View Full Version : Considering a MA section hike

02-19-2023, 22:12
Looking at doing some practice hiking for June AT hike by spending a week on the NET. We live near the greenfield area so we would do sobo. Hoping to complete the MA portion in 7 days but we are pretty green hikers so it will be slow going.
I expect to tent at Grace Mountain, Richard-Zlogar, Wendell, a friendís backyard in Shutesbury and then trying to figure out the rest.
Is there anywhere to tent near the northern (eastern) end of the Mt Holyoke ridge? Can we tent at the Mt Holyoke cabin area without a reservation?
Any other sections that ARE ok to stealth camp? I want to be respectful but also want to practice with my gear and all.
I saw a tent site in southern MA on one map but it wasnít on another. Is there one? If so, weíd just need to figure out either side of the MT Holyoke ridge. My mom lives near there and worst case we can take a night off the trail at her place. She can also shuttle us around the CT river.

Also general idea of the frequency and intensity of climbs in MA?
ówe have done around 8 miles, with a big mountain climb in a 7 hour day with a bum ankle (and with heavier packs than what weíll have now) and been fine. Some of the stretches weíre going to have to make, given shelter scarcity, is going to come close to doubling that.

Water sources/consistency?

Is it crazy to try going mid March? Obviously be attentive to the weather, but itís been such a mild winter. It just happens to be when we have a break.

Iíve done a bunch of research but it seems like info about this trail is hard to come by and vague at best.

02-20-2023, 17:19
There is a tent platform along Section 5 on the NET. It's near the gun range and I don't know who manages that site.
A lot of the NET is on private lands that the owners allow us to hike.
You will have an issue crossing the CT & Westfield rivers if you want to go that far south.
No water along most of the ridgeline

02-20-2023, 17:34
There is a new tent platform 1-2 miles north of the Westfield River, nice site and nice area to camp if the 1 tent platform was taken. They lock that cabin and it's reservation only, a lot of people that are not thru hikers use it so you may not be welcome just showing up there. The Westfield river is usually easy to ford but in March that's probably not a good idea. They do need a few more legal campsites to make it a nice legal hike through the state.

02-21-2023, 15:11
Check out the Tully Trail. Section 19 nearby and camping either at the Tully campground or at the shelter near the trail

02-21-2023, 18:32
The Tully Trail was an awesome 2 day hike! ... Any updates on the new reroute avoiding Tully Rd.? ... I was in contact with the head of a group that just got the permissions to complete this reroute and maintain the complete trail but I didn't hear back the last time I emailed him. I was actually going to do it again last year if the reroute was complete but I never heard anything.

I've also been trying to find any other information (with no luck) about the route on the map on this page: http://northeastexplorer.com/wordpress/trips-mas-22-mile-tully-trail/ that seems to avoid Royalston Rd. Did there used to be a trail there? ... I looked really close when I hiked it and I saw what appears to be an old double blaze telling you to take a left on Royalston Road if you were coming out of the woods at that spot on the map going counter clockwise. I was going clockwise, that double blaze is almost definite but I couldn't make out where any trail used to go in.

The trail is still nice but these would be major improvements and make it almost perfect.

Ear Drum
03-04-2023, 16:42
...Any other sections that ARE ok to stealth camp? I want to be respectful but also want to practice with my gear and all...
I've section-day-hiked the NET. There is no stealth camping. Especially not on private land, which is a lot of the trail.

From the NET website,

"A note about stealth camping:
Please keep in mind that much of the NET is on private property and “stealth camping” is not permitted. Stealth camping threatens the trail’s ability to remain on private land."

from: https://newenglandtrail.org/overnight-sites/

I think it's important in the case of this trail, since it's new-ish and still being developed, to respect this part of the rules. It was a lot of fun hiking it, and I hope you enjoy.

Ear Drum
03-04-2023, 16:52
To add, nowadays there are apparently many more sites were overnighting is allowed. I hiked most of it 2016-18, and at the time it felt like it would be difficult to through hike due to lack of tent sites and shelters. So, yay for improvements.

Ear Drum
03-04-2023, 16:54
The Tully Trail was an awesome 2 day hike! ...

Thanks for the tip, I hadn't heard of this one. I've dipped a paddle at Tully Lake and loved that spot.

03-14-2023, 17:33
Do you know where to find updated info on tenting sites? Because itís not clear on the site.

03-14-2023, 17:39
Do you know where to find updated info on tenting sites? Because itís not clear on the site.

03-15-2023, 10:03

03-16-2023, 09:59
Thatís where Iíve been getting my info. They still only list shelters and sites in northern Ma. Nothing in southern ma except the mt Holyoke shelter which sounds like is iffy and a tent site that is not on the paper map. Over 25 miles between things.

Ear Drum
04-08-2023, 16:29
Hey, sorry for the delay replying. I found info on how to reserve that cabin on the side of Mount Holyoke.

Cabin info:

Cabin location:

04-10-2023, 19:28
Thank you! We ended up postponing due to snow storm. Planning to do half of MA this weekend in 4 days Royalston to Shutesbury.