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  1. #1
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    Default MA Shelter Section Planning Help Request

    My friend and I are planning a 1 week section hike, hoping to get from Bear Mtn to the VT border this August. We're struggling a bit to figure out shelter/camping options that don't result in a 20 mile day. I did CT last year and the shelters were regularly and reasonably spaced. That doesn't seem to be the case in MA. So, a few questions. First, is dispersed camping allowed in MA? Meaning, do we have to stay at shelters and campsites or can we stay anywhere as long as we are 200 feet off trail and follow Leave No Trace?Second, I found this itinerary from Lady Grey in a thread from a couple of years agoay 1: Bear Mtn. trailhead to Glen Brook Shelter - 9.2 milesDay 2: Glen Brook Shelter to Tom Leonard Shelter - 14.3 milesDay 3: Tom Leonard Shelter to Upper Goose Pond Cabin - 21.1 milesDay 4: Upper Goose Pond Cabin to the Cookie Lady's Home - 11.1 milesDay 5: Cookie Lady's Home to Crystal Mountain Campsite - 13.7 milesDay 6: Crystal Mountain Campsite to Bascom Lodge (Mt. Greylock) - 13 milesDay 7: Mt. Greylock to Pine Cobble trailhead and return to our car in Williamstown - 11.8 milesThis looks okay, except for that 20 mile day. Any way to stop at say, Tyringham on Day 3? Is there camping or a hostel in that area? Also, what is Cookie Lady's house?All advice is much appreciated!

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    In Mass you must camp at designated site. From Tom Leonard its 9 miles to shaker campsite, before tyringham. And then another ten miles to goose pond.

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    Thanks.

    Problem with Shaker is that we need to average somewhere around 15 miles a day to hit the whole trail over the course of the 7 days we have in MA. If I only do 9 that day, I have to figure out where to pick up the other 6 some other day and most of the other days are already close to 14 or 15 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scramble View Post
    Day 2: Glen Brook Shelter to Tom Leonard Shelter - 14.3 milesDay 3: Tom Leonard Shelter to Upper Goose Pond Cabin - 21.1 miles
    Not a lot better, but there is Benedict Pond campground about 4 Miles past Tom Leonard which would make it 18.3 and 17.1 instead.

    The cookie lady is just what it sounds like, a lady who gives hikers snacks and, apparently allows hikers to stay in her place or yard.

  5. #5
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scramble View Post
    Thanks.

    Problem with Shaker is that we need to average somewhere around 15 miles a day to hit the whole trail over the course of the 7 days we have in MA. If I only do 9 that day, I have to figure out where to pick up the other 6 some other day and most of the other days are already close to 14 or 15 days.
    Judging from what many have told me and from trail guides, the stretch from a few miles south of the Cookie Lady to Cheshire is pretty easy. That might be a place where a longer miles day would make sense.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Also, the five miles from Jug End Road north across the Housatonic Valley is flat as a pancake. That'll go by fast, especially with the incentive of biting mosquitoes.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  7. #7
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Goose Pond to Kay wood is better than Leonard to Goose Pond. zi still sleth alot in Ma.

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    Two more follow-up questions:

    1) How do I get to cookie lady's house?
    2) Are open fires allowed in MA or do they have to be stove only, as is the case with CT?

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    Another follow-up question. Is it reasonable to think about stealth camping between Jug's End and Shay's rebellion? Meaning, is that highly populated or can you sneak off the trail somewhere around there (hypothetically speaking).

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    lemon b's Avatar
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    I would not sleath between Jug End and Shays, instead go up onto East Mountain. Ralph's (Cookie Lady's) house is to the right, first house on left. It is not a hostel. They are just good people and to consider it a overnite option imho is wrong. Oct Mt shelter is only a mile and a half South. I think as you hike thru Ma you'll find the stretch from Jug End all the way to Cheshire easy on the legs.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by scramble View Post
    Another follow-up question. Is it reasonable to think about stealth camping between Jug's End and Shay's rebellion? Meaning, is that highly populated or can you sneak off the trail somewhere around there (hypothetically speaking).
    The corridor is very narrow between Jug End and Shay's (or any place else between Jug End and East Mtn). And the skeeters will leave your desiccated bodies for me to clean up after they remove all of your blood.

    It's not at all impossible to hike between Glen Brook and Tom Leonard in a day. As others have said, half of it is completely flat.

    Likewise, the miles between October Mtn Shelter and Kay Wood are also pretty horizontal. Even getting between Upper Goose Pond Cabin and Kay Wood is doable. I speak as a pretty out of shape oldish guy who has done both.

    "Theoretically", not camping at designated overnight sites is illegal in Mass (and CT). The reason is to maintain good relations with our neighbors, and keep camping impacts to the environment to a minimum.

    Cosmo

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    one big uphill from Rt 20 a few miles north of Upper Goose Pond and then it's a fairly flat easy walk to Kay Woods. This is from another oldish slow guy.

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    Thanks, everyone. We ended up putting in some big days, but it worked out fine. The third big day was mostly so we could avoid the rain during the day and hang out in Dalton.

    Day 1: Undermountain to Paradise Lane to AT--camped at Glen Brook Shelter (~10 miles)
    Day 2: Glen Brook to Benedict Pond: (~19 miles, including side trails--also, note that Benedict has a picnic section where they let AT hikers camp for free. They were terrific to us)
    Day 3: Benedict Pond to Upper Goose Pond Cabin (~18 miles--and this place was not to be missed)
    Day 4: Upper Goose Pond to Kay Woods Shelter (~18 miles)
    Day 5: Kay Woods Shelter to Crystal Mountain Campsite (8 miles, but we had a 6 hour stop in Dalton. The CRA lets hikers shower for free--good to know!)
    Day 6: Crystal Mountain to Wilbur Clearing (~16 miles--although Wilbur Clearing is messy--tons of mice!)
    Day 7: Wilbur Clearing to VT line, then Class of '98 trail/Pine Cobble Trail to our car (~10 miles)

    The mosquitoes between Jug End and Shay's Rebellion were awful, by the way. Glad we didn't try to camp there (although we heard of a few thurs who stealthed right near Shay's Rebellion as soon as it got dark).

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