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  1. #1
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    Default Section Hike Great Barrington MA to the VT Border

    Anyone been through this section recently? Planning on doing it nobo starting Sunday. Water? Bears? Closures? Other useful info?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    First and foremost, the entire AT in Massachusetts is still closed to all camping. This closure was updated as of August 14. From the ATC website:
    Appalachian Trail Shelters, Campsites and Privies on Massachusetts Forest and Park lands are temporarily closed. No Overnight Camping Permitted on the A.T. in Massachusetts


    Hikers should postpone or cancel any overnight hiking plans for all 90 miles of A.T. in Massachusetts until further notice. Click here for the latest status of COVID-19 related closures for the state of Massachusetts as it affects the A.T.


    A friend is hiking it right now via a series of slackpacks. As of this morning, she's hiked between Dalton and the VT border. Haven't seen a report from her for today yet. I met her for dinner a few days ago in VT where she's also hiking sections. She didn't say anything about water but since she's slackpacking, she can carry a day's worth with her. Nothing to report on her Dalton-Cheshire day. Here's her writeup for the Cheshire to North Adams stretch:

    "It was extremely hot and humid again today. It felt like hiking in the south! The trail started out through a tree tunnel into a cornfield with the mountains beyond. Of course it immediately went up and into the mountain. About 7 mi later I reached Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. There is a road that goes all the way to the top so it was quite crowded on this lovely Sunday afternoon and most everybody was wearing masks. After a nice lunch at the lookout, I headed down down down down to North Adams."

    I'll update this post when she reports the subsequent sections.



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    Hmm. Can’t camp? That means at shelters and campgrounds, not every where else on this AT section.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMT View Post
    Hmm. Can’t camp? That means at shelters and campgrounds, not every where else on this AT section.
    It's Catch 22. Even pre-COVID, Massachusetts is one of those states like NJ and CT where camping is only allowed at shelters and designated campsites. And since COVID, the state has closed all shelters and sites, thus you can't camp anywhere along the AT. I included the text of their policy in my post above - note that makes clear that camping isn't allowed along any stretch of the 90 AT miles in Massachusetts.

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    A question about a very strange campground that has me fascinated due to it is a anomaly and it's a awesome place. Sages Ravine on the map is in MA, however on the AT it's in CT. I was there last week with no indication it's closed. Is it open or closed? Is it Shrödingers Cat?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    A question about a very strange campground that has me fascinated due to it is a anomaly and it's a awesome place. Sages Ravine on the map is in MA, however on the AT it's in CT. I was there last week with no indication it's closed. Is it open or closed? Is it Shrödingers Cat?
    Sages Ravine Campsite is located in MA on my ATC Map as well as in Google Maps. Sage's Ravine is labeled on the ATC map as in MA but on Google the ravine is labeled in CT. Not sure how far along the stream the ravine is designated. Since the campsite is in MA it would be closed per the MA state government.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  7. #7
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    Someone told me that they see a fair amount of chatter on Guthooks that would suggest overnight camping is allowed.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by spfleisig View Post
    Someone told me that they see a fair amount of chatter on Guthooks that would suggest overnight camping is allowed.
    Is that chatter based on something that the chatterer read from an official source saying it is allowed or is it chatter to the effect that yeah, people are doing it (camping) and getting away with it?

    My quote in the earlier post was a copy-and-paste from the ATC website. Here's the actual link:
    https://appalachiantrail.org/explore.../a-t-closures/
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 08-28-2020 at 22:06. Reason: Wrong website link listed

  9. #9

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    Here are 2 direct links explaining overnight camping along the AT in MA.
    General rules regarding campsites
    https://amcberkshire.org/at-hiking
    and Covid-19 rules
    https://www.mass.gov/locations/appalachian-trail
    Please by respectful of the rules in other states when visiting as well as the rules of this website. People may not like or agree with the rules in place for the Northeast but there has been a marked reduction in infection rates and the states in question would like to keep it that way. As visitors you are expected to follow the laws and regulations of the states you visit as you might expect a visitor to your home state to behave.

    Thank you!

    P.S. the majority of visitors from out of state to MA will require a 14 day quarantine or a Covid-19 test to be negative.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    P.S. the majority of visitors from out of state to MA will require a 14 day quarantine or a Covid-19 test to be negative.
    Just as an FYI, NJ (which is what the original poster has listed) is one of the states that do NOT require this. That still doesn't help with the camping issue, but just looking quickly they do have some state camping options in the parks, just not on the trail that might help out in some way (I was looking at October Mountain as an example, which the AT passes through - not certain how easily one could get to/from the public campground from it, though).

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    Just as an FYI, NJ (which is what the original poster has listed) is one of the states that do NOT require this. That still doesn't help with the camping issue, but just looking quickly they do have some state camping options in the parks, just not on the trail that might help out in some way (I was looking at October Mountain as an example, which the AT passes through - not certain how easily one could get to/from the public campground from it, though).
    Correct. MA allows a number of Northeast states residents (including NJ) to forego the quarantine or testing for visitors and just a few otherwise. I added it at the end for other readers and in the event the OP was not actually coming from NJ.
    US-Travel-Map_2020-08-28_01-01.png
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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  12. #12
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    Hi, I recently hiked this entire section just before Labor Day and everything is open. The campsites and shelters were rather crowded. A few areas were a bit dry, but trail angels had put out large water caches. You might want to consider carrying a spare liter in the event you hit a dry area, but you should be ok. It was a beautiful hike.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Large Format View Post
    Hi, I recently hiked this entire section just before Labor Day and everything is open. The campsites and shelters were rather crowded. A few areas were a bit dry, but trail angels had put out large water caches. You might want to consider carrying a spare liter in the event you hit a dry area, but you should be ok. It was a beautiful hike.
    So I will repost this link as there was a letter missing earlier in my previous post https://www.mass.gov/locations/appalachian-trail. The phone number listed is (413) 499-4262, which I called. The phone was answered immediately and the person I spoke with was very knowledgeable. The shelters and privies are closed, no overnight parking at the trailhead lots is what she said. There are other accommodations along the trail that are open, she mentioned that having CDC compliant bathrooms was a major factor in facilities being open or closed. If you are looking to do this section, give the number a call as the woman who answered seemed interested in assisting to find alternative hiking accommodations. For instance, Bascam Lodge is open as is a state campground nearby with CDC compliant toilets.

    Sorry but just because people were there does not mean the shelters and privies were open, they were either unaware or ignoring the closure order if they were there overnight.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

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  14. #14

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    Judging by the number of people here in the Whites this last weekend, no one is taking any of this seriously any more. With no tangible enforcement, why should they? I counted 200 cars at the trailhead down the street from me on Sunday, only 170 on Saturday and not all of them were day hikers for sure. No doubt every trailhead in the Whites was like that. I heard cars were parked along the highway over on RT16 for miles too. Lots and lots of illegal camping going on.
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