Aug 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm #1306436
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 :(.
ThanksAug 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm #2014499
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
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.Aug 12, 2013 at 9:20 am #2014579
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
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.
(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?Aug 12, 2013 at 9:28 am #2014580
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.Aug 12, 2013 at 11:38 am #2014615
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?Aug 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm #2014718
@byeagerLocale: New England
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.Aug 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm #2014726
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.Aug 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm #2014825
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.Aug 13, 2013 at 4:43 am #2014862
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.Aug 13, 2013 at 5:44 am #2014869
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 2Aug 13, 2013 at 7:00 am #2014890
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.Aug 13, 2013 at 8:40 am #2014911
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.Aug 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm #2015264
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.Aug 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm #2016730
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.Aug 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm #2016772
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.Aug 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm #2016983
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. :)Aug 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm #2017153
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.Aug 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm #2017451
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.Aug 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm #2017467
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.Aug 22, 2013 at 4:59 am #2017518
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.Aug 22, 2013 at 6:15 am #2017526
You know that Greenleaf hut is pretty expensive($100/night) and looks like it is full for fri and saturday.
The Huts are not normal campsite/shelters.. they are basically hotels
since you can do the whole loop.. park at the Flume trailhead 5.3ish, from Liberty springs to kinsman looks like 11mi.. not horrible. 7mi day 2 for an out and back to both Kinsmans and back and back the Kinsman pond trail or fishin jimmy trail 7-8miAug 22, 2013 at 9:10 am #2017570
Hrmm that's a lot of backtracking, i think i'd rather do the Franconia Ridge. I could do my original hike, but then stay overnight at the Lafayette Campground and then do a day hike out to Lonesome Lake or something. Don't love the plan though.Aug 22, 2013 at 10:07 am #2017590
For Franconia/Pemigewasset, two of my favorite spots to stay are 13 Falls and Guyot Shelter. I've stayed at Guyot Shelter and had the whole place to myself besides the caretaker. 13 Falls has great swimming holes. You can avoid some of the thru-hiker highway and the hut-to-hutters. Go up via the AT (Liberty Spring), walk the ridge, then cut down to 13 Falls via Franconia Brook for night one. Day two, head up Twin Brook, check out the Twins, set up camp at Guyot, and then hike over to Zealand Mtn in the afternoon, or if you're feeling it, Zealand Falls (very pretty). Day three, do the Bondcliff Trail (gorgeous ridge), walk along the Pemi River on the Wilderness Trail (more swimming!), then cut over on Osseo and go down Flume to the parking lot.
There are so many great loops in the Whites, you can't go wrong.Aug 22, 2013 at 10:54 am #2017603
ooooo now this sounds interesting. Thanks a lot. What do you guesstimate the mileages per day to be? Looks like 10 or so? I'm ok with that, but prob wouldn't want to push too far beyond unless its relatively easy terrain. I guess my only real sufferfest experience is Mt. Washington in the winter, but even that was probably only 9-10hrs of hiking and for only one day.
I'm currently digging around for more info. I can't find a good map online, but will certainly map it out when i get home. Nothing like plan changes the night before the trip :P
EDIT: Found a caltopo map. I wonder if i did a counterclockwise loop going from LibertySprings/Mt. Flume around to Guyot. That's be the longest haul which is good for the first day.
Second day i'd go from Guyot to Garfield Ridge Shelter.
Third day i'd go Garfield Ridge Shelter back down the Franconia Ridge to Liberty Springs.
I'd miss out on 13 Falls, though. I can't find a nice way to divide this up into thirds…Aug 22, 2013 at 11:06 am #2017606
yea, out and back from S. Kinsman is a bit but not really bad since you could leave your gear at the campsite.
doing the Pemi loop in 3 days is doable too. up and down S. twin and up/down Garfield is work for sure.
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