View Full Version : Campsites and shelters

Just Tom
10-05-2016, 12:42
Just looking for any reviews, comments, or descriptions on the various places to overnight on this trail. There isn't the wealth of information on them that you'd find on the AT, so anything is helpful.

Aside from a personal interest, I'm also hoping to get a feel for any good options for small Boy Scout groups.


10-06-2016, 09:57
Go to the NET site. There is info on sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts

10-06-2016, 12:53
From the NET site, it looks like there are only three overnight places in CT. One of them requires reservations 2 weeks in advance. I didn't look too closely, but it looks like the sites are pretty small. You might have better luck in Mass, there are five sites there.

It might be fun to thru hike this trail, but it looks like most nights would have to be spent in town at a motel.

Just Tom
10-06-2016, 13:18
Go to the NET site. There is info on sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts

I started at the NET site, and given the teeny tiny picture and lack of details on the camping sites, I figured I see if I could get some real-world feedback on them here. Size, condition, proximity to a stream (100 yards, 1 mile , 5 miles), etc.

10-06-2016, 15:43
I'm going to hike the northern section of the trail, from New Britain to the Westfield River, just across the MA border near Springfield in a couple of weeks, and will happily share notes... but at this time there really aren't great camp options. Is it an AT section in New Jersey that they call the Deli Walk? This section may have it beat. It looks like I can be out for three days, and eat three meals a day with roadwalks under .8 miles in all cases. Wow. No food, no stove for this trip! PM me if you want my word doc "Long Distance NET hiker guide -- section 1!

10-10-2016, 13:32
If you make it to section 1 in Mass., check out the new bog bridge that the PVHC but in place

10-11-2016, 10:17
Hi Tom,

I completed an end to end hike of the NET earlier this year and visited all of the designated sites listed on the NET website. Here are my brief comments on each. For more info, contact me thru my blog.

Overnight sites in Massachusetts:

Mt. Holyoke Outing Club Cabin (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/mt-holyoke-outing-club-cabin) - Small cabin. Good for groups. Needs to be reserved in advance and costs money. Covered porch is always accessible. Privy is locked without reservation. Water from nearby streams. May be cooking equipment and beds inside, I didn't go inside or get a reservation here.
Wendell State Forest Lean-to (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/wendell-state-forest-shelter) - Nice standard lean-to with 3 sides. Picnic table outside. Could sleep up to 6 people probably. Some tenting space nearby. Stream right nearby.
Richardson-Zlogar Cabin (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/richardson-zlogar-cabin) - Fantastic new fully enclosed cabin. Great view right outside. Many tent platforms. Privy/portapotty outside. Stream 100 yards away. Need to reserve in advance. Best overnight spot on NET for groups.
Mt. Grace Lean-to (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/mt-grace-shelter) -
Crummy Lean-to at time of passing. Standard 3 sided shelter. Near stream if I recall right. Roof was caving in... better to tent in this area than stay in shelter. Lean-to may have been repaired recently though.
TTOR Lean-to at Royalston Falls (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/ttor-shelter-royalston-falls) - Nice but graffiti'd and slightly dirty shelter. I think it has bunk bed style bunks and maybe a loft. There is a separate porch. No camping available. Right by a stream. Scenic spot.

Overnight sites in Connecticut:

Rockland Preserve Campsite (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/rockland-preserve-campsite) - Primitive campsite for a few tents to pitch on dirt. Water was brought in and cached by trail volunteers. No nearby streams/ponds. There was a logbook.
Cattail Shelter (http://newenglandtrail.org/facilities/cattail-shelter) - Fantastic shelter built by a hiker who lives adjacent to the trail and welcomes hikers onto his property to spend the night. Very small but nice. No reservation needed. Good for 2-4 people max. Fire pit, stocked wood, logbook, and jug of water was there when I went thru earlier this year. Best overnight spot on NET for small group or solo hiker. No nearby stream.
Windsor Locks Scouts Primitive Tentsite (http://www.newenglandtrail.org/facilities/windsor-locks-primitive-tentsite) - large "boy scout" style campsite with tent platforms, big fire pits, many picnic tables. No reservation needed. Nobody was there when I was there but it could be crowded on some nights if a big group comes. Nice spot, near a pond and small trails to walk around. Great spot for a group.

In Addition to these spots, there is a lumber company named COWLS that owns land along the Robert Frost Trail and I think the NET. I'm not sure where you can find a map of their land but they welcome hikers to spend the night and practice LNT camping on their property. As you hike the Robert Frost Trail and NET you will see signs saying when you are in their land. For the rest of the land you pass thru, it is a mix of public and private land and I generally assume camping is not allowed, however this may not be the case for all the land, and permission to camp could always be sought if necessary.

Just Tom
10-12-2016, 08:34
Awesome! Just what I was looking for.

11-02-2016, 04:19
Re: Rockland Preserve campsite

There are some tent platforms as well. In all I'd guess at least 50 people could camp at the site. Several privies. I've never seen anyone there but I'm sure they have events.

For water, there is the somewhat scenic Coan Pond at the site. I took water from there last Fall when all the trickle sources in the general area were dry. I both filtered and disinfected, but I couldn't bring myself to actually drink it. There are a lot of houses in the area and they use the pond as a dump; I was concerned about chemical contamination.