Do you love to hike? Would you love to try backpacking but don’t know where to start? Join Echo Bluff State Park team members from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 for a backpacking introductory class.

Participants will receive instruction in backpacking techniques and then will get to apply what they learn during a hike. Students will learn about the 10 essentials of backpacking and how to pack a backpack for the most comfortable and effective use of space. They will also learn how to filter water for drinking and how to safely cross a creek.

The hike will traverse both natural and artificial surfaces, and will make a 2.5- to 3-mile loop. Participants should meet at the Wild Horse Shelter, located in the day-use area. The hike will begin after park team members give a brief safety presentation and then have students pack their backpacks. Participants will start in the day-use area, hike part of Painter Ridge Trail and then cross Sinking Creek before returning to the day-use area.

Backpacks will be available, but students are welcome to bring their own if they prefer. Students should also bring the following:

Water bottle, packed lunch, water shoes, rain gear

Registration is required and space is limited. Register by Sept. 24 by calling Connie at 573-751-1224 or emailing at

Echo Bluff State Park is located at 35244 Echo Bluff Drive, Eminence in southeast Missouri. For more information, call 573-751-5211.