National Scenic Trails - Appalachian Trail
|The Appalachian Trail|
In its 281 miles across Maine, the Trail, marked throughout with vertical white-paint blazes, passes through an extensive wilderness at a great distance from towns and cities. The Katahdin region at the northern terminus is outstanding.
The Trail in Maine may be roughly divided into three segments:
1) The 120-mile eastern segment from Katahdin to Monson is characterized by disconnected mountains, lakes, ponds, streams, and pleasing forest growth. Easy to travel, it is the most isolated except at the termini.
2) The second segment, from Blanchard to Mt. Bigelow, is of historic interest. The first part involves more exertion, but the remainder affords the easiest travel in Maine.
3) The western segment is an area of rugged, steep, 4,000-foot mountains with many ascents and descents. Opportunities for canoeing and swimming are features of the Trail in Maine.
Much frequented and well known, the White Mountain region and the White Mountain National Forest are the main features of the Trail in New Hampshire. Trails of the Appalachian Mountain Club are followed for the most part. Much of the trail is above timberline, where temperatures may change suddenly. A trip here requires intelligent planning and you should allow ample time. The connecting link between the Green and White mountains, the Dartmouth Outing Club section of the Trail, passes through broken terrain of alternating mountains and valleys east of the Connecticut River.
West of the Connecticut River to the Green Mountains, the route is through high, rugged country of abandoned and overgrown farmlands and woodlands. From Sherburne Pass south, the Trail follows the lower 101.3 miles of the Green Mountain Club's famed Long Trail along the crest of the Green Mountains.
The Trail here leads through a series of wooded areas and valleys in the Berkshire Hills. Mts. Greylock and Everett are outstanding Trail features in Massachusetts.
The route through Connecticut meanders among the worn-down remnants of a much loftier mountain range and presents greatly varied scenery. Main features are the Housatonic Valley and the Taconic Range.
New York and New Jersey
From Connecticut to the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey. The Trail's terrain is less wild than to the north. Palisades Interstate Park is much-frequented. Along the Kittatinny Ridge the Trail is rugged and more remote than elsewhere in these states.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
Appalachian Trail - Massachusetts Highlights
- Trail Stats: 90.2 Trail Miles, 9 Hiker Shelters, Upper Goose Cabin
- Massachusetts is where most northbound hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT) notice that the large rolling hills are now starting to look and feel more like mountains. At 2,642 feet, Mount Everett, just a few miles from the Connecticut border, is a serious climb. Don’t miss a cleansing swim in the mighty Housatonic River, surrounded on both sides by dark evergreens.
- The state also boasts some interesting wildlife. Every hiker’s sworn enemy, the mosquito, appears to be more prevalent than at points in the south. Lucky hikers may catch a glimpse of one of the many porcupines in the region, in their never-ending quest for salt—if you wake up to the sensation of something licking your face, don’t swat at it. Moose sightings are also possible, but are considerably rare.
- Recommended 3- to 5-Day Trip: This moderately difficult trip starts out strong, with a challenging climb up the north side of 3,492-foot Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. While there, climb the stone tower to take in views of several nearby mountain ranges. From here you travel through a variety of terrains in the western part of the state, including some impressive bogs (and as a result, you’ll find some impressive mosquitoes). Less than ten miles from the end, the trail crosses over I-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike, which is a different sort of thrill. Try to spend the last night at Upper Goose Pond Cabin, where you can take relaxing swims in the pond of the same name before heading an easy seven final miles to the finish. A resident caretaker brings fresh water to the cabin during the summer months, while the fireplace and covered porch bring the trip to a relaxing conclusion. Directions: Massachusetts 2 near North Adams, south to Jerusalem Road near Tyringham.
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion (Appalachian Trail Conservancy)
Appalachian Trail: Georgia | North Carolina | Tennessee | Virginia | West Virginia | Maryland | Pennsylvania | New Jersey | New York | Connecticut | Massachusetts | Vermont | New Hampshire | Maine
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