support stops
|A||St. Agnes (start) to the beginning of the towpath
|B||Beginning of the towpath to Lock 10
||4.6 mi (cumulative 8.4)
|C||Lock 10 to Great Falls
||5.6 mi (cumulative 14.0)
|D||Great Falls to Lock 10
||5.6 mi (cumulative 19.6)
|E||Lock 10 to Fletcher's Boat House
||5.6 mi (cumulative 25.2)
|F||Fletcher's Boat House to Gravelly Point
||7.0 mi (cumulative 32.2)
|G||Gravelly Point to Shirlington
||4.0 mi (cumulative 36.2)
|H||Shirlington to Bluemont Park
||3.5 mi (cumulative 39.7)
|I||Bluemont Park Loops (Repeat this 4 times)
||2.8 mi (cumulative 42.5, 45.3, 48.1, 50.9)
We've created a map with each of the sections color-coded at https://troop149arlva.org/ash2021/ - you can toggle the individual sections using the layers tab in the top right (since some sections overlap).
We've also created a cue sheet with written directions for each section. Click here to view it. The cue sheet also includes
Google Maps links at the end of each section for where drivers should go to pick up their scouts.
If you're just going for miles (this is probably you if you're doing the Hiking Merit Badge), you can either do sections of the Alonzo Stagg, or do your own independent hikes.
For independent hikes, you'll have to record the route you took, and distance covered.
Hiking Merit Badge
The Hiking Merit Badge requires you do five hikes in the following order:
- One 5-mile Hike
- Three 10-mile Hikes
- One 15-mile Hike
To complete these distances exactly (easiest method), you can plan independent hikes covering those lengths.
If you want to complete both the Merit Badge and the Alonzo Stagg, we have a suggested section order below that will cover the requirements. Note that doing this means you actually end up hiking more than the Alonso Stagg route, since you're
doing sections G and I an extra time. In total, you'll be hiking an extra 6.8 miles.
|Sections F & G
|Section G, H, and I once
|Section I, 4 times
|Sections A, B, C, D
How do I sign up?
How do I log my hikes?
In normal years, Troop 111 coordinates the hike as a district event. This is their page on the hike, consisting of useful preparation and event information for normal years (although much is still applicable for our version this year): http://troop111.org/activities/alonzo-stagg-5020-hike/