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  1. #1

    Default Is a Mid-May 5-day SOBO on Southern LT/AT a bad idea?

    A friend and I are making plans for a hike along the southern LT/AT. We've both done overnight trips, but this will be our longest hike. I have read that the LT can be awfully mucky in May, but with the early spring, I was thinking we might be OK.

    We were planning on putting in near Barnumville, with the optimistic hope of making it to North Adams, but the more realistic goal of making it to rt. 9 (Woodford). We'll both be hammocking, but I'm just curious what ye wizened souls thought of such an endeavor. Is this a nice section of the LT? Is this an awful time of year, or will it be alright? I'm interested in any and all thoughts!! Thanks!

  2. #2

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    The GMC requests hikers stay off the trail doing mud season; until Memorial Day Weekend I think.

    Last spring I did a loop combining parts of the AT and the Taconic Trail in the southwest corner of MA.

    The AT from Salisbury CT towards Greylock/North Adams might be nice.

  3. #3

    Default Mud Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Murphy View Post
    The GMC requests hikers stay off the trail doing mud season; until Memorial Day Weekend I think.

    Last spring I did a loop combining parts of the AT and the Taconic Trail in the southwest corner of MA.

    The AT from Salisbury CT towards Greylock/North Adams might be nice.
    I was hoping mud season might end a little early this year. You think it would still be too mucky mid-late May (~13th-17th) even with the crazy March? I'll look into your suggestions, those might be nice alternatives, thanks!

    How do SoBo AT thru-hikers get through VT if not on the trails?

  4. #4
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone View Post
    How do SoBo AT thru-hikers get through VT if not on the trails?
    Sobo thru hikers start in June.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  5. #5
    MEGA '11, LT '09,'13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemni Skate View Post
    Sobo thru hikers start in June.
    Or later. Most dont hit the Maine Junction until July or August. Save the trail (and your feet) and go later.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by on_the_GOEZ View Post
    Or later. Most dont hit the Maine Junction until July or August. Save the trail (and your feet) and go later.
    Oh wow! I assumed they left way earlier than that. Good to know, thanks! We'll have to start hunting for a good alternative.

  7. #7
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    The section you want to do is real nice, and the mud is almost dried up already. This will be an exceptionally short mud season, even the GMC has stated that it is already over in some parts. I would expect that by Mid-May you will be more than able to do that part. Heck, I'm hiking alot of the same section this weekend. I was up Glastenbury a couple weeks ago and the trail was already bone dry. Hope we get some more rain this spring, we will need it...

  8. #8
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    I would like to add that, you will most likely be dealing with a lot of bugs for that time of year on the southern LT, so be prepared. They can make a hike very uncomrfortable...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon View Post
    I would like to add that, you will most likely be dealing with a lot of bugs for that time of year on the southern LT, so be prepared. They can make a hike very uncomrfortable...
    Thank you for the information, Yukon! You think the bugs are going to be worse than southern Mass.? We came up with a back-up plan in case the LT was out (though it sounds like it's back in! It's been over 80 the last two days in Mass.!!) which is to hike south on the South Taconic trail and then cross over onto the AT and head North into West-Central Mass., optimistic goal of October Mountain State Forest. What sort of bugs are you thinking we'd see next month on the southern LT? Mosquitos and their ilk I'm fine with, but I once was in Maine during black fly season, and that was pretty obnoxious!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by lone View Post
    What sort of bugs are you thinking we'd see next month on the southern LT?
    I'll give you the same answer I give every year when this question comes up.....it depends. Can't forecast the bugs and I've been trying for over 20 years. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, I guess?

    It's been dry, although Killington got snow last week (not sure how far south you're going to be). Rain is forecasted for this weekend and into next week so that could change things.

    Best advice is go by the weather the week or two before your trip to determine the bugcast. Typically, the wetter and warmer it is the worse the bugs will be. Think the spring runoff is low and it's warmer than usual, so that might mean low black flies. If it continues to be dry and warm you might have deer flies (angry little things) which have been getting worse every year up here in the north. Then again, mid may might be too early.

    Don't think it's dry enough for drinking water to be a problem, but you never know. Fire danger is currently up as well.

  11. #11

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    I've been planning on going down to SW VA to hike for a few weeks staring the 3d week of May, but now I'm thinking the Long Trail would be better. Mud season? Didn't really happen this year here in the Whites. I hope that changes, but doesn't seem too likely at the moment.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lone View Post
    Thank you for the information, Yukon! You think the bugs are going to be worse than southern Mass.? We came up with a back-up plan in case the LT was out (though it sounds like it's back in! It's been over 80 the last two days in Mass.!!) which is to hike south on the South Taconic trail and then cross over onto the AT and head North into West-Central Mass., optimistic goal of October Mountain State Forest. What sort of bugs are you thinking we'd see next month on the southern LT? Mosquitos and their ilk I'm fine with, but I once was in Maine during black fly season, and that was pretty obnoxious!!
    Mid May, expect black flies, even with the warm dry spring as they will be at some elevation during your hike. Last Nov. my daughter and I hiked the South Taconic Trail NOBO. They were installing a new cell tower on the top of Catamount Ski Area and the trail was difficult to follow in that area. We left one car at the parking area on Quarry Rd. (southern terminus) and another at the pull off just west of the trial on Rt. 23 (right next to the godawful privacy fence somebody put up so you can't see his McMansion). It was a nice hike, the middle and southern end is nicer in my opinion then the northern end, better views and more interesting terrian.
    If you are going to go to the AT hiking south, I suggest going over Mt. Frissel (sp) to the AMC hut to the north side of Bear. If you have time and have not done so, you could stash you packs, go SOBO on the AT over Bear Mt, take a left at Riga Junction and a left on Paradise Lane and end up back at the North side of Bear where you stashed your pack the NOBO on the AT.

    It is sooo dry here now, we need rain. Many of the lakes are not filling up as there was no run off and mud season was non-existant this year in the Berkshires. Do daily tick checks, they are more worrisome then the black flies.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I've been planning on going down to SW VA to hike for a few weeks staring the 3d week of May, but now I'm thinking the Long Trail would be better. Mud season? Didn't really happen this year here in the Whites. I hope that changes, but doesn't seem too likely at the moment.
    It seems like the northern sections may have some melt to replenish some of the streams. I know there is are significant rain events coming in the next week.

  14. #14

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    You'll be south of the the land that is closed off for Mud Season and you should be OK. You can always double check with the GMC to be sure. I volunteer as a long trail mentor and checked with the GMC about someone who wanted to start and End to End trip at the Mass border and from the feedback I got, you really should be fine. Do be ready for some bugs and mud, however.

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