View Full Version : Current Water Conditions (July/August)

07-17-2019, 21:49

I'm planning a section hike between Massachusetts, and New York, and was curious if anyone knows what the water conditions are within Massachusetts, & Connecticut. I'm aware that during years past many water sources have dried up, and I would prefer to not start a 100 mile long section hike, and be stuck for days on end without water.

Thanks in advance.

07-18-2019, 08:13
Despite a wet spring, it has been somewhat dry as summer deepens in Western MA and CT. However, it's not the Gobi Desert and most water sources I have seen in the area appear to be ok, not far apart or difficult to reach. Some higher ridge and mountain runoff stream beds, springs, and seeps have run dry which is usual for this time of year. Following the adage of "if there's a doubt there is no doubt" when there is a question I carry a little more water than I normally would to reach the next water source for the "just in case" scenario and plan on water fill up at low points of the trail where bodies of water are and likely springs, seeps, and feeder streams will be active. There are developed water sites as well near some camping areas. Avoid taking ANY water from the Housatonic River south of Pittsfield MA due to PCBs and further south near the NY State line, lead in the water.

Not knowing where you will start from in MA, what I consider to be fairly dependable water sources south from the summit of Greylock are:

Mt Greylock summit - start point (developed water site)
Mark Loepel shelter - 3 miles south of Greylock
Cheshire (town) - 5 miles south of Loepel (various sources and Ice Cream!)
Gore Pond - 4 miles south of Cheshire
Crystal Mtn Campsite - 0.5 miles south of Gore pond
Dalton (town) - 3 miles south of Crystal (various sources)
Kay Wood shelter - 3.5 miles south of Dalton
October Mtn shelter - 9 miles south of Wood
Finery Pond - 4 miles south of October man
Greenwater Pond - 5 miles south of Finery
Upper Goose Creek campsite - 2 miles south of Greenwater
Merry Brook - 3 miles south of UGC
Hop Brook - 3 miles south of Merry Brook
East Brook - 6 miles south of Hop Brook
Mt. Wilcox North shelter - 1 mile south of Hop Brook
Mt. Wilcox South shelter - 2 miles south of North shelter
Benedict Pond - 2 miles south of South shelter
Lake Buel feeder pond - 3 miles south of Benedict
Tom Leonard shelter - 2.5 miles south of feeder pond
Housatonic River - 5 miles south of shelter - do not take water from this river source from here all the way south through CT
Jug End Road area - 6 miles south of Housatonic River
Guider Pond, Glenn Brook, and Hemlock camping areas- 4/5 miles south of Jug End road (clustered water sites within a mile of each other)
Race Brook camping area - 2 miles south of Guilder Pond
Bear Rock Brook - 3 miles south of Race Brook
Laurel camping area - 0.5 miles south of Bear Rock Brook
Sages Ravine camping area - 2 miles south of Laurel camping area
Brassie Brook/Bond shelter - 3 miles south of Sages
Ball Brook camping area - 0.5 miles south of Bond
Riga camping area - 2.5 miles south of Ball Brook
Rt 41/Salisbury to Rt 44 - 3.5 miles south of Riga (various water sources via brooks and small ponds)
Limestone shelter (off trail) - 4 miles south of Rt 41 crossing
Falls Village - 4 miles south of Limestone (assorted sources - do not take water from Housatonic River)
Belters camping area - 3 miles south of Falls Village
Sharon Mtn shelter - 3 miles south of Belters
Pine Swamp camping area - 2 miles south of Sharon Mtn
Hatch Brook - 4.5 miles south of Pine Swamp
Silver Hill camping area - 2 miles south of Hatch Brook
Stewart Hollow shelter - 3 miles south of Silver Hill (trail follows Housatonic River south to Ten Mile river do not take water from Housatonic or Ten Mile)
Choggam Brook/Skiff Mtn Road - 4 miles south of Stewart
Mt. Algo shelter - 3.5 miles south of Skiff Mtn Rd
Schaghticoke Mtn camping area - 3 miles south of Mt Algo
Ten Mile River shelter - 5.5 miles south of Schaghticoke (should be developed water site w/hand pump)
Wiley shelter - 3 miles south of Ten Mile shelter

Not knowing where in NY you would finish, I stopped the list at Wiley shelter in NY but I think you get the picture. These are fairly reliable water sites, many are near camping areas that typically have water in normal deep summer conditions. There are many small tributary streams and brooks that are crossed between these sites that may not be dry.

Keep in mind that camping is limited to posted camping sites only, CT has a campfire ban that may extend into MA but I am not sure about that.

Have fun!

07-19-2019, 00:50
Wow! I really appreciate this! I'm aiming to do Lee, Tyringham, to Pawling, so this is roughly in line with what I plan to do. As long as I'm not hiking for days with no water source, I'll be happy. The last time I hiked any of these areas (2013, 2018), there were many water sources flowing rather strong.