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  1. #1
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    10-07-2014
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    Branford, CT
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    Default Off-trail camping near Jug End?

    We have a very small group of scouts that will be hiking the AT for a weekend in a couple of weeks and I was hoping I could locate a campground relatively near Jug End that we could stage at on Friday night (probably late) such that we can get up and get hiking early. Otherwise, we lose 2 hours driving just to get to the trail. Anyone have any suggestions of a place within 20-30 minutes (closer the better)? I have sent inquiries to the two commercial campgrounds I found, but they require two nights and charge per head above 4 (and we will have a group total of 9 I think).

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
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    01-25-2013
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    Upstate NY
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    Default

    The closest state campground is actually in NY (but almost on the border) - Taconic State Park (be sure if searching you specify Taconic, as there is also a Lake Taghkanic which is in the same county but not nearly as close).

    Looking quickly, they do seem to have sites for just one night but not many left in the next few weeks.

    Alternatively, depending on when you would be able to arrive (being it stays light reasonably late this time of year), there is a site just off the AT at Race Brook (about 4 miles south via AT of Jug End) that can be accessed by a side trail off (a bit over a mile, and a climb getting there) that has a group campsite option.

    The next two closest state campgrounds are probably Beartown State Forest and October Mountain State Forest (both in MA) - no idea if they have sites or minimums on nights/people etc.

    While we hike on the AT fairly often with our group, being in NY and within an hour of most accesses in MA we rarely need to use these types of camps in that area (we did do a family campout @ Taconic many years ago - they have large wooden platforms for most of the sites).

  3. #3

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    AMC has a lodge near Bear Mt. close to Sages Ravine (ct) you could try them and there is a cabin near Mt. Alander (Wash. State Forest) which is neaby Jug End.

  4. #4

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    You didn't say if you were hiking north or south from Jug End Road, presumably you are looking for a campsite to house 9 or so campers for a night before starting out early the next day. MA and CT requires the use of established campsites for all hikers on the AT, which limits options and may require a rethinking of the route direction or starting point.

    Housatonic Meadows is a CT State Park that has camping areas located on Rt 7 (roughly abeam from Pine Knob on the AT) in CT. From there its probably a 45 minute drive to parking at Jug End Road. You would have to contact the Park to check on reservations. There may be some other State parks allowing camping between Rt 4 and Jug End, but I am not aware of any and this may be the best place to stay that gets you within an hour of the trail head you need.

    For a north push up the AT, the Plateau Campsite just up AT from the Rt 41 trail crossing in Salisbury that shows on some AT maps would have been a good choice, but I believe has closed due to misuse and vandalism, though there was some talk of locating another campsite a little further up the trail I am not sure if that ever materialized. Someone here may know if there is a new site in that area.

    The Tom Leonard Camping area is about 12 trail miles north of Jug End (about a mile and half south of Buel Lake rd), has a large shelter, two tent platforms and two tent pads. There is no group campsite here but may fit your needs if not crowded. if you are heading south, this may not work well as a jump off point, but if heading north it may work.

    The Glenn Brook/Hemlock camping areas are about 4 miles south of Jug End, though there are no group camping accommodations, the group can split there if necessary as the two camping areas are close together. It would require a fair hike to reach from Jug End road given the altitude gain and terrain, but would get you onto the AT north of Mt. Everett if you are heading south on the trail.

    Camping areas, including group areas along the AT south of Everett are located roughly every 3 to 7 miles through to Rt. 41 in Salisbury.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    10-07-2014
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    Branford, CT
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    Thanks everyone for the information provided.

    We are indeed looking to get close to the trail so we can get an early start. We would be coming in Friday night very late, so I was looking for an off-AT camping area we could just crash at. I realize now that "off-trail" has more than one meaning, I meant a camping location within a short drive of Jug End.

    I did find a commercial camp ground that looks like will be willing to take us, so fingers crossed that will work!

    Thanks again!

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