The Notre Dame Trail is a 13-day pilgrimage, including 5, 3, and 1-day options, in August 2017 to celebrate Notre Dame’s 175th anniversary and the journey made by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and the Holy Cross Brothers to found the University in 1842.
The 300+ mile trail will follow Father Sorin’s footsteps, beginning in Vincennes, Indiana, and concluding on Notre Dame’s campus. Learn more about how to participate.
Experience the history of the C.S.C. and live the mission of Notre Dame as you journey together with fellow pilgrims. Enjoy Indiana's natural beauty, landscapes, hiking trails, rivers, lakes, and wildlife. Learn from storytellers about the western frontier of the United States, missionaries from Europe, and indigenous people. Preview the anticipated Itinerary.
Suggested Packing List (5- and 3-day pilgrims)
As you prepare for the Notre Dame Trail, please consider the following:
- Pack lightly
- Bring sun-protective clothing and apparel
- No jewelry or tight fitting accessories
- Hands/feet swell during long periods of activity
- Many items will be provided onsite (listed below)
- Trail staff can procure urgent items upon request
- Medical personnel on-site for pre- and post-walk blister care, taping, wraps, etc.
- Download Suggested Packing List (5- and 3-day pilgrims PDF 108k)
Items Provided Onsite
Many items will be provided onsite for all pilgrims including:
- Pilgrim Passport
- Supplemental first-aid items (sunscreen, insect repellent, athletic tape, gels, anti-chafing sticks, pain relievers, blister bandages, gauze, topical treatments)
- Snacks (variety of fruit, protein and energy bars, nuts, chips, energy supplements, etc.)
- Water refills and hydrating electrolyte beverages
- Basic toiletries (wipes, feminine care, deodorant, mouthwash, washcloths, antibacterial soap)
- Safety vests
Alumni, students, parents, fans, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate. And, the Notre Dame Trail is open to all people.
This is primarily an event for adults. Children over the age of 16 are able to participate, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Children under the age of 16 are welcome to participate on the final day of the Trail.
Pets are not allowed. However, service, facility, and assistance dogs are welcome. When registering, please indicate if you have this requirement.
This is a walking event. Running, biking, and driving are not permitted. Also, rollerblades, skateboards, skates, etc. are prohibited.
Pilgrims are welcome to end their journey at any point during their day and utilize the shuttle transportation.
Low elevation with some hills and open terrain will be experienced along the Trail. Some areas are heavily wooded, while other areas are open. Most of the path is paved, but some portions are gravel or dirt. Pilgrims will see beautiful landscapes, low hills, lakes, rivers, streams, wildlife, covered bridges, rural vistas, local communities, and scenic views. View beautiful pictures of the @NotreDameTrail on Instagram.
Pilgrims will walk during conditions that allow for safe travel. There will be safety and emergency protocols in place to account for severe weather and other related issues. The weather will be constantly monitored by the National Weather Service. The Trail will be temporarily suspended in the event of weather conditions deemed unsafe by the event staff.
Most of the Trail is accessible by wheelchair. When registering, please indicate such a requirement, and we will customize your Trail experience accordingly.
Portable restroom facilities will be provided to pilgrims every three to five miles.
Food and Beverage
Snacks, hydration, and other food items will be provided to all pilgrims at pitstops.
Most days, and weather permitting, pilgrims will begin by 7:00 a.m. to avoid the hottest part of the day. Pilgrim pitstops with beverages, fruit, and snacks will be provided every three to five miles. Event staff will be located throughout the route should pilgrims require attention. Dependent on pace, pilgrims will conclude their journeys between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. There will be time for rest and relaxation in the afternoons before a community dinner in the early evening.
Emergency and Medical
Emergency medical services (EMS) will be on hand throughout the event and will be available as needed. EMS will provide acute medical care to those in need of care, and they will be available for consultation for non-emergency needs. EMS will also routinely assess the health and safety of pilgrims. EMS will provide emergency ambulance services to local hospitals in the event of a need for transport.
Pilgrims will want to physically train for this event. After registration, on-going support and advice will be provided regarding how to prepare.
A complete packing list will be provided to pilgrims closer to the start of the Trail.
Have additional questions?
In the tradition of Fr. Sorin's inspirational journey and intrepid spirit - our Notre Dame spirit - we invite you to join us on a personal pilgrimage. Experience the history of the C.S.C. and live the mission of Notre Dame as you journey together with fellow pilgrims.