View Full Version : Metacomet-Monadnock Thru... I'm OFF!

05-15-2003, 11:33
Well the time has come. My bag is packed, and I'm getting my last block of rest before going to work tonight, and hitting the trail in CT tomorrow morning.

I'm planning on one resupply at a friends house in Northfield (he lives 15' from the trail on Crag Mountain). I will also be stopping for burgers & fries in NH when I pass through Troy.

There doesn't seem to be alot of documentation about the M&M, so I've decided to do some! I plan on taking 500-600 pictures, doing some drawings, and keeping a fat journal. Because of this I plan on doing only 12-15 miles a day. That means 7 days before I resupply! I have bags of dried fruit, smoked almonds, and Liptons almost exploding from my pack :p

Thanks to many people on this forum, I've also got my packweight down considerably. Big-thanks to Sgt Rock for converting me to my Pepsi-Can stove!

I'll tell you how it went on the 27th! (I get home on the 26th, but I'll probably be exhausted :D)

05-15-2003, 12:32
Have a great trip and enjoy it for all of us stuck working. Saw you would be in Fl, if your near Tampa and need some help, give a holler.

05-15-2003, 13:53
Thanks ga>me>ak!

Man, 7 days worth of food and fuel sucks :mad:!

It comes out to 19 pounds... :eek:!

Added to my 18 pounds of gear, and 4-6lbs of water, I'm over 40lbs on Day 1 :( :confused:...

Oh well, I'll be dreaming about day 7 :D

05-15-2003, 14:57
Hey RH! You'll love the trail. I've done parts of it and it is very quiet and peaceful. I'm jealous! Have fun and be sure to tell us all about it when you get home.
I'm planning on 7 days on the LT in June without a resupply. I wouldn't be able to do it without the "pepsi can" stove either. Thanks SGT!

05-17-2003, 13:59
Well, 2 days on the trail and I'm home :mad:!

Started off at the southern terminus cutting through overgrown grassfields (picking 8 ticks off me within the first 5 minutes of hiking). Crossing the Bog-Bridges (which were in good shape) I ascended the first ridge. I was a little nervous crossing the receiving end of an archery range, but soon crossed Rt 57. The trail parallels a quarry lip, and all I could here for three hours was charges being set off nearby. There were a couple nice outlooks, and then I hit the WWLP broadcast tower. Gross, overgrown grass, shattered concrete, cables lying everywhere. After wandering around the tree line of some overgrown fields looking for the trail-marker-less trail, I managed to scramble up a "steep" rocky incline, which turned out to be a 45 degree gravel slope. Hands and knees up the slope I passed a roadside-walley filled with old air-conditioners and stoves. Then I crossed Rt 187, and headed down to the westfield river. This section was completely un-maintained. I rucked about a mile in shin-ddep mud where th logs had rotted away, and came to the "river fording" point. Well needless to say it was about 20'+ deep with rapids and a swift-current. Hiked back through the mud to Rt. 187. Walked 4 miles into town and called a cab. I bought a two dollar jug of springwater, and refilled my platypus 3L waterbag, and 1L sodabottle. Eventually a cab came after 1.5 hours of waiting. On the other side of the river where the trail continues is a Big Y. The cabby brought me to the westfield Big Y instead of the West Spingfield Big Y. With the westfield river raging behind both of them, I didnt know the difference being equidistant from the store I called the cab from. I called the cab company back, and they said they were booked and I'd have to call a cab in from another town. I obviously couldnt hike along side Rt. 20, so thus began a 5mile hike along the rocky railroad tracks. Finally I reached the otherside of the river. I hiked 1.5mi up into the woods and set up a stealth-camp in the dark. After working an 8hr night-shift, I planned on hiking 7miles. I was up for over 23hours and hiked close to 20. I fell asleep in about 20seconds.

A fresh new day right? Thats what I thought. I ate breakfast and packed up camp. Heading offf down the trail, I found another unmaintained section between another quarry and I90 (mass pike). There was deadfall about every 100ft. I covered only 4 miles in 4hours. Rotten bog bridges, gaps in trailmarkings with no visible footpath, and about 10 stagnant pools I bushwacked around. Ah yes! I90 ahead!. Coming to the access-road underpass, the gate was conveniently locked due to actions taken against ATV riders abusing the land. Good 'ole hampster looked like a mexican jumping bean crossing I90 stealthily dodging the semi's going 80mph. A nice climb up the ridge to East Mountain provided splendid look-outs, and a nice lunch. Then more problems. The trail here was moved, yet they never removed the old markers. Conveniently, a local snow-mobile club also chose white to be the color of their trail-blaze. After crisscrossing and deadends, I finally screamed and bushwacked up to the ridge, and clambered over deadfall 2 miles to a radio beacon, and the M&M trail once again. I was down to a Liter of water, and the nearest source was 5 miles away, or more bushwacking to look for brooks. So I decided to head-off again, until I hit another unmaintained section, with about twice the deadfall as before, and white-blazes that were becoming fewer and farther apart. Then two straps broke on my right TEVA Wraptor. SOB MF $%$&#! I sewed/duct-taped them, and hiked back to the radio tower, down an access road. Along the way, I met up with a a couple hikers. They said they just walked 7miles from 202 to this access road to bypass an unmaintained section of trail that they bushwacked 2 miles in and out of due to groundclutter and no whiteblazes. I told them my story, and we all headed to town to call for rides home. We knocked on the door of the first home, and asked to use the phone. As a change of recent luck (or lack-there-of), he offered to give all of us a ride home! So three dirty hikers piled in his new Honda Civic, and off we went. One was dropped off about 10miles away, I was dropped off about 40miles away, and the third hiker had to go to Gloucester! He said he was a priest, and wouldn't accept anything in return. I stuck $100 in his dash after he got out, to help me with my pack, seeing that the first guy gave him nothing, and the second guy was apparently his friend.

So anyways, I now reccomend everyone to avoid the southern portion of the Metacomet-Monadnock trail, and hike the northern portion (Mt. Monadnock, Mt Grace, Crag Mtn, etc). Tomorrow I'm heading up to Monadnock to do some day hiking, and then a 2-day hike from Rt2 below Hermit Mountain to Rt 78.

What a time I had! :D

05-18-2003, 05:48
So the guide book entry should read.... A pleasant hike through scenic terrain on a well graded and maintained trail with plenty of water availible and easy hitching.

With the rough winter creating lots of deadfall the trail crews are a bit slow this year making it a great time to volunteer. Glad you made it back in one piece and hope it was a better day then working.

05-18-2003, 11:19
So the guide book entry should read.... A pleasant hike through scenic terrain on a well graded and maintained trail with plenty of water availible and easy hitching.No, but it should be accurate in its description of the trail. It the terrain is rugged and unmaintained, it should mention that. I got a kick out of the trail register by the westfield river. The last entry was in 1992 :p.

I was just dissapointed at the lack of maintenance of the trail. Some parts look to have been unmaintained for years. There was also alot of trash. I completely filled a gallon zip-lock with this trash along the 4mile stretch leading up to Rt 57. I probably picked up less than 1% of it. There was deadfall probably 4 or 5 years old. Bog bridges were non-existant. I also passed a shelter which with a couple days of work could be useable, but the roof has fallen in, and the deck is starting to rot out now. My trail-guide (the most recent version) doesn't even mention it, so I'm sure it was abandoned years ago.

I'm not a trail maintainer, but in my hiking neighborhood I pick up trash, and even bring a pocket-saw on day-hikes sometimes. When people pledge to maintain a section of trail, they should live up to their pledge. The middle and northern section of this trail are absolutely beautiful. There hasn't been much trail-maintenance this year up here, but its fine, because people have maitained it last year. When you let it overgrow for multiple years it becomes much more difficult, especially when your ridge-hiking and water-sources are 10 miles apart.

Just a shame to see such a beutiful trail fall-apart like that. I'll be hiking south from monadnock tomorrow.


05-18-2003, 11:53
I uploaded some photos to the gallery!

1. The southern-terminus.
2. The Westfield River.
3. The Westfield Countryside.
4. A picture of the unmaintained trail.

If you go on a day when the quarry isn't being blown-up (probably a sunday), the 2mile section between Rt 57 and the WWLP broadcast tower is nice.