View Full Version : Planning MA section hike in July, going SOBO

01-27-2017, 17:55

I am planning to hike the entire section of MA, starting in VT and ending in CT. I already have my parking and drop off arrangements (leave car at undermountain pass in CT, drop off in williamstown MA). I understand July is not the best time to go however I have a wife and 2 kids that leave for a week long vacation in July and I sure as hell am not going to sit at home. So that being said, any information or warnings for hiking MA in July? So far I've come up with black flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and lack of water. I think I have all of those concerns addressed but am I missing anything else?

01-27-2017, 18:17
I don't think it would be that bad - certainly warm but not that much of an issue otherwise.

One confusing thing - you mention starting in VT then being dropped off in Williamstown, MA. There's about 4 mi of the AT north of Williamstown, so you would have an out & back hike if you started on Route 2. One thing you may want to look at is the Pine Cobble Trail - it's off on one of the back roads, but probably easier to access than the nearest point in VT. That trail intersects the AT about 1 mi south of the VT/MA line, so you'd only have that mile to go north then return over.
In the end a similar mileage to either starting in VT or on Rt. 2, but with a bit easier access and less "double tracking" on the same trail than the Rt. 2 option.

01-27-2017, 19:36
I did not know about Pine Cobble Trail! Thank you friend!

Anything pertaining to water perhaps? I can deal with insects, but a lack of water somewhat worries me. Im not anything close to an ultralighter, so I usually stock up on a full 2 liters whenever possible. From the maps and lengths I'm hoping its enough.

01-27-2017, 22:47
In July you shouldn't have black flies, but mosquitoes will be a problem. Make sure there are no holes in your tent!

Cosmo maintains the AT in this area and is very familiar with all of Massachusetts. He can answer your question about water.

01-28-2017, 09:20
In 2012, I hiked a 12 mile section from Great Barrington to Tyrillingham. This was only my second exposure to the trail and it inspired me to section hike the whole AT. It was in July and perfect. It was hot but cooler in the shade which covered 95% of that section. Go for it!

Just Tom
01-28-2017, 19:18
CT and MA are the places I hike the most. I've seen it kinda dry in August into September (MA seems to run dry a bit more than CT for some reason), but it really is weather dependent. I think as it gets closer you will know if you need to carry an extra liter. But the AT crosses plenty of streams and plenty of roads so it isn't something I'd lose sleep over.

01-28-2017, 21:25
Normally, water would n July will not be a problem. If our drought continues, it may be slightly problematic, but with a little planning--and intel from the other hikers on the trail--you'll be fine.

Mosquitos will be around (less of them if it's dry). Normal tick precautions will be sufficient.

Mass is a great section, be sure to work an overnight at Upper Goose Pond into your schedule.


02-07-2017, 15:19
Thank you everyone for the help and replies. Hoping I can still pick your brain on this same thread without starting a new one.

I plan on doing the hike with my dog. I have gone through numerous threads and forums and understand the basics. So my question is, is the dog welcome at/in upper goose pond cabin? And for that matter, is he welcome at any of the shelters? I have only stealth camped until now, which its has obviously not been a problem. I understand the answer might be "it depends" however anybody's opinion or prior experiences is greatly appreciated.

02-23-2017, 22:23
Hey there,

A quick Googling reveals Upper Goose Cabin does not allow dogs inside (https://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/camps-cabins/upper-goose/) and dogs must be leashed around the cabin. As far as shelters go, I would advise you to tent it with a dog. I wouldn't mind it, but obviously I am not everyone who sleeps in a hut in the middle of the woods. However, coming just from one person, I love seeing (leashed!) dogs on trail, it brightens up my walks.

PS: Also planning a section hike this summer!