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View Full Version : Slack packing Mass using bus service.



JustLee
08-08-2013, 09:34
Does anyone know what sections of Mass can be slacked packed using one car and the bus service?

Slo-go'en
08-08-2013, 11:17
Nearly all of it I suspect. There is a bus which runs up and down RT7, which the trial more or less parallels. The difficult part is figuring out the bus schedule. I tried to do that once and gave up!

JustaTouron
08-08-2013, 11:38
That would be http://peterpanbus.com (http://peterpanbus.com/) unfortunately figuring out their schedule is not that easy. You plug in a day and time and two stations and it will tell you the next bus, but actually figuring out the route and different options is not easy.

Symba
08-08-2013, 13:26
If you find a place I can park my car in say Salisbury, Conn. I'd section Mass with you to your car in say N. Adams, Mass or visa versa. 93 trail miles/6 days maybe. I gave up on other transportation in NE.

Slo-go'en
08-08-2013, 15:09
There is a regional bus service - Berkshire area regional transportation - or some thing like that which services the various towns along the way. You need town street maps, state road maps and thier schedule book to figure it all out. Way too complicated...

max patch
08-08-2013, 15:21
I learned an important lesson using the bus system in MA.

Somewhere in MA I walked into town because I knew there was a fruit stand that sold homemade donuts made while you waited. I picked up a paper while I was there and learned that Tanglewood was right up the road a ways and that the Boston Pops was doing a performance that nite. I'm not a fan of classical music, but I had heard what a wonderful facility Tanglewood was so I thot that would be cool to see. Learned that the bus went right by the fruit stand and would get me really close to Tanglewood.

So I got on the bus. And when I sat down the people on the bus scattered. Immediately. Some chose to stand at the front of the bus rather than sit in my vicinity. I knew we hikers stink, but I had no idea it was to that degree. I still feel bad about this. I now always make it a point to clean up as much as possible before interacting with others in this type of situation.

Alligator
08-08-2013, 15:42
I learned an important lesson using the bus system in MA.

Somewhere in MA I walked into town because I knew there was a fruit stand that sold homemade donuts made while you waited. I picked up a paper while I was there and learned that Tanglewood was right up the road a ways and that the Boston Pops was doing a performance that nite. I'm not a fan of classical music, but I had heard what a wonderful facility Tanglewood was so I thot that would be cool to see. Learned that the bus went right by the fruit stand and would get me really close to Tanglewood.

So I got on the bus. And when I sat down the people on the bus scattered. Immediately. Some chose to stand at the front of the bus rather than sit in my vicinity. I knew we hikers stink, but I had no idea it was to that degree. I still feel bad about this. I now always make it a point to clean up as much as possible before interacting with others in this type of situation.I was the last person to get onto a full bus out of NYC heading into Jersey after a weeklong section. I was not able to stow my pack underneath, it would not fit overhead. I sat in the middle seat in the back row with my pack at my feet. The guy sitting next to me struck up a conversation and I let him know that I was returning from hiking. He politely noted I smelled of wood smoke. Somehow during the conversation I learned he had been a college student of my father-in-law. He told me that my father-in-law was the best professor he ever had, which I later recounted to him.

Thing about local buses that is hard to figure out is the map scale is often out of whack on the route maps. They might have dozens of stops listed but the whole route map might only cover a couple of miles. Then the maps don't always line up and crossing zones between bus authorities can be tricky. It can be quite time consuming to figure it out just for one trip, let along multiple segments. One approach might be to discover how regions are connected, Greyhound, Trailways, and see what's possible there. Just remember, lines like Greyhound use city connectors and while they may be connected they often run to a major city first, which can be a lot of travel time. For instance, I am trying to connect between VT and NH and a lot of runs go to Concord and Boston first. Personally I was trying to connect between White River Junction and North Woodstock but nothing is direct. They are about 50-60 miles apart.

Cosmo
08-08-2013, 16:02
There is a regional bus service - Berkshire area regional transportation - or some thing like that which services the various towns along the way. You need town street maps, state road maps and their schedule book to figure it all out. Way too complicated...

http://www.berkshirerta.com/

The routes are complicated and the only place it goes near the trail is in the MT Greylock area (North Adams to Dalton). There is also a leg that gets you east on Rt 20, but not as far at the AT. I've attached an image of the Route Map (which does not show the AT).23231.

Peter Pan between Great Barrington and Williamstown may be your best option. 3-5 mile hitch at each end.

Good luck,

Cosmo

ceschuby
08-13-2013, 23:02
I used the Berkshire bus in 2011 to get from MA 23 (had to hitch the 5 or 6 mi to the shopping center in Great Barrington where the bus picked up) to North Adams (where it indeed stops very close to the AT) in an attempt to catch up with my hiking partner during my thru-hike attempt. I remember at least one transfer was involved, but I basically told the drivers I wanted to go all the way to North Adams and they were very helpful and friendly. I believe I also called the bus company as well to see if that long of a ride was even possible, but unsurprisingly they didn't know where the AT is so not much help there. It really wasn't that hard to figure out where the AT is relative to the route map, at least in those 2 towns. I think the total trip cost me $4 (!) and, while it took a couple hours (the bus stops for about 20 minutes at an outlet mall, but that was a good time to grab lunch), was quite easy and pleasant. Yes, probably a good idea to try to clean up a bit first, whatever bus you take. There were not many other passengers but I was quite cognizant of my stink. The buses also run quite frequently. I imagine it would work very well as a slackpacking option if you have the patience to match up the route map to a map of the AT, and make sure you pay attention to the streets so you know when to get off (the bus drivers don't necessarily know where the trail is either). I just checked on google maps and they do appear to have the BRTA in their transit options for that area, so that should help a lot! Good luck!