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Thread: camping spot near Zealand Hut

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    Junior Member cathyf's Avatar
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    Question camping spot near Zealand Hut

    I'd like to camp near Zealand hut - too expensive to stay there - and it looks like somewhere near the junction of the A-Z trail and the Zealand trail would work - advice anyone? I'll be going up Zealand trail after work and I won't have time to make it to Guyot, my destination on Saturday.

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    Yes, there is a bootleg site before the climb up to the trail. If you can't find it, the hut crew should be able to direct you to it.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Follow the AT northbound from the Zealand/Ethan Pond Junction and there is a monster site right after the FPA. Impossible to miss.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    There's also a couple large site on the Ethan Pond Tr. within .25 miles of the junction. Basically in the area I circled.

    Joe

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    Junior Member cathyf's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the good beta!

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    There are also sites just north of the AZ trail along the west shore of the pond on Zealand Trail.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    There's also a couple large site on the Ethan Pond Tr. within .25 miles of the junction. Basically in the area I circled.

    Joe and I are talking about the same spot.
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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    There's a smaller, quieter, harder to find spot before you get to the Ethan Pond Trail. Very hard to see from the trail, but cut into the woods just before the intersection and it's there. The other spot mentioned is good, but I always see people in it.

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that posting stuff like this has led to the FS closing down sites for revegitation in the past. I'm sure they're already aware of the sites but they tend to frown on too much attention being directed to them.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Keep in mind that posting stuff like this has led to the FS closing down sites for revegitation in the past. I'm sure they're already aware of the sites but they tend to frown on too much attention being directed to them.
    I do consider that, but the site I've referenced is on the AT and receives significant use. I'm surprised AMC hasn't tried to turn it into a tent site. The nice part about it is that it's close enough to still use the hut's bathrooms (mitigating some of the impact). FS might prefer to leave it open since it reduces the 'demand' for camping at Thoreau Falls.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail (Pemi District)

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    Junior Member cathyf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Keep in mind that posting stuff like this has led to the FS closing down sites for revegitation in the past. I'm sure they're already aware of the sites but they tend to frown on too much attention being directed to them.
    I appreciate your concern and warning; I was hoping to find a site that has had some use so as to avoid new impact.

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    That Ethan Pond Trail site is very well known and publicized. The hut croo will direct people there and it's been on a list of AT stealth sites that's been floating around forever. I've seen literally dozens of people there on some nights. I'd avoid it just based on probably having company.

  13. #13
    Junior Member cathyf's Avatar
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    Would I head toward the pond or on the other side of the trail, away from the pond?

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    The site I stayed at in August was across the trail from the pond. Pretty obvious herd path up the slope to a descent sized clearing.

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    I don't believe real backpackers are abusing these sites, and so publicizing them is no big deal. My understanding is that the FS's petty revenge "revegetation" strategy has pretty much been abandoned.

    The problem is that as the paths beaten into them are becoming more obvious, less experienced/educated/civilized hikers are taking advantage of the privacy afforded and using the sites as toilets. Instead of just crapping right off the trails as usual, they're going into the sites and depositing right in the middle, always that perfect flat spot where you wanted to set down your sleeping bag. I'm particularly noticing it on the old logging/tote roads; you take about 20-30 steps in and there it is, neatly centered, with white decoration.

    I've always thought that brushing in the paths to these sites was kind of silly but I've come to appreciate the wisdom
    Last edited by Will; 10-23-2017 at 02:20 PM.

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