Easy one nighter in New England?
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Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Easy one nighter in New England? on 08/11/2013 18:30:56 MDT Print View

Hello all,

I'm mostly a day hiker and occasional car camper. I want to get out there and do some backpacking! I tend to stick to the White Mountains, but I'm up for anything within a few hours from Boston. Its pretty hard to camp in the White Mountains besides at a shelter so I'll have to venture out.

I figure I should do an easy one night'er to run through the gear, and work out the kinks in my routine. Do you guys have any recommendations?

It would be nice to do a dry run in the backyard, but living in the city I don't have a back yard :(.

Thanks

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Easy one nighter in New England on 08/11/2013 19:27:28 MDT Print View

You mean the White Mtns. in NH? Seems to me the Adirondacks would be closer to you. I'm no expert on that area. I did to one trip over Algonquin Peak and down through Avalanche Pass, very nice place but rugged. Bear canisters are required.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Greylock on 08/12/2013 10:20:57 MDT Print View

The Moneybrook Falls/ The Hopper loop is a classic Greylock hike that is perfect for an easy overmnighter. In fact, it was one of my first backpacking trips.

http://www.troop-63.com/Forms/Maps/Mt%20Greylock%20Suggested%20Hikes.pdf

(Called Greylock in the Round)

The Hopper has some rare New England old-growth forests, too.


From Boston to the TH it is perhaps 2.5 hrs?

Edited by PaulMags on 08/12/2013 10:22:41 MDT.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
long trip on 08/12/2013 10:28:36 MDT Print View

The Adirondacks are beautiful, i grew up in Plattsburgh, NY. They're a good 4-5 hours away from Boston, though.

The White Mountains in NH are 1:45-2hours. Then there's the Long Trail and northern VT which i haven't hiked before. That's 2-4 hours. I've also never been to the Berkshires. Lots to explore.

I guess i'm looking for a proven trail in the area that allows tent camping, is relatively easy physically, and will just allow me to get out and run through all the gear. Once that's worked out I plan to do some 2 nighters, then three, and so forth.

Edited by TXBDan on 08/12/2013 10:50:47 MDT.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Greylock on 08/12/2013 12:38:04 MDT Print View

Thanks, Paul, that looks like a great suggestion. From what I've gathered so far the 'Greylock in the Round' loop has some great views and doesn't seem too difficult based on distance and elevation over two days. The driving distance would also fit into a drive, hike, camp, hike, drive in two days schedule.

I see Mt. Greylock has some primitive hike-to camp grounds. What i can't find out is if camping elsewhere is legal? Do i have to stay at the campground or am I free to pull off the trail and pitch a tent anywhere?

Edited by TXBDan on 08/12/2013 12:40:01 MDT.

Brendan Yeager
(byeager) - M

Locale: New England
+1 for Greylock on 08/12/2013 17:20:39 MDT Print View

Good to see another Masshole on here! I agree that Greylock would be a great choice for an easy one-nighter. It is almost mandatory for any backpacker from Boston to do the state's high point. That being said, you can drive to the top in the summer, which makes for a pretty crowded summit during high season weekends (not Mt Washington crowded, but still more crowded than a summit has any business being). I believe camping is restricted to desginated sites, bit there are sites other than the pack-in campground. If you can pull off a mid-week trip you would have a much easier time finding a private place to camp and you could avoid the summit crowds.
I also definitely recommend the Long Trail in VT when you are ready for something a bit longer.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: +1 for Greylock on 08/12/2013 17:48:27 MDT Print View

Great, Greylock is definitely on the short list.

Another hike I found is a loop around Mt. Liberty and possibly Mt. Flume. The Liberty Spring Trail has a tentsite and it would check two more 4,000ft'ers off the list.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: +1 for Greylock on 08/12/2013 23:07:56 MDT Print View

I went across liberty and flume (among many others) today and that would be a great choice. great views on all sides.

Me and the gf stayed at one of the shelters near Greylock.. there was tent sites there also. I'm not sure how busy they usually are, we had the place to ourselves since it was a bit rainy and it was that weird weekend it snowed on top.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Franconia on 08/13/2013 05:43:03 MDT Print View

Do you think Liberty and Flume is too short for an overnight? Seems like its only a 6 hour hike. I don't want to get back to camp too early and be bored all evening. :) Then again my mission objective is a short/easy hike simply to test things out. I stray so easily.

After doing more research I'm tempted to do the whole traverse. I could go Liberty Spring to the tentsite, setup camp, leave it there and do Liberty and Flume, come back, stay the night. Then the next morning do Lincoln and Lafayette around CCW and walk down the bike path back to the car.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Franconia on 08/13/2013 06:44:04 MDT Print View

Sounds good to me.. I just did the entire pemi loop in a day so my views on what a good length is is skewed ;)

Depending on your scrambling abilities with a pack you could do Flume Slide up then down to libery springs.. then do your proposed day 2

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: Franconia on 08/13/2013 08:00:02 MDT Print View

How busy do you think the tentsite will be? I'm worried about the AT folks coming through this time of year. Heading straight to camp to setup and then hike Liberty and Flume would help ensure i get a spot. It'd be easier to just do the loop though.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Franconia on 08/13/2013 09:40:37 MDT Print View

it's always a crapshoot.. if you are going on a weekend it's the weekend warriors you should be worried about not the thru hikers haha.

Another option could be to do Cannon from the tram parking lot up Kinsman ridge trail to Kinsman pond shelter. then do an out and back for N and S kinsman then go outFishin' jimmy trail past lonesome lake hut. that would be like 5-6mi first day 7-8mi 2nd day unless you spotted car at Lafayette Place which would take off 2 miles of the pemi trail to get back to the tram.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Franconia on 08/14/2013 14:41:55 MDT Print View

I'm 95% settled on doing the whole Franconia ridge. I'll stay on a Friday night which is hopefully a little less busy than Saturday. I think I'll just do the loop CCW and stop for the night when i get to the Liberty Springs tentsite. I'll try to park a little northward and walk down the bike trail a bit the first day so i don't have as far to walk back. I think parking at the basin parking lot might work. There is also the shuttle, but it looks like its last run through here is at 2:30pm which is probably too early.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
The route on 08/19/2013 19:55:03 MDT Print View

Here's my latest greatest plan:

Friday morning arrive at The Basin parking lot and start hiking at 11am. I'll down the bike path to Liberty Springs Trail, to Flume Slide Trail, to Mt. Flume summit. Then I'll head down Franconia Ridge Trail to Mt. Liberty. Then down Liberty Springs Trail to the Liberty Springs Tentsite.

Total distance: 6.73 miles, Book time: 5:15. I'm always ahead of book time so i should surely be to camp by 4. I'll have plenty of time to setup in the daylight and then wonder how I'll kill the next five hours. I'm thinking about bringing a textbook (1.5lbs don't ban me) and doing some studying. I'm going back to Engineering grad school part time and should probably get ahead.

Anyway, I'm only packing the tent's fly, footprint, and poles. I got some utility cord that I can use to tie the tent down to the wooden platform anchors. I'm planning to bring 20ft so 5ft per corner if need be. I'll relax, cook dinner, wait a bit, and then cook up some dessert.

The next morning I'll probably be up early, pack up and be on the trail by 8. I'll head up to Mt. Lincoln, the Mt. Lafayette, and then down the Greenleaf Trail, then down Old Bridle Path. From the OBP trailhead, I'll walk down the bike path to The Basin parking lot.

Total distance: 9.9 miles, book time: 6hrs. So I should be back to the car by 4 and be back in Boston by 6.

Sound like a plan?

I've been updating my gear list. I'm at 10.5lbs not counting food or water or textbook. 12.5lbs with food. Sounds pretty reasonable.

http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=14804

Edited by TXBDan on 08/19/2013 20:02:01 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: The route on 08/19/2013 21:51:51 MDT Print View

Sounds good.

I say wake up a bit earlier on day 2 and take a side trip out to Lonesome Lake instead of taking the bike path back. 2mi/1 hr extra but a pretty nice spot. I wake up around 5am in the woods so i'm up anyway. plus it gets dark at 8 so you'll be in bed early most likely.

remember there is no water along the franconia ridge so you have nothing from L.springs to Greenleaf hut.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: The route on 08/20/2013 15:07:04 MDT Print View

That sounds like a good add-on.

I'll be sure to stock up on water before i leave Liberty Springs. I'll have two 32oz Gatorade bottles, that should be plenty considering the second day is a net elevation loss.

Man, the weather is going to be so nice I'm tempted to make this a 2 nighter. Probably shouldn't push my luck, though. :)

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: The route on 08/20/2013 22:44:58 MDT Print View

Could see how you feel.. go stay at Kinsman pond shelter/campsite.. really awesome shelter, practically new. hit up Kinsman and S kinsman and Cannon maybe.

another dinner and a few more snacks doesnt weight too much more.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: Re: Re: The route on 08/21/2013 20:23:59 MDT Print View

Man, that'd make a nice loop for sure. Seriously thinking about it.

One possible issue is that i went for a trail run yesterday with my new trail runners and i think they're too small. I went and bought a size up today, but they're too big. Neither are just right and it might bite me later on. I might bail on them and revert to my trusty boots, especially if I do three days.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The route on 08/21/2013 21:11:50 MDT Print View

If i hadn't just gone up there i'd go with ya haha. I might do a day hike between climbing next weekend with my GF.

yea, if your shoes don't fit right then it's not worth it. I sent back the Vasque's i ordered. the toe box was way too sloppy. I like really snug shoes that feel like they are attached since i'm used to climbing shoes.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
2 nighter on 08/22/2013 05:59:47 MDT Print View

Ha, well compared to climbing shoes, these feel pretty awesome. My gf and some friends climb indoors almost every weekend. I kind of fell off the wagon, I don't think I'm in good enough shape at the moment.

I decided I'm going to do two nights. Why not, eh? I'll pick up some more food and stick with my boots that work, add another pair of socks, and i should be good to go.

I'll need to arrive earlier the first day though and probably hike to the Greenleaf hut. Stay there and at Kinsman. I'll plan it out some more at work if i have time or this evening.