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wystiria
12-18-2007, 16:37
Just wanted to start a thread about Sages Ravine. We stayed there 11/17/07 had a gorgeous night although chilly. Read that there was a bear that frequented the area so made sure to be very fastidous. We didn't have any problem! Tons of GORGEOUS ice formation! and lots of bird life. I got to see some fantastic downy woodpeckers in action!

Smile
12-18-2007, 17:26
There's a nice bear box at SR, up the hill little from the camping 'platforms'. :)

wystiria
12-19-2007, 15:22
There are actually 2 bear boxes. One not far from the new privy and the other is in the group site.

Christopher Robin
12-19-2007, 16:58
Where is Sage Rivene?

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 16:59
Where is Sage Rivene?

Sages Ravine is on the AT in Connecticut

Smile
12-19-2007, 17:13
There are actually 2 bear boxes. One not far from the new privy and the other is in the group site.
You are correct! My error :)

burger
12-19-2007, 17:15
Sages Ravine is on the AT in Connecticut

Really? Hmm, I guess continental drift must be moving it to the south, because when I hiked through there, it was in MA (though you'd never know since the MA/CT border sign was practically invisible).

And, yeah, it's a really pretty spot. I wish I hadn't been so exhausted when I got there and then raced out of there so quickly the next morning.

wystiria
12-20-2007, 14:28
*smile* I hike in this area all the time. Sages ravine winds down the MA/CT state line. The actual designated camp area is in CT though. not to far in though!!

Its a gorgeous, if well used, area.

Lone Wolf
12-20-2007, 14:58
some folks are so friggin anal :rolleyes:

rafe
12-20-2007, 15:30
The state-line signage at Sages is confusing. I couldn't tell whether the ravine itself was in CT or MA -- the MA/CT sign I saw (on the trail) was north of the ravine, just before the ascent up Race Mtn. But the map I was carrying (the ATC map) seemed to show the state line south of the ravine.

Whatever -- the ravine is beautiful. It was wicked hot the day I went thru, but the trail by the ravine was cooool and shady. Wish I'd stayed longer. I ended up quitting that section hike the following day 'cuz it was too damned hot to hike.

PS: if you look at the Google terrain map of Sages, it appears that the ravine actually runs right along the state line. And as you walk it "NOBO", you're traveling in a east-southeasterly direction.

Smile
12-20-2007, 15:45
smile* I hike in this area all the time. Sages ravine winds down the MA/CT state line. The actual designated camp area is in CT though. not to far in though!!

Its a gorgeous, if well used, area.

Thanks Wysteria, I think you meant to respond to LWolf. You're right though about it's location, and it sure is a beautiful hike through there - I always try to camp there when I'm through that way, even on a weekend out :)

XCskiNYC
04-24-2010, 15:19
While Sages Ravine Campsite is geographically in MA, it is administratively in the grips of the CT-AMC.

The Campsite is about 500 trail-meters north of the CT/MA border and about 400 meters north of the intersection of the AT and the Paradise Lane Trail.

The signage at Sages Ravine Campsite is identical to that at other CT-AMC sites and shelters on the AT.

As in other camping areas run by the CT-AMC, signs remind users that camp fires are prohibited. This is a moot point since the main reason CT-AMC gives for the rule against camp fires is that they violate CT law. However, while being run by the CT-AMC, the camp site is located in MA.

The large, well-established stone fire circles at most of the individual tenting sites and platforms would lead you to believe that the CT-AMC's rule against fires is "More honour'd in the breach than the observance."

Cookerhiker
04-24-2010, 17:00
I hiked through Sages Ravine on the last day of a SOBO section hike (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=94199) of the southern half of Massachusetts starting at Lee. I thought it was beautiful and vowed to return and camp in it some day. I could envision camping there and getting up early to watch the sunrise on Race Mountain.

My hike was in mid-April with warm temperatures and beating sun since it was to early for foliage. The paradox was there I was in Sages Raving in short-sleeves and shorts in 80 degree temps but the trail up the north side of Bear Mountain had blocks of solid ice in places.

Migrating Bird
04-24-2010, 18:03
Just hiked Sages, Bear Mt., Paradise Lane last week. No ice this April. The leaves are 2-3 weeks ahead of time, apples are nearing full bloom. The north side of Bear Mt. was dry, the normally wet spot at the base of Bear (north side) - bone dry. Yesterday I was on Mt. Greylock and I cannot believe how dry the trails are up on MT. Prospect/Money Brook, etc.

johnnyblisters
04-25-2010, 02:08
The large, well-established stone fire circles at most of the individual tenting sites and platforms would lead you to believe that the CT-AMC's rule against fires is "More honour'd in the breach than the observance."

B.S. I'd like to see any well established fire rings at any of the CT-AMC sites when the ridgerunners are on patrol. :cool:

Tin Man
04-25-2010, 05:58
B.S. I'd like to see any well established fire rings at any of the CT-AMC sites when the ridgerunners are on patrol. :cool:

and they don't exist at sages, for sure

XCskiNYC
06-29-2010, 16:00
B.S. I'd like to see any well established fire rings at any of the CT-AMC sites when the ridgerunners are on patrol. :cool:

They'd be there but they were busy hitting the parade in Greenwich Village.

Just Tom
01-13-2015, 12:17
I hit Sages Ravine campsite while I was in the area on a day hike to Bear Mountain a couple of weeks ago. Had lunch on the care-takers platform. As I understand it, there is a fee to camp in the "in season". Does anyone know anything about that?

Traveler
01-13-2015, 13:20
I don't believe there is a fee. Sages is a first come/first served site. There is a Ridgerunner stationed there but the last one I spoke to said there was no fee. Some web sites allude to a fee, none of them list a specific cost as they do other campsites that are fee based. My guess is, if there is a fee, its on specific holiday weekends in summer when use is extremely high.

gsingjane
01-13-2015, 13:54
I have had several groups up at Sages in the past few years (including over high-traffic weekend summer dates) and although we always check in with the ridgerunner, and I've taken a check along just in case, I think the info about a fee is now outdated. I have specifically inquired and they never seem to know anything about it!

Jane

Just Tom
01-13-2015, 15:50
Thanks, that's good to know!

liptackj
02-16-2015, 16:42
There are no fees to camp at any site along the AT in Connecticut.
Jim Liptack
CT-AMC Overseer of Trails

linus72
02-18-2015, 11:01
We're going to be there at the very end of April, finishing off CT from Salisbury - Can't wait. I hear its beautiful. We can make campfires there right? I know it's IN MASS but maintained by CT AMC so it seems I hear both yes and no. If not, we might have to go on to Laurel Ridge. It's a requirement of ours as we've had no ability to do so in all of CT last season! Especially since it ain't exactly going to be hot out. Speaking of, how's the weather usually that time of year? With all this snow, I'm not worried about water supply as there will be plenty of melt. I just hope its not a swamp or still cold as s**t. What a winter this has been. Hopefully late April isn't hungry-bears-out-of-hibernation-snacking-on-hikers season!

Just Tom
02-18-2015, 11:38
We're going to be there at the very end of April, finishing off CT from Salisbury - Can't wait. I hear its beautiful. We can make campfires there right? I know it's IN MASS but maintained by CT AMC so it seems I hear both yes and no. If not, we might have to go on to Laurel Ridge. It's a requirement of ours as we've had no ability to do so in all of CT last season! Especially since it ain't exactly going to be hot out. Speaking of, how's the weather usually that time of year? With all this snow, I'm not worried about water supply as there will be plenty of melt. I just hope its not a swamp or still cold as s**t. What a winter this has been. Hopefully late April isn't hungry-bears-out-of-hibernation-snacking-on-hikers season!

Policy is no campfires, though I went there the end of December and there were campfire signs. I think in the absence of the caretaker, and presence of ice and snow, they are getting built anyway.

Slo-go'en
02-18-2015, 11:49
Going there end of April is probably not a good idea. If the snow has all melted, the trail will be really soggy and that is when hikers do the most damage to the trails. Staying off the trails during mud season is the responsible thing to do. Also, there is a stream which runs through the ravine which will likely be running high and possibly flooding the trail.

linus72
02-18-2015, 12:22
Will play it by ear depending on the weather and conditions and hope for the best. Unfortunately with our incredibly complicated parenting and work schedules, it's hard to just go whenever and that weekend is one of the few we can get away for at least another two or more months. not having made the investment in snowshoes, most of this winter we've not been able to hike at all, and have one heck of a case of cabin fever not to mention a spare tire! Even if we were to not do this section for any number of reasons, we will be doing some backpacking, possibly further south in New York as an alternative. I totally respect the trail, and don't intend to do any intentional damage to it, but I personally don't feel its 'irresponsible' to hike in the late spring. We're talking almost May here, and other folks have posted above about more than pleasant conditions at that time of year. If anything its the hazards such as flooding or ice that would be my main concern. Most of our state parks open for camping and day hiking in mid-April. Also, I don't think of people heading Nobo in late Feb-early March as doing damage to the trail because of mud or rain, more so just the sheer numbers of thru-hikers having an impact. But as a section hiker, I don't think the two of us are going to tear it up. And I think that approach would thereby severely limit the time people could hike and cause worse damage in larger numbers in less muddy seasons. I appreciate your feedback, I've just never heard anything like that before, even in the Scouts. Send good weather karma please.

liptackj
02-18-2015, 21:34
Yes, hiking on the trail during "mud season" does do damage to the trail. In VT, trails are routinely closed during this time. In addition to the damage to the trial hiking in the mud produces, even in Mid-April, there can be measurable snow in the bottom of Sages Ravine, making the hike along the brook very difficult. The crossing of the brook may be very challenging as well. As always, there are no fires permitted anywhere along the AT that is maintained by the CT-AMC. Yes we are aware that there are people who build fires anyway. Doesn't make it an excuse to join in.
Jim Liptack
CT_AMC Overseer of Trails

linus72
02-19-2015, 01:23
Besides advice on potential safety/weather hazards on this section of the trail this time of year, which I do want and am actively listening to, I'm kind of at a loss with some of these lecture-y responses in regards to trail damage/etiquette. In regards to my question of if fires are permitted at sages, I won't make one if they're not. I am disappointed but not surprised by politics. I'm 43 years old, I don't plan on 'joining in' on bad behavior... I'm well over that phase. I'm out there for my enjoyment and don't want to ruin anything for anyone, myself included. But if you want my two cents on that matter, I still think it's super confusing that the law is no fires on the AT in CT, but this site is actually in the state of Massachusetts. So you all need to figure that out in a way that doesn't confuse or incriminate anyone from near or far, once and for all. These politics are going to be lost (and seem to be ignored) by most who will be passing through. I'm sure I'm not saying anything new on this matter. A sign saying no fires in CT, while you're not actually in CT, is no solution.

And, I realize there are volumes of irresponsible and inconsiderate people out there who don't care what damage they do. But I am not one of those people. And I don't expect that presumption. I pick up others' garbage every time I'm out there whether on a 2 mile quick day hike or a multi-day section hike. I hate when I see litter or have inconsiderate people at a shelter or campsite who rolled in with a party for the night because it was close to the road. For me, the trail is my quiet place, a place to challenge myself, retreat from all my life's burdens and just be. I meditate and practice LNT and yoga. I have appreciated the outdoors my whole life. I have many years experience hiking the Presidentials as a teen as well as the AT in Southern New England as a boy scout, and hundreds of miles under my belt reconnecting as an adult as well, backpacking in 3 seasons and hiking in 4. I am a card-carrying and financially donating member of the ATC and AMC and enjoy many of their year-round guided hikes and related activities in my area and never have I heard anything about hikes not being possible or advisable for any other reason than personal safety/ not having the right equipment for that hike. I have been thanked by many AMC guides for my cleaning up and preserving the trail we are on during these outings. Yet suddenly I'm getting all this negative feedback because of my enthusiasm for finally getting in another chance to enjoy the outdoors for the first time in 6 months, because it might be a little muddy. When IS it ok to hike? I mean, why don't we just suck ALL the enjoyment of mother nature and all the stress relief it brings me out of it while we're at it? People can be REALLY preachy here. I appreciate that you care about the trail too, but if you expect everyone to go into it with this attitude of you might damage something every time you place one foot in front of the other on the trail, no one would ever go out of their house, or on the trail. I think people need to calm down and appreciate that others enjoy their natural world and the trail that is out there for them and many of us, especially here, DO respect it.

In my estimation, as with all things authoritative, the rights of the many experienced seem to be more and more limited because of the mistakes of a few inexperienced or rebeliious types. Its almost as if you all want to limit people's enjoyment of their natural environment. Might as well send around a rule book of hiking. As a nature lover, and since that's the main reason i'm out there, i'm not the kinda guy who breaks rules for fun or to prove anything. So I will carry on to laurel ridge if i'm out there, when i have a right to be, since that seems to be my only option if i want to have natural warmth. but it sure blurs another line. you're in mass, but there's ct rules? you guys need to work that out, really. i realize there's reckless folks out there but i am not one, wish i didn't have to pay the price for the few who aren't. and still not really understanding why there's not more literature, discussion out there about hiking in 'mud season'. i've never seen anyone in southern new england or ny or the conferences in this area talking about or advising against hiking in this season. i've covered over 150 miles in the last season as a section and day hiker on my state trails so its not like i haven't been out there at all. i believe in conservation and preservation, dont want to do damage. if its really a risk to the trail that time of year im definitely confused as to why hikers are permitted to start even earlier in the season on thru hikes and why parks are opening then. seems like there would be more out there about this. i read WB, tons and tons of books on hiking, by state-led organizations, by people who have done the whole AT, and other trails and I confess this is the first I've heard of risk to the trail. seems like this narrows down safe hiking, whether it be for the trail or the hiker to about late may-oct (cause hey, who wants to then worry about hunters) to just over 4 months a year unless you've got 4 season gear and a whole lot more tolerance for cold... At this point, I think we will just finish CT in a day hike and be done with this nonsense.

Traveler
02-19-2015, 09:02
In my estimation, as with all things authoritative, the rights of the many experienced seem to be more and more limited because of the mistakes of a few inexperienced or rebeliious types. Its almost as if you all want to limit people's enjoyment of their natural environment. Might as well send around a rule book of hiking. As a nature lover, and since that's the main reason i'm out there, i'm not the kinda guy who breaks rules for fun or to prove anything. So I will carry on to laurel ridge if i'm out there, when i have a right to be, since that seems to be my only option if i want to have natural warmth. but it sure blurs another line. you're in mass, but there's ct rules? you guys need to work that out, really. i realize there's reckless folks out there but i am not one, wish i didn't have to pay the price for the few who aren't. and still not really understanding why there's not more literature, discussion out there about hiking in 'mud season'. i've never seen anyone in southern new england or ny or the conferences in this area talking about or advising against hiking in this season.

The fire issue in CT and Sages Ravine have been worked out and there is a rule book. The AMC rules regarding fires is pretty clear in CT and Sages Ravine (even with the confusion of a state line). There are no fires allowed, period. The Riga Plateau has had several forest fire events from careless campers wanting a fire but could not muster the energy to put them out, so no fires. The trail has been at risk of being denied access to this area as a result. The AMC ruling on this is:



No fires are allowed anywhere along the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, at Sages Ravine campsite at the Massachusetts-Connecticut border, and at the new Laurel Ridge campsite (replacing the old Bear Rock Falls Campsite) in Massachusetts.


As to "Mud Season", CT tends to have a shorter mud season (defined as the period of time the substrate is frozen below a thawed ground surface) as the northern New England states. However there is a short "mud season" in CT and MA where the ground remains frozen a few inches below the surface, limiting the ability of soils to dry out. The result of people on trails during this short period are easily seen (some good examples are at Race Brook Falls trail and Undermountain trail) where people walk along the sides of the trail to avoid mud in the treadway, tearing up the ground and making the trail up to 12' wide in some places, full of mud.

The Green Mountain Club has perhaps the highest profile in New England with trail closures and published warnings at trail heads about trail damage from hikers during mud season. Damage over a relatively short period of time requires hours to repair and years to heal.

There are no official rules or restrictions about this in CT (or MA that I am aware of), outside some common sense interest in safety and avoiding trail destruction. Thats an individual decision based on awareness of the issue. The Northern New England states may limit access or close trails until soils can dry out, but I cannot recall any trails south of Greylock that limit access for this, perhaps because its difficult to predict when it would start and end. My barometer for this is when I start seeing surface melting of the trail that turns to mud quickly, at that point I spend a few weeks on lower elevation trails that have a faster melt rate than the higher elevations the AT moves over.

There is information about mud season hiking in several places. The AMC official position about mud season is in their "Spring Hiking Tips" publication (on-line);

Spring can be a tough time for a diehard hiker.
During mud season, it’s often best to give trails a chance to dry out before piling onto them with Vibram soles. Thoughtful planning can help direct you toward trails that are more likely to be dry.
In general, look for trails at lower elevations that have southern exposure, advises AMC White Mountain Trails Manager Andrew Norkin. The sun has a chance to shine its drying rays on trails with southern exposure, he explains, noting that, until leaf-out occurs, trails in hardwood forests receive more sunlight than those in coniferous forests, so trails there may tend to dry out sooner. He also notes that hikers should seek out areas with well-drained soils and trails with good drainage.
Leave No Trace Inc., a national educational program aimed at minimizing impact on backcountry resources, recommends traveling on durable surfaces, such as rock or gravel to help minimize impacts. Norkin says it’s important to stay on established trails. Hikers traveling off trail and short-cutting switchbacks contribute to increased erosion, he says.
If you do encounter a muddy stretch of trail, don’t walk off-trail to avoid it. “Don’t skirt the trail if you come to a muddy spot, just walk right on through it,” Norkin said. “Skirting the trail can damage trailside vegetation, which leads to erosion. If you stay on the trail you can help prevent the inadvertent widening of the trail and the soil erosion that comes with it,” he said.

linus72
02-19-2015, 09:24
AT traveler, i appreciate the clarifications. this is really my first knowledge of the mud season hiking issues as i haven't made it up there yet to the greens. and while it makes sense, like with the fires question, the previous answers felt like i was being scolded a bit for not knowing or understanding and that i would consider willingly ignoring the rules like many do. anyway i still think its a shame that so many have to be deprived of the campfire privilege because of a few actual irresponsible folks. we gladly abided all the way through the state and we were really so excited to be crossing into the next state so we could enjoy a campfire for the first time, and whaddya know, you can't there either because these first two in massachusetts have the same rule. unfortunately because of time constraints we aren't able to travel farther up than laurel ridge so i guess thats that. i am thinking of doing this trip later when its warmer and just doing some of new york first. le sigh.

Traveler
02-19-2015, 09:48
AT traveler, i appreciate the clarifications. this is really my first knowledge of the mud season hiking issues as i haven't made it up there yet to the greens. and while it makes sense, like with the fires question, the previous answers felt like i was being scolded a bit for not knowing or understanding and that i would consider willingly ignoring the rules like many do. anyway i still think its a shame that so many have to be deprived of the campfire privilege because of a few actual irresponsible folks. we gladly abided all the way through the state and we were really so excited to be crossing into the next state so we could enjoy a campfire for the first time, and whaddya know, you can't there either because these first two in massachusetts have the same rule. unfortunately because of time constraints we aren't able to travel farther up than laurel ridge so i guess thats that. i am thinking of doing this trip later when its warmer and just doing some of new york first. le sigh.

You are very welcome. Frankly, though I was aware of mud season, I didn't truly become plugged into it until I started maintaining trails myself. I do agree with you relative to camp fires. The problem with the Riga Plateau that stretches from Salisbury CT to South Egremont MA is the conditions of the topography, geology, and soils makes it very fire prone. Fires can and will burn into the ground unseen, popping up a distance away long after the fire starters have moved on, and cause havoc. Being mostly privately owned it makes for a precarious balance between the owners concerns and hiker behavior. We almost lost the AT along the entire Plateau a few years ago due to a campfire literally started near signs saying no fires allowed. Given some of the camp fires I have seen on the AT and other trails, its a wonder some of these dolts don't set themselves ablaze.

That said, there is a lot of exploration on the Plateau, including the Taconic trail on the western escarpment if you've not found it yet. I am up in there a lot, theres a good chance we have crossed paths on occasion there or elsewhere on the AT or Blue Trail system.

Migrating Bird
02-19-2015, 21:13
AT Traveler's post is spot on. Regarding mud season, it has been my experience that the AT from Riga Junction to Jug End is not "as" susceptible to the damage that Race Brook Trail and the Undermountian Trail experience. This is due to the large numbers of day hikers from the respective RT 41 trailheads, i.e., doing an out & back and the muddy sections being at the lower elevations away from the AT. The AT in this section is pretty rocky and stable except at the base of Bear Mt. (north side) and the saddle between Mt. Race and Mt. Everett. The trail through Sages Ravine would most likely would still have snow pack at the end of April and the only concern would be post holing. The drainage for the brook at the crossing at the MA/CT line is rather small so that the brook tends to recede rather quickly. There is a nice old wood road from the north side of SR campsite, easterly following the ravine to the AT thereby avoiding the ravine and the brook crossing although it is a shame to miss hiking through the Sages Ravine. This road also is on the south facing slope so it dries out earlier. Beware, ticks and bears will be active and very hungry during that time period as well.

Cosmo
02-20-2015, 21:46
Fires are not permitted at Laurel Ridge campsite either, but are at all other Mass overnight sites.

As you likely know, this has been an extremely unusual winter in southern NE. There is over 3 ft of snow on the Trail, and unusually cold temps are keeping it there. You may want to touch base regarding conditions shortly before you head out to see what footwear might work best for you.

Cosmo

linus72
02-22-2015, 11:42
Yeah, im in southern ct along the coast and even we have 4 ft of snow, got more yesterday, and then rain. i'm thinking we're going to save the riga plateau for june and work the other way from the ct state line south through pawling and beyond. i stayed at wiley once on a solo walkabout to try out my one man tent (some photos here) so i know that one's layout, and i think it would be fun to see the dover oak, the AT metro north stop, and stay at telephone pioneers the second night. i am already researching that shelter and the trail between wiley and rt 55, if anyone has any pointers send em my way. but either way, it will be significantly lower elevations so less snow and ice if any and a better warm-up for our first backpack trip of the season, and we can make fires since it will be cool weather. i dont wanna be sliding down bear, or having breakfast with one for that matter! in june the plateau should be gorgeous and teeming with laurel, and much safer. thanks everyone.

linus72
06-10-2015, 13:57
my hiking partner was curious if there's a mouldering privy, or any privy at all at sages campsite at the present time?

Just Tom
06-10-2015, 14:02
Yes, it is a mouldering privy.

linus72
06-10-2015, 14:03
she is going to be one happy lady, thanks just Tom! (though secretly ill bet she's dying to use her trowel for the first time ;) )

linus72
06-11-2015, 06:50
is multi-night parking allowed at undermountain road trailhead? i don't see a P on the map there, but pretty much everyone has suggested parking there for an overnight end point. thanks!

Traveler
06-11-2015, 08:04
is multi-night parking allowed at undermountain road trailhead? i don't see a P on the map there, but pretty much everyone has suggested parking there for an overnight end point. thanks!

I have parked at that trailhead for several nights without any issues. There are no signs or kiosk information regarding overnight parking at that (or other access trailheads along the Riga Plateau area) and many people use them for overnight parking.

linus72
06-15-2015, 09:44
Had a great hike from Salisbury to the Mass line. Sages was beautiful and the caretaker was really friendly and passionate about her role. Met a friendly deer as well, and pretty sure we heard a bear come crashing off a tree branch in the woods a hundred yards away, but i guess it ran the other way. fortunately.... can't wait to go back and bag Race and Everett. Paradise lane, our return route, was a heaven of laurels and chatty bullfrogs !

Etoryn
07-26-2015, 02:28
Sages is a favorite camp site for me in CT.