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Breakheart Dan
11-08-2013, 05:22 PM
I'm in the beginning stages of planning a southbound through hike of the MA Mid-State trail in the spring/summer of 2014. After briefly reviewing the trail guide, I see three areas where resources and information are lacking.

1. Shelters are improperly placed for through hikers.

Five shelters appear to be an adequate number for a 92 mile trail but their spacing makes them nearly useless. There is a 35 mile stretch between shelter 1 and 2 and a 37 mile stretch between shelter 4 and 5 yet shelters 3 and 4 are only 3 miles apart. See below.

S1 - 10.08 M
S2 - 45.05 M
S3 - 51.91 M
S4 - 54.83 M
S5 - 91.57 M

Not all shelters are near a water source and none have privys.

2. Water sources are not identified.

Water sources on the trail are not identified in the trail guide and the map scale is too small making it difficult to locate smaller streams/brooks. Perhaps water is so abundance there is no need to mention it in the guide?

3. No mention of resupply points.

Although the trail crosses many roads there is no mention of any stores, gas stations, etc nearby where you can resupply.

I'm looking for assistance from anyone familiar with this trail who can help me with the following.

1. Any areas to stealth camp (or inexpensive off-trail lodging) between S1 and S2 and between S4 and S5.

2. Location of/distance between reliable water sources.

3. Places to resupply near the trail. (Hitchhiking is illegal in Massachusetts)


Thanks for any information you may have.

BHD

Jeff List
11-08-2013, 07:24 PM
As far as I can tell, hitchhiking IS legal in Massachusetts, except on the turnpike and other limited access highways.

RoySwkr
11-09-2013, 10:11 AM
As far as I can tell, hitchhiking IS legal in Massachusetts, except on the turnpike and other limited access highways.
I've certainly done it often enough in years gone by, but if the person wishes to avoid it that's not unusual

backpackingengineer
11-10-2013, 04:21 PM
There are a few journal entries out there that might help. Do a Google search for "Massachusetts MidState Trail Thru-hike".

Once example is: http://friends.backcountry.net/m_factor/midstatewapack.html

As your trip nears feel free to contact me as I live nearby and might be able to help if the timing is right.

As a side note, I've been thinking of doing a trail run of the MidState in the Spring or Summer so I might be able to offer more info after that. I actually just ran a few miles of the trail near Wachusett Mountain this past weekend. I enjoyed the section quite a bit.

http://www.backpackingengineer.com

Breakheart Dan
11-11-2013, 07:18 PM
As your trip nears feel free to contact me as I live nearby and might be able to help if the timing is right.


Thanks for the offer to assist. I'll def keep you in mind and thanks for the links

backpackingengineer
12-01-2013, 03:59 PM
Thanks for the offer to assist. I'll def keep you in mind and thanks for the links

Just as an update. I decided to string together a few hikes and runs of the trail this winter. I actually started this weekend. I plan to update my site with info so be sure to keep an eye out for updates. Here is the link to the first day: http://www.backpackingengineer.com/blog.php/59