Spring 2013 AT Section Hike | Trip 3 of 7 | 2.5 days, 28.3 miles, Northbound MA

  • April 20, 2013 · 8:00 AM

**details for this trip have been updated - the length has been shortened. We are now leaving on Saturday AM early instead of Friday night. Mileage has also been slightly reduced**

This will be our third organized section hike of Spring 2013.

I have one vehicle and I can transport up to 4 additional section-hikers (if we really squeeze in). If you live in NYC or CT and you don't have a vehicle, I can pick you up at the Woodlawn Metro North station at 6AM on Saturday morning or contact me to make other arrangements. The trail head is about 2 hours from the Bronx in MA. We'll meet at the exit point, leave a car there and then shuttle to the entry point.

On the first day we'll be hiking in October Mountain State Forest. On Day 2 we'll walk through the town of Dalton, MA and climb Crystal Mountain. The MA shelters appear to be big, nice and spacious and fires are permitted (I've ordered my first hatchet for cutting firewood and I plan to bring it along). Our stay at Key Wood Shelter is less than half a mile from a road, so there are no guarantees that the shelter will be empty or who it will be filled with. My recommendation is to bring a tent just in case.

 

DAY 1 - SATURDAY

Entry Point: US-20 & Appalachian Trail, Becket MA 01223 (MA Section 5 - 9.4 US 20 Jacobs Ladder Highway)

Entry point GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked])

Saturday Goal: Key Wood Shelter. Elevation 1800 feet.

Saturday Distance: 16 miles

Terrain: We'll ascend about 750 feet on the first mile and a half of the trail. After that there are minor hills, but nearly the entire day is pretty flat at elevation.

Landmarks: We'll pass Tyne Road, ascend Becket Mountain and Wailing Mountain. Next we'll pass Finerty Pond, County Road (our original starting place for this trip), Bald Top and October Mountain Shelter (probably a good lunch spot). Next, we'll pass West Branch Road, Pittsfield Road, Blotz Road, Warner Hill, before defending a little bit to Key Wood Shelter.

 

Day 2 - SUNDAY

Starting Point: Key Wood Shelter

Sunday Distance: 12.3 miles

Terrain: In the first mile of the day we'll ascend Day Mountain (just 300 feet from our current elevation) followed by a slow 700 foot decent into the town of Dalton. Next We will climb 1000 feet to cross Crystal Mountain before descending the same 1000 feet again down to Mass 8, our exit point

Landmarks: We will pass Grange Hall Road, and climb Day Mountain in the first mile of the day. Next we will pass the CSX Railroad and Mass 8/9 and the city of Dalton, followed by Gulf Road. We'll climb Crystal Mountain, pass Gore Pond, decent the Cobbles (which looks pretty steep), cross the Hoosic River and Church Street, before reaching our exit point at Mass 8, Cheshire.

Exit Point: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Cheshire MA 01225

Exit point GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked])

Parking Area: (from AT parking site): There is a newly opened parking area at the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, MA. It's just off of Main Street, South on Railroad Street right next tho the Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail. It doesn't have a safety rating but looks safe enough from aerial photos for a small little town.

As always, please have a backpack and overnight gear. Know how to set up your tent and cook and see that you are in reasonably fit condition.

 

Sunrise: 4:54AM

Solar Noon: 11:42PM

Sunset 6:33PM

 

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  • Eric K.

    I ended up doing this section solo (everyone else on the list dropped out). It made for an awesome and self-reflective weekend, although Saturday night I did end up in a shelter with 10 boy scouts and 4 leaders (which was slightly cramped, but quite friendly). Saturday was easy hiking, despite the 16 mile day. Sunday was more challenging (probably because I was just tired), especially the final 4 miles. I started on Sunday at 7:15AM and finished up by 2PM.

    April 22, 2013

    • Annie

      Oh my goodness! Well great job. Wow, that is a full shelter. 2pm is good timing.

      April 22, 2013

    • Ginnet

      oh boy!.. Well, very good you keep high spirits. Hope to hit the trail soon, but it is a lot of planning involved for me :(. No pics?

      April 23, 2013

  • Eric K.

    The weather is looking much better now:
    Saturday low 29 / high 55, down to 20% chance of rain
    Sunday low 29 / high 55, 0% chance of rain.

    April 18, 2013

  • Eva

    Something unexpected has come up. I might be able to join you next week.

    April 17, 2013

    • Eric K.

      Not to worry countess! I hope that you can join another time!

      April 17, 2013

  • Eric K.

    Currently weather looks mixed for this weekend:
    Saturday Low 30/ High 56 - 70% chance of rain. 15mph wind
    Sunday Low 31 / High 56 - sunny 0% chance of rain. 9mph wind

    Don't be discouraged - this often changes.

    April 17, 2013

  • Tina S.

    Eric I will pay you when we meet up.

    April 15, 2013

    • Eric K.

      Tina, please join if you plan on coming this weekend. I've turned off the payment requirement.

      April 17, 2013

  • Tina S.

    Hi I would like to finally come on a trip with you guys and I can if I can get a ride.

    April 15, 2013

  • Michelle J

    Is the goal to leave NY at 5:30pm or meet at the trail head at 5:30?

    February 11, 2013

    • Eric K.

      Hi Michelle. The goal is to leave NY at 5:30 (ideally from the Mamaroneck station on metro north, but I'm happy to adjust the plan depending upon whoever decides to attend).

      February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will probably sign up for this trip, but I don't want to take a spot now, till I know for sure.

    February 11, 2013

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