**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.
Solar Noon: 11:42PM