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  1. #1

    Default Completing Southern MA

    In my years of hiking, usually I have never restricted myself to the AT or really thinking in any way of becoming a section hiker.

    It was always the thru-hike dream that kept me hiking, but also away from the AT. I have broken down to sectioning the trail now until life balances out just a little bit for the wife and I.

    With that, I have my section settled for this week, I leave on Thursday morning and will get dropped off at the Undermountain Trail head in CT.

    I will hike into Sages Ravine and up to Laurel Ridge Campsite via the Paradise Lane Trail (Already did the CT-MA border over Bear Mtn and will start where I left off).

    From there, early start in the morning as I will try and make 19 miles to Tom Leonard Lean To. We'll see how it goes with the mud, bugs and beaver swamps but I think I'll accomplish it.

    Leaving Tom Leonard Lean To on Saturday morning I will do a short day 5 miles or so to Mt Wilcox Lean to ( South? or North?) and try and get there early and relax for the afternoon.

    On Sunday I will do the aprox. 12 miles to Goose Pond Rd. where I started my section last year and will have completed from the MA border to Cheshire on the MA AT. Hopefully by the end of the winter or spring I will have the entirety of MA complete and will start either going south into CT or north into Vermont.

    Gonna stay away from the NH AT for a while....seems costly.

    Any suggestions on this section will be helpful if anyone has a word of advice. 17 lbs is my base weight with about 2lbs of food per day and my 70 oz Platy (Plus my adult beverage bottle repackaged in a large poland spring bottle)

  2. #2
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good plan. Enjoy it. I am finding that section hiking is really great. Nice pace and you see things so much more.







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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Sounds like a good plan. Enjoy it. I am finding that section hiking is really great. Nice pace and you see things so much more.

    I agree. I never have been a big mile person...usually keep my hikes between 8-12 miles per day. I have been trying to increase that limit while I'm alone.

    Marje is not a speed hiker, we go slow for her and I get to take plenty of pictures, we usually do 5-7 mile days with a maximum of 9 for her.

    Being in much better shape than last year I don't think the 19 mile day will cause me too much trouble, although I know I'll be sore and enjoy the short day afterward. Got to save myself for the next weekend too, going to go back to Queechee Gorge in VT (My best friend just got married up there) and I want to do some nice hiking around that area.

  4. #4

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    The area north of the Jug End is notorious for mosquitoes, blackflies, and horseflies. We encountered a number of them on our Parade of Fools trip last year (May?).
    Permethrin your clothes and bring some deet. A sleep net might not be a bad idea if you're staying in the shelters.
    I made the almost 20 miles from Jug End road to North Wilcox leanto a few years back during the short days of fall. Unless the ground is very wet you should be able to do the 19 from Laurel Ridge campsite to the Tom Leonard shelter.
    Do NOT drink the water from the Housatonic River. There are notices to that effect.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
    The area north of the Jug End is notorious for mosquitoes, blackflies, and horseflies. We encountered a number of them on our Parade of Fools trip last year (May?).
    Permethrin your clothes and bring some deet. A sleep net might not be a bad idea if you're staying in the shelters.
    I made the almost 20 miles from Jug End road to North Wilcox leanto a few years back during the short days of fall. Unless the ground is very wet you should be able to do the 19 from Laurel Ridge campsite to the Tom Leonard shelter.
    Do NOT drink the water from the Housatonic River. There are notices to that effect.

    Thanks Tinker....don't use permethrin but I carry a healthy dose of 100% deet all the time. I have my new bivvy with me that I will be using and I'll just set it up in the shelter as a bug net if I sleep in the shelters, might just tarp it outside anyways.

    Don't even filter the water out of the Housatonic or don't not treat it?

  6. #6
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    The Housy has a nice healthy level of PCB's thanks the the GE plant up in Pittsfield. I would never eat fish from it, and only drink from filtered it as an absolute last resort.
    Adventure is the invitation to the common person, to become uncommon. ~ wm
    Bivouac is a French word for "mistake". ~ Ed Viesturs

  7. #7
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    Your first day will be tough doing the 19 miles, If you get to the Tom Leonard lean-to check out the tent platform in front.

    Your second day is real easy, I would suggest taking a swim at Benidict pond - just follow the blue trail a short ways to the beach, if you stay inside the Wilcox south shelter use your net to keep out the insects and crazy mice,The new shelter is just 40 yards infront of the old and the water source is spring surrounded by boulders as you approach the shelter.

    Last thursday - Saturday - My wife and I attempted to hike from rt7 in Great barrington to upper goose but had to bail out in Tyringham due to a insect bite my wife received on her ankle and all the rain & mosquitos making it worse.

    Good luck and have a good time - at least the weather looks better.

  8. #8

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    Thank you guys...will stay away from the Housatonic, plenty of water on the way there.

    It's actually my second day I'm doing the 19 miles....I am leaving thursday and hope to be at the trailhead at 12pm the latest. I will probably try and hike all the way to the Hemlocks lean to, about 9 miles if I can...If I get to Laurel Ridge Campsite and the weather turns, it's getting dark or I'm tired I will stay there and get a real early start on the 19 miles...If I could do the 4 or 5 extra on thursday to the Hemlocks I will have a nice 14-15 mile hike to Tom Leonard instead....Got to play it by ear.

    Jeez...I've planned well enough to hike in New Hampshire

  9. #9

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    its been very wet this year lot of mud and the streams are very high makes for some pretty waterfalls. just be carefull crossing streams.

  10. #10

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    Heading out to the trailhead....will be back sunday evening and I'll let you all know how the bugs taste...and the mud

    YAY!!!!! It's 1000 times better than being at home!

  11. #11
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    How did it go for you? At least the weather was nice, Let us Know.

  12. #12

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    Went great...weather was great. Made 10 miles to the Hemlocks first night, 14.4 to Tom Leonard Lean To, 11 to Shaker Campsite and 8.5 till I got picked up.

    Mud suctioned the boots off my feet (because my laces were falling apart and would not tighten) so I got blisters and my feet are sore.

    Bugs were bad in some areas, especially Shaker campsite...but all in all I am glad to have all of Massachusetts completed to the town of Cheshire...just about 20 miles of the northern end to complete probably this fall!

    I started another thread with all the pictures.

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=52988

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