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Spring.Bear
03-12-2024, 19:49
Considering meeting up for an overnight with a 2023 AT Tramily member this summer (2024) and wanting to start working on finishing my NET section hike.
Is there a 12-18 mile stretch in CT that includes a place to camp/shelter and has very limited road walks and/or more scenic trails?

Ender
03-13-2024, 11:01
I'd say the Riga Plateau section of the trail might be the most scenic... maybe CT41 at Salisbury, CT over Bear Mountain and Riga, into MA through Sage's Ravine, to US7 at Sheffield, MA. Give or take maybe 20 miles? If you stop at Jug End Road it's only about 16 miles. You get 360* views from atop the plateau, and some really decent hiking overall. It's actually one of my favorite stretches on the entire AT, and I haven't been back there in decades... I need to get back there!

MisterQ
03-13-2024, 16:02
I'd say the Riga Plateau section of the trail might be the most scenic... maybe CT41 at Salisbury, CT over Bear Mountain and Riga, into MA through Sage's Ravine, to US7 at Sheffield, MA. Give or take maybe 20 miles? If you stop at Jug End Road it's only about 16 miles. You get 360* views from atop the plateau, and some really decent hiking overall. It's actually one of my favorite stretches on the entire AT, and I haven't been back there in decades... I need to get back there!

This is the section I'm hiking next month- really looking forward to it.

Koozy
03-13-2024, 16:31
I'd say the Riga Plateau section of the trail might be the most scenic... maybe CT41 at Salisbury, CT over Bear Mountain and Riga, into MA through Sage's Ravine, to US7 at Sheffield, MA. Give or take maybe 20 miles? If you stop at Jug End Road it's only about 16 miles. You get 360* views from atop the plateau, and some really decent hiking overall. It's actually one of my favorite stretches on the entire AT, and I haven't been back there in decades... I need to get back there!
I believe the question is about a 12-18 mile section along the New England Trail (NET) in CT; which is a combination of the Metacomet Trail and Mattabesett Trail.

To my knowledge there is no official camping allowed along the NET, although a property owner did build what is known at "Cattail Shelter" near Route 68. It wasn't much of a shelter in my recollection from ~15 years ago, and I'm not sure if it even still exists.

Having hiked all of the Mattabesett and about half of the Metacomet, a couple of my favorite sections where you may also be able to stealth camp are as follows:

1. Route 17 to Route 66 (approx ~16 miles, I think) - Great views along the north-south ridge along Trimountain and Mt Beseck. The trail goes through the Guida's Dairy bar property at Route 66, which is a great place for a rewarding lunch and ice cream. Add another 4 miles to go over Mt Higby, which has some of the better views along that ridgeline.

2. Route 71 to Ledge Road (approx ~22 miles) - Better views than the prior route, includes the Hanging Hills and Ragged Mountain. Drawback about the Hanging Hills is that a road goes to the top, so it can be crowded on a nice day. Ragged is known for its rock climbing routes. Can split this hike in half at Edgewood Road.

Ender
03-13-2024, 18:21
I believe the question is about a 12-18 mile section along the New England Trail (NET) in CT; which is a combination of the Metacomet Trail and Mattabesett Trail.

Whoops... I totally missed the NET part of the question. Totally my mistake there. Good catch, thanks! Your advice is definitely more on topic than what I posted, lol. I still need to get back to that section of the AT though, it's fantastic.

LazyLightning
03-13-2024, 18:51
There are quite a few camping locations along the NET there just is no stretch on the entire trail that allows stealth camping. If I ever do stealth camp I make sure it's not private property and I wait until dark to set up then out before the crack of dawn leaving no trace.

The first spot from the shore is the Godman group campsite which has at least 6-7 tent platforms spread out in a big area and one of the only Privy's on the trail. You can fit a lot of people at this site and I hardly ever see anyone there, lots of stealth sites besides the platforms, picnic tables, fire rings. Most places along the trail are no fires.

Next is the Cattails Shelter which is 2 small shelters 1-2 people each tops. Cool spot but right in someone's backyard by the street so please respect owner and no fires. I know there were past issues with that but I think that is still there. Next is a new one in the last 5 or so years on Lamentation Mountain which is just a few flat spots for your tents but it's a designated site.

That's it in CT until East Granby 5-7 miles from the MA border which is just another designated spot for tents but you could fit more here. There is also a chest where somebody keeps water stocked, like 10 gallon jugs and there was always a lot when I went. They leave a number to call if the water is getting low. Otherwise there isn't much water in this section. This is the only camping area in CT with a water source at it.

There is also a newer designated tent site (2 platforms but plenty stealth area) in MA just a few miles north of the Westfield River. I wont get into the MA shelters but its all here: https://newenglandtrail.org/.

Good choices above and I'll just add that one of my favorite sections that fits what your looking for is the part of the Mattabesett that goes to the CT river and not part of the direct route from the shore to NH, though it's all part of the NET. Matter of fact if I was given the choice I would definitely prefer going from the CT River to NH rather then the shore to NH but the Menenkuntuck Trail from the shore is a great mellow trail (after the road walk). Unfortunately the only official camping area is the first one I mentioned but using this site would be a great option. I would recommend starting by Millers Pond on Foot Hills Rd. (or Higganum Rd. if you want shorter distance to camp). You will cross a few roads but do no road walking until a little the next day or maybe not... The next day you have a bunch of options as the Lone Pine Trail branches off and creates several loop options or you can continue on the Mattabessett or cut off south on the Menunkatuck. If you continue there will be a small road walk in like 5-6 miles if you want to continue up Tri Mountain area. I also like doing the complete Menunkatuck north then using this site and you have so many options from it. Only bummer no water source at the site but it's not a dry section so make sure you keep filled up.

I think they want you to reserve online but I never see anyone there and if you were just backpacking and didn't know you would just see a tenting symbol and that's it. I never do honestly but besides never seeing anyone I live pretty close so if I ever stopped in and got bad vibes or there was a big scout group or people who had an issue with me staying I would leave no problem. Not everybody has that option though.

https://ctwoodlands.org/explore-trails/interactive-map/ or check the NET site for more specific camp sites on the map.

edit - I'm just thinking there aren't too many big views in this section or ridge walking like other parts of the Metacomet so keep that in mind. My second option is from Penwood Park north using the East Granby site, small road walk. If you do bigger days then me you might even include Talcott Mountain.

Ear Drum
05-28-2024, 14:08
There is also a page on the NET site with overnight options:

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