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  1. #1

    Default HELP with starting Section Hike Near Dalton/Great Barrington MA in August

    Starting a NOBO Section Hike the end of August. Any area hikers have an opinion if I should fly into Albany or Logan. From what I can tell, lots more transportation options from Logan, but a much further trip. Albany is closer, but having a harder time figuring out how to get to the trail.

    Thanks for any recommendations.

    Barefoot Sumo

  2. #2

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    There's Greyhound Service from Albany to Lee, MA.

    From Boston to Pittsfield Ma there is Amtrak service, as well as Albany to Pittsfield.

    Bus service in Great Barrington using Concord Trailways.

    It's a little farther to get to there from Boston so will add time to your trip. Often cheaper to flow to Boston than many surrounding airports. Albany is not that far if you didn't mind a shuttle, the price might not be too bad and it would be the quickest.

    There's also train service to Albany from NY on Amtrak. Train is my favorite way to travel though so I am always looking to ride the train.
    "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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  3. #3

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    Thanks alligator, I'm flying Southwest with points, so Albany is actually cheaper than Boston. Train sounds fun, we don't get that option often in Texas.

  4. #4

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    I do shuttles for hikers (find me on the Shuttle provider list at mile 1451.8). If you wanted to consider Bradley (BDL, Hartford/Springfield; Southwest flys there) I could shuttle you from there to Great Barrington. It makes a shorter loop for me than Albany. You can contact me via text or email from listing or pm me here if that might be of interest.

    If you are planning a round-trip in and out of the same airport, Bradley may not be the best choice depending on how far north you are going...

  5. #5
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    Just a couple things to take into account. If you fly into Albany and want to take the train from there to Pittsfield, the train station is actually in Rensselaer (across the river from downtown Albany, a few mile trip from the airport which is actually in Colonie).

    You may be able to use local buses (CDTA) or taxi/Uber etc. to get from one to the other.

    As to the train itself, they only go from Rensselaer towards Boston once a day, which leaves Rensselaer around 3pm, so that would be a timing thing with your flight.

    There are also buses from Albany to Pittsfield (Greyhound/ Peter Pan/Trailways possibly) but their current schedules don't look much better than the train (they used to be faster than the train from Albany-Boston and more frequent, but it looks like they probably cut back and haven't increased schedules yet.

    Once you get into Pittsfield, there is a local bus system (Berkshire Regional Transit) that connects to several other towns where access to the trail may be feasible (some of these require coordinating a couple rides and possibly still a distance to the trail, though).

    So, not impossible, but it may be a bit time consuming (may even need a night in Pittsfield unless you want to start hiking in the evening).

  6. #6
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    Flying into Logan and getting a shuttle/ ride to the trail is your most direct timely approach to this area of trail.

    I am always so surprised by the bus/ train suggestions. I have entertained these methods several times and for my situations it was going to take 24+ hours of travel time to get to the trail for comparably the same cost as just flying/ driving.

    The only exclusion to the above statement I found on the entire trail was the Dartmouth Coach that I took to and from Hanover, NH.

    I could also see that taking the train from NYC to Warwick, NY could be a realistic and timely approach.
    Trail Miles: 4,317.5 - AT Trips: 72
    AT Map 1: 2193.1 Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 270.2
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 167.0
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  7. #7

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    Well actually Gambit Albany's closer in this case. I'd guess maybe you didn't map it because it is 56 miles vs 138. Which is 86 miles roughly $100 extra on the shuttle. But I kid you not, I ran a Boston to Pittsfield Amtrak ticket for 7/20 and it was $9 coach.

    It all depends on individual circumstances: distance, money, time. There's a point where the distance isn't really conducive to anything but at least a flight if your time is limited and money is no object. But you can also save money for just a little bit of cost in time, depending on where you are going. Different keys to doing that such as beginning and ending at rail and bus hubs, finding reasonable transit departure and arrival times, buying tickets in advance, and catching deals.

    Not dealing with airport travel prep, almost priceless!
    "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

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  8. #8

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    thanks gambit. I'm ending my hike in hanover and planning to use the Dartmouth Coach then.

  9. #9

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    As others have said, fly into Albany. I did this in Sept '20 and used Vic LaPort to shuttle me. He can take you from baggage claim to the trailhead. It obviously costs more that public transit but very convenient and your money goes to another hiker. Vic is a great guy despite being a Giants fan.

    This option could also enable you to start at any trailhead in the area, not necessary the one most accessible to public transport.

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