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  1. #1

    Default Best Airport From Mass AT & Shuttle Questions

    I'm planning to hike north from Greenwood Lake (NJ/NY State Line) for 10-14 days next summer. I don't how much time I have yet. I need to buy my plane ticket in advance or this will be cost prohibitive. I can hike 10-15 miles per day, and I will probably hike longer as I find my pace. I'm thinking that I'll end up somewhere between the MA/CT line and The MA/VT line. With that in mind, which airport should I buy a ticket home from? And what is a very general ballpark price I should expect for a shuttle from the trail to an airport hotel?

  2. #2
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    Fly into Newark, fly out of Albany, NY. Albany is accessible from Great Barrington, MA to Bennington, VT. In Sept, I am hiking from Pawling to GB, I have a shuttle lined up for $75 to Albany airport. There is also Uber in the area and busses.

  3. #3

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    MC/CT - Hartford, CT airport
    MA/VT - Albany, NY airport

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    If cost is a issue then a NYC airport would be most likely the best option though you will need to take the lowest forms of transport (bus/ subway) to actually save the money. Ground transportation costs really add up otherwise. Bus service to NYC area is always close by.

    Albany is a nice airport to fly out of if you live in the area, I don't know just how good it would be to get to from the trail and there is most likely more service to the much further NYC area. Though if you use a private shuttler that is a viable option.

  5. #5
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I've used both Albany and Boston to fly to/from hikes in NE. Boston is generally cheaper, and there are lots of buses into Boston, with a cheap shuttle (or free?) from the bus station to the airport. Direct flights from Boston to/from Denver are plentiful and generally cheap. I did my hotel night before the shuttle to Boston; Boston hotels ain't cheap!

    I started a big AT section in NJ, flew to Newark on SW airlines for dirt cheap, just over $100 direct from Denver, took a train to Port Jarvis NY, which is maybe 3 miles from the AT right about middle of New Jersey in terms of AT miles. I had also reversed this previously. I think I paid maybe $15 for a ride from Port Jarvis to the trail at Highpoint NJ.

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    If you can get to Albany (probably would be easiest if you were in the area of Pittsfield MA (Dalton or Cheshire on trail are both within a few miles and Pittsfield offers both bus lines to Albany (though you'd then have to transition to a city bus to get to the airport) and rental vehicle options (which could be costly one way but many companies have locations at the airport proper for convenience), Southwest offers one daily flight (late evening) that goes direct to Denver, which might (depending on where you are) allow you to make it all in one day from trail to airport (saving that hotel night cost to offset transit costs).
    Not sure exactly why that flight is nonstop (all others go via one or two stops from Albany, being a smaller airport) and it's not any more costly than others.

  7. #7

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    Wow, thank you for all this good information! I'm flying on Frequent Flyer miles but have to pay for hotels & shuttles. That's a good point about Boston hotels! Last year I hotel-ed & flew out of Newburgh, NY. There's a chance I might know someone who can drive me to the trail from Newburgh, but I may have to take an Uber or a shuttle. I think Newburgh is closer to the NY?NJ line than Newark, and it's certainly less intimidating than Newark! At least I know where I'm starting from. I'm thinking about the end of the trip. I hoped there might be a small gem of an airport, like I found with Newburgh last year, that's closer than Albany. My son went to school near Albany & I thought the hotels were expensive & it was not especially easy to fly in & out of there. Hartford seems too far away. Any airports in western Mass or southern Vermont? Or, is Albany my best bet?

    I'm encouraged by the $75 shuttle that was mentioned above. I will call shuttle companies. Thank you everyone!

  8. #8

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    If you could make it to Lee, MA there is a Peterpan bus which goes to Boston. It leaves Lee at about 10 AM, which is enough time to get there from the Upper Goose pond shelter and hitch to town if you get up early and skip the pancakes. Also ask the caretaker about the shortcut to the highway. It also gets to Boston early enough to make a connection at Logan for an early evening flight.

    Unfortunately, Lee is 180 miles from Greenwood lake so it's not likely you'd make it 10 or even 14 days. However, if you started at the Hudson instead of Greenwood, you'd probably have enough time. You'd miss the 18 miles of Agony Grind (which starts just past Greenwood lake) and Harriman/Bear mt state park, but you don't miss much by skipping that section.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    I actually live in Albany... maybe I could help you out for a pickup from the trail. I live only 1 to 1 1/2 hours from the trailheads in CT or MA. I only live 7 miles from the Albany airport.

    SOUTHWEST currently has a nonstop flight out of Albany directly to Denver at 7:30PM. Looks to be open in June, July and August 2018. If I picked you up from the Trail in the late morning, you could shower at my house and we’d take you to the airport.

    i’m retired so i’m fairly flexible... let me know your thoughts and we’ll go from there.

    Drew (Grumpy 2)

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    FYI... I’m just another AT section hiker, not a shuttle driver! Trail angel type stuff... paying it forward.

    Drew (Grumpy 2)

  11. #11

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    Thank you Grumpy2! I don't have dates yet & don't know if I'll have company yet. I will definitely keep you in mind.

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    Just for your information, I have a pickup truck, so I could accommodate multiple hikers and their gear.

    If you want to further this conversation out of the public domain, please email me anytime. My email address is in my profile. No rush on anything... my only commitment at this point is a moderate AT section hike in GA & NC for 2-3 weeks in the April.

    Good luck with your planning...

    Drew (Grumpy 2)

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    I hiked from NJ/NY (arrived via LaGuardia and Uber) to Cheshire, MA. In Cheshire, I was able to take a bus to Albany and get a flight out from there. Keep your options open, but watch where you might get off. (I almost hiked another day out of Cheshire, but that would have cost me around $50 more for a shuttle to get me to the bus station....).

  14. #14
    Registered User StichBurly's Avatar
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    To Hike
    I think fly into Newark or NYC what ever suits you best. Then take train or bus to greenwood lakes. There is a trail that takes you from town to the AT its less than 2 miles long.

    Home trip
    fly fly out of Boston. All of Ct, Mass, and Vt are connected by bus it's easy to get to Boston from almost any of the trail towns.

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