In 2012 I section hiked 222.6 miles on the AT from Wind Gap in Pennsylvania to Salisbury, Connecticut. I've set a goal for myself to make it to Katahdin in Maine by the end of 2014 - that's an additional 689.6 miles. To accomplish this within the bounds of my life constraints (a full time job and a desire to hike in Spring and Fall) I've devised a new plan: I will forego the longer trips and make more frequent excursions on the weekends. 7 weekends in the Fall and 7 more in the Spring.
Entry Point: Connecticut 41, Salisbury Parking Area
Goal: The Glenn Brook Shelter (water source and tent camping spots available).
Elevation: 2000 feet.
Saturday Distance: 13.5 miles
Terrain: 1700 foot elevation gain over the first 5 miles. Lots of climbing and descending throughout the day.
Landmarks: We will pass Mt. Riga Shelter, Ball Brook campsite, Connecticut/Massachusetts State Line, Sage Ravine Campsites, Laurel Ridge Campsites, Race Brook Falls Campsite and The Hemlocks Shelter before reaching our destination.
Entry point GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked]), mile marker 7.4, Route-41
Parking: The parking lot is to the north of the intersection of Cobble Road and CT-41 (Undermountain Road). It is on the west side of the road. The parking lot is difficult to see from the road and is located in a grove of trees. Look for a white oval sign with green lettering which reads "Appalachian Trail". The parking area received a 'great' rating on the AT parking area website.
Starting Point: Glenn Brook Shelter
Sunday Distance: 11.3 miles
Terrain: Descending 1250 feet the first 4 miles of the day followed by 6 miles of relatively flat terrain, followed by 2 miles of 750 foot gain at the end of the day.
Landmarks: We will pass Jug End Road, Curtiss Road, Mass 41 South Egremont, South Egremont Road, US-7, Sheffield, and the Housatonic River parking area.
Exit point GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked])
Exit Point: Homes Road parking area, Sheffield, MA (MA Section 8 - 5.5 Homes Road (Brush Hill Road)). From the intersection of MA 23/41 (Maple Avenue) and US 7 in Great Barrington, go south on the later for 0.9 miles. Turn left on Brookside Road. This becomes Brush Hill Road and then Homes Road. The trail crossing is 2 miles from US 7. The road climbs steadily from US 7. The crossing is near the high point of the climb. There is roadside parking for a few cars here. No parking safety rating is listed on the AT parking website.
I'm instituting $5.00 fees per attendee beginning with this trip in an attempt to cover meetup fees. I've learned over the past year that this policy helps to weed out those who are not as serious about attending. If you plan to join, show that you mean it and these funds will be applied to supporting this meetup group. If you don't have PayPal, you can send cash or check to 421 8th Avenue #79, New York NY 10116-0079. If you are catching a ride, please also plan to also pitch-in to share gas expenses for whichever vehicle you are riding in. If you are a drive, the $5.00 fee is waived.
As always, please have a backpack and overnight gear. Know how to set up your tent and cook in the wild and see that you are in reasonably fit condition. I'm not a marathon runner myself, but manage to hike at a brisk but relaxed pace. I hope that some of you can join me. It's going to be a great hiking season!
Solar Noon: 11:48PM