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  1. #1
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    Default Has anyone considered a thru-hike of this trail?

    I am starting to consider hiking from Northampton, where my daughter goes to school, back to my house in Guilford (located right on the trail). Although a fall hike would be lovely, my guess is I'd be able to pull it off next year in the late spring or early summer. It seems like it would be an awesome adventure but the planning aspect feels a bit daunting. I know the camping/overnight issues will present challenges, and am just wondering whether anyone has already developed any knowledge base on this on which I could potentially draw. Or, if there is anyone else out there who is thinking about a similar adventure, perhaps we can share information?

    Jane

  2. #2

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    A few have done it including Nimblewill Nomad. You may find some information on his page.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    A few have done it including Nimblewill Nomad. You may find some information on his page.
    Many folks get caught up in the notorized ink received by some flashier younger LD hikers, their firsts, their kits, their FKTs, etc all meritorious in their own right. However, IMO, the longest enduring, most trail/route versatile, MOST deserving of being recognized for his trail achievements, and most hiked LD hiker in the U.S. has been, and for a long time, the ever humble and non flashy, and largely under appreciated, hiker extraordinaire - M. J. Eberhart aka Nimblewill Nomad!!!

    http://www.nimblewillnomad.com/

  4. #4
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    Guilford CT to Northampton MA is part of the New England Trail which goes all the way up to Mt Monadnock in NH. My wife and I thru-hiked it in 2013. We had a blast. Check out my journal on Trailjournals. http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=15545
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys! I am trying to avoid stealthing if I can but will read these sources with interest!

    Jane

  6. #6

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    Bamboo Bob, I look forward to reading your trail journal on this hike. Thank you.

  7. #7
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    I've done the Massachusetts and NH sections. It's really nice--great scenery, very few people, and terrific views. If I had the choice of doing the MA section of the AT again or the MA part of the NET, I'd go with the latter in a heartbeat. It's fairly easy, too, with only a few big climbs, and those all lead to views. There have been some re-routes in recent years, and there is more road walking than there used to be but nothing terrible.

    I think fall (like late September-early October) would definitely be the best time to be on the trail. Spring could work, like late April, though it can be very wet, and you could run into lingering snow/ice as you head north. I wouldn't even think about trying this trail after May 1 or so. The blackflies emerge in early- to mid-May (the date will be later as you head north), and once they come out it is absolute hell to be in the woods. June and July are mosquito season and anytime between June and early September is likely to be hot and gross. Stick with fall or spring.

    I live right off the trail, but I'm moving west soon. Otherwise we'd offer you a place to stay when you go through.

  8. #8
    AT 2012
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    new maps of the trail are now available. I have put the southern half of connecticut on the phone app "maprika" and will put the rest on soon -- take a look. It is sweet that this trail links to the Sunapee Monadnock trail -- that makes quite a nice continuous path. the trail goes right through my town....
    Lazarus

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1azarus View Post
    new maps of the trail are now available. I have put the southern half of connecticut on the phone app "maprika" and will put the rest on soon -- take a look. It is sweet that this trail links to the Sunapee Monadnock trail -- that makes quite a nice continuous path. the trail goes right through my town....
    I have the new maps. FWIW, the mileages are off for the sections in MA. In some cases, by more than 20%! It is almost like the maps don't count the road portions.

  10. #10
    Registered User The Phoenix's Avatar
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    I've been hiking on this trail regularly and will do a thru-hike once I am done with spring semester of school... I've enjoyed the sections I have pieced together so far.
    "you know a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. And for anybody who's on the downside of advantage and relying purely on courage: It's possible."

  11. #11
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    *logging excitedly into Maprika now*

  12. #12

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    Bamboo Bob, I just skimmed your trail journal for this hike. It's very informative. If I ever do the NET, it will likely be the first backpacking trip where I'll gain weight, what with all the eateries along the way.

  13. #13
    AT 2012
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    Northern part of CT now on Maprika...
    Lazarus

  14. #14
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    I have not checked 1azarus's maps, but I live right on the trail and I hike it all the time. You should know that there is an ~18 mile patch between Belchertown, MA and Leverett, MA that is currently being "re-routed" due to apparent objections from some property owners. This means there are signs posted telling hikers to keep off the trail. You can read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacomet-Monadnock_Trail . The main objector is a big land owner in the area that does a lot of logging. Thru-hikers could take their chances through this area or walk on nearby roads.

  15. #15
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notch7 View Post
    I have not checked 1azarus's maps, but I live right on the trail and I hike it all the time. You should know that there is an ~18 mile patch between Belchertown, MA and Leverett, MA that is currently being "re-routed" due to apparent objections from some property owners. This means there are signs posted telling hikers to keep off the trail. You can read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacomet-Monadnock_Trail . The main objector is a big land owner in the area that does a lot of logging. Thru-hikers could take their chances through this area or walk on nearby roads.
    There is a very easy alternate around the closed area. Just take the Robert Frost Trail from the eastern end of the Holyoke Range all the way to its northern end, which I believe is less than a mile's roadwalk from the NET. The RF Trail goes around the outskirts of Amherst (an easy hitch to a nice college town for resupply) and then gets rural again and goes over the top of Mt. Toby, which has a great view.

    There's an excellent online guide/maps for the RF trail (pdf) at https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/610

    I've hiked both the original, closed trail and the RF trail, and the RF is actually nicer in some ways. If you are adventurous, you can also pick up a copy of the old Metacomet-Monadnock Trail guide published by AMC Berkshire chapter and try to follow the old trail. The blazes were painted over in brown and you can still find them. AFAIK, the old trail is still open to the public--it's just not marked as the NET anymore.

    Anyone interested can PM me for more details. It's a shame that the selfish interests of a logging company is preventing the NET from being a complete trail.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    There is a very easy alternate around the closed area. Just take the Robert Frost Trail from the eastern end of the Holyoke Range all the way to its northern end, which I believe is less than a mile's roadwalk from the NET. The RF Trail goes around the outskirts of Amherst (an easy hitch to a nice college town for resupply) and then gets rural again and goes over the top of Mt. Toby, which has a great view.

    There's an excellent online guide/maps for the RF trail (pdf) at https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/610

    I've hiked both the original, closed trail and the RF trail, and the RF is actually nicer in some ways. If you are adventurous, you can also pick up a copy of the old Metacomet-Monadnock Trail guide published by AMC Berkshire chapter and try to follow the old trail. The blazes were painted over in brown and you can still find them. AFAIK, the old trail is still open to the public--it's just not marked as the NET anymore.

    Anyone interested can PM me for more details. It's a shame that the selfish interests of a logging company is preventing the NET from being a complete trail.
    I just ignore the signs and stay on the old trail. I live there and know the history with this company. They don't object to hikers. They object to the feds controlling the trail that goes through their land. This is an old family-run company that owns a lot of the undeveloped land in the area and sometimes they throw their weight around unnecessarily.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notch7 View Post
    I just ignore the signs and stay on the old trail. I live there and know the history with this company. They don't object to hikers. They object to the feds controlling the trail that goes through their land. This is an old family-run company that owns a lot of the undeveloped land in the area and sometimes they throw their weight around unnecessarily.
    Not trying to be negative here, but if this area is not posted for trespassing or if it is but only prohibiting fishing/hunting activities, then it may not be an issue. However, if legally posted No Trespassing, it may be best to take the alternative route(s) and allow the local trail committee to work things out with the land owners regardless if the posting is for safety reasons around a timbering operation, or just a whim of the owner to keep their land free of people walking through it. Respecting owner wishes now will have bigger rewards down the road, as we have seen on the AT and other LD trails over the years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    There is a very easy alternate around the closed area. Just take the Robert Frost Trail from the eastern end of the Holyoke Range all the way to its northern end, which I believe is less than a mile's roadwalk from the NET. The RF Trail goes around the outskirts of Amherst (an easy hitch to a nice college town for resupply) and then gets rural again and goes over the top of Mt. Toby, which has a great view.

    There's an excellent online guide/maps for the RF trail (pdf) at https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/610

    I've hiked both the original, closed trail and the RF trail, and the RF is actually nicer in some ways. If you are adventurous, you can also pick up a copy of the old Metacomet-Monadnock Trail guide published by AMC Berkshire chapter and try to follow the old trail. The blazes were painted over in brown and you can still find them. AFAIK, the old trail is still open to the public--it's just not marked as the NET anymore.

    Anyone interested can PM me for more details. It's a shame that the selfish interests of a logging company is preventing the NET from being a complete trail.
    Excellent suggestion! I will dig a bit into the details of this option. Sure, there will be some that say you didn't do the NET if you take the RF Trail, but I like the PCT mentality a bit more...take detours when you see fit as long as you continue on your feet!

  19. #19
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redseal View Post
    Excellent suggestion! I will dig a bit into the details of this option. Sure, there will be some that say you didn't do the NET if you take the RF Trail, but I like the PCT mentality a bit more...take detours when you see fit as long as you continue on your feet!
    Totally agreed. I think that almost all hikers would agree that so long as you connect your steps, you've done a thru-hike, even if you didn't hike the official route the whole way. Personally, I think that skipping road walks shouldn't count against you. Road walking is terrible, boring, and potentially dangerous (I can recall at least 2 thru-hikers that were killed on a road walk around a fire detour on the PCT. There are dangerous road walks on the CDT, too). Also, I'm getting too old to waste time on road walking. I'd rather use that time to hike on an actual trail.

    So don't feel bad if you want to skip the road walk, but if you want to connect your steps, the RF trail makes a nice alternative.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notch7 View Post
    I have not checked 1azarus's maps, but I live right on the trail and I hike it all the time. You should know that there is an ~18 mile patch between Belchertown, MA and Leverett, MA that is currently being "re-routed" due to apparent objections from some property owners. This means there are signs posted telling hikers to keep off the trail. You can read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacomet-Monadnock_Trail . The main objector is a big land owner in the area that does a lot of logging. Thru-hikers could take their chances through this area or walk on nearby roads.
    This is the last 18 miles I need to do! I have been holding off for just that reason, but it looks like soon enough I will need to just suck it up and do all the road walks!

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