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Appalachian Trail

AMC-Berkshire's 'Massachusetts Appalachian Trail Management Committee' is responsible for the maintenance, management, and protection of the almost 90 miles of Appalachian Trail within Massachusetts, coordinating the extensive volunteer effort that keeps the trail open and beautiful. We work in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the National Park Service (NPS).

For trail updates, see below.

April to September, we organize regular work parties for maintenance and improvement of the footbed, trail shelters, signs, and so on. Projects vary in complexity, but all include activities for both first timers and seasoned maintainers, so please check out the season's schedule of trail work days (download from our AT Getting Involved page) and then contact a project leader to join in the fun. No experience is necessary to participate!

We also have some open positions for regular trail maintainers. If you're interested, see AT Getting Involved. Our committee meets regularly at the Mt. Greylock Visitors' Center in Lanesboro, MA.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's monthly newsletter for the volunteers of the Appalachian Trail, their agency partners, and others interested in the stewardship of the Trail is posted online. *The Register*, can be found at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/what-we-do/trail-management-support/volunteer_toolkit/the-register.

This web site has some basic information about hiking on the AT and a list of AT shelters and campsites in Massachusetts. For much much more information about the trail, see the many excellent web sites about the AT.

Massachusetts AT on Facebook Massachusetts AT on Facebook

AT News & Announcements

AT Trail Maintaining and Shelter Adopting

Trail maintainers keep the footpath free of obstructions such as brush, and fallen trees. They also keep the white paint blazes that mark the AT fresh and easy to see. Shelter adopters take care of a particular shelter along the trail.

A Maintainer typically takes care of a 2-5 mile section of the Trail, visiting it 2 or 3 times a year. Weather, such as a severe storm, may require more frequent visits to assess and repair any damage. If damage is extensive, a work party will assist the Maintainer in getting the Trail open in a timely, safe manner. For more information see our Guidelines for Maintainers (About PDF files).

Shelter adopters have similar duties, except they take care of a particular shelter instead of a trail section. For more information see our Guidelines for Shelter Adopters (About PDF files).

If you're interested in adopting a trail section or shelter and want to find out more, you can contact us at or talk to our Volunteer Coordinator, Cosmo Catalano at (at.volunteer.coord@amcberkshire.org, 413.822.0094).

Trail and Site Monitoring on the AT

Boundary and Corridor Monitoring

Boundary and corridor monitors are volunteers who keep AT Corridor lands free from boundary encroachment and misuse. They also serve as an information source for trail neighbors (abutters) with questions or concerns about AT lands.

Monitors are not responsible for enforcement. Their task is to observe and report. Typically this means an annual or semiannual visit to "their" section of corridor lands and a simple one page report. On rare occasions, serious encroachments are discovered. Once reported by a monitor, follow-up is handled by Committee volunteers (Monitor Coordinators), the Appalachian Trail Committee, and in rare cases a National Park Service ranger.

Natural, Cultural, and Historic Site Monitoring

The AT Corridor lands are home to a surprising number of rare, threatened, and endangered species. They also encompass many historical and cultural sites, ranging from colonial mines and kilns to Native American settlement areas. Some of our volunteers are also county monitors.

We currently have more sites than volunteers. Monitoring such a site typically entails a yearly visit to the site and a brief, one page form to mail in. Most of these sites are off the foot path on AT Corridor lands, and may require some bush-whacking to get to.

Volunteers for monitoring rare, threatened, and endangered plant species are needed. Contact Steve Smith, Natural Heritage Coordinator for more information, (stevenhsmith.smith@gmail.com, 978.821.2916).

Getting Involved

If you're interested in monitoring and want to find out more, you can contact us at at@amcberkshire.org or talk to our Volunteer Coordinator, Cosmo Catalano (at.volunteer.coord@amcberkshire.org, 413.822.0094).

Activity: 

Getting Involved on the AT

The AT is your trail. It is primarily cared for by volunteers like yourself, not by paid professionals. Volunteers contribute over 6,000 hours of work every year in the Berkshires alone. Without this kind of support from Georgia through Massachusetts to Maine, the trail would quickly become impassable and would cease to exist.

To help out, check our schedule of events for AT trail work days 2018 schedule available here, look for a project that fits your schedule and interests, and call the project leader. (You may simply show up at the project site, but since plans occasionally change at the last minute, please check the online schedule for the latest updates or call us first.) We also encourage you to visit our blog about our work projects at: http://massatprojects.blogspot.com/. The work can be challenging, but it's rewarding and always fun. And your contribution definitely makes a difference! If you are interested in becoming a regular trail monitor or maintainer, see our pages on Trail Monitoring and Trail and Shelter Maintaining. We hope to see you out there! Jim Pelletier Chair, Berkshire AT Committee

Campsites and Shelters on the Mass AT

This is a list of campsites and shelters on the Massachusetts portion of the Appalachian Trail, listed from north to south.

Sherman Brook Campsite: 1.8 miles north of Mass Avenue, North Adams

• 4 tent platforms
• Privy
• Bear box
• Water at spring or brook

Wilbur Clearing: 0.3 miles west on Money Brook Falls Trail, 0.5 miles north of Notch Rd.

• Small shelter
• 4 tent platforms
• Moldering Privy
• Bear Box
• Water source down hill in front of shelter

Noepel Shelter: 2.8 miles south of Rockwell Rd.

• Large Shelter
• 3 tent platforms
• Moldering Privy
• Bear Box
• Water 0.2 miles down blue blaze trail to left of shelter

Crystal Mountain Campsite: 3.7 miles north of Gulf Road, Dalton

• Five tent pads
• Privy
• Water source crosses AT just north of side trail to campsite

Kay Wood Shelter: 0.3 miles south of Grange Hall Road, Dalton

• Large Shelter
• Moldering Privy
• Bear box
• Water Source right out of shelter down to small stream

October Mountain Shelter: 0.7 mile south of West Branch Road, Hinsdale

• Large Shelter
• Moldering Privy
• Bear Box
• Water source crosses AT just south of campsite

Upper Goose Pond Cabin: On 0.5 mile side trail 1.6 miles south of Route 20, Lee

• Cabin is open with a volunteer caretaker in attendance from May 14th to October 23rd. Cabin is closed when no caretaker is present.
• Prior to opening hikers may use the campsites on the approach trail to the cabin and behind the cabin.
• 5 tent platforms are available year round
• 2 Moldering privys, 1 regular Privy
• Bear box

Shaker Campsite: 0.3 miles north of Fernside Rd., Tyringham

• 2 tent platforms
• Privy
• Bear box
• Water is at AT stream crossing 100 yards north of campsite

Wilcox North: on 0.3 mile side trail, 3.1 Miles north from Benedict Pond, Beartown State Forest.

• Older Log Shelter
• Privy
• Bear Box
• Water source to left of shelter (may be dry in late summer)

Wilcox South: 1.3 miles North from Benedict Pond, Beartown State Forest

• Small log shelter and large shelter on blue blazed trail just beyond privy
• 5 tent pads
• Privy
• Bear Box
• Water on access trail to shelter

Tom Leonard Shelter: 1.1 mile south of Lake Buel Rd.

• Large shelter
• 1 Tent platform
• Moldering privy
• Bear Box
• Water 0.2 miles down hill to right of shelter downhill on blue blazed trail beyond privy

Glen Brook Shelter and Campsite: 3.4 miles south of Jug End Rd.

• Small shelter
• 2 tent platforms, large tenting area
• Moldering Privy
• Bear box
• Water at stream crossing AT 200, feet south of access trail

Hemlocks Shelter: 3.5 miles south of Jug End Rd.

• Large Shelter
• Moldering Privy
• Bear box
• Water at stream crossing of AT 200, feet north of access trail

Race Brook Falls Campsite: 0.2 mile side trail, 5.4 miles south of Jug End Rd. Also 1.5 miles in from Rt 41 on Race Brook Falls Trail

• 4 tent platforms
• Group camping area
• Moldering privy
• Bear box
• Water at stream on Race Brook Falls trail just east of campsite
• Area contains rare species, please stay on trails and use designated tent sites

Laurel Ridge Campsite: 8.2 miles south of Jug End Road

• 5 tent pads
• 3 tent platform group site
• Moldering privy
• Bear box
• Water at south end of campsite, on side trail

Next campsite (in CT): Sages Ravine, 1.9 miles south of Laurel Ridge.

Hiking on the AT

The AT is managed as a "primitive footpath". Hikers are expected to be self-reliant, and to carry appropriate equipment for the season and terrain.

Because the AT can be very busy, we ask all hikers to respect the trail, overnight sites, and their fellow travelers. The Massachusetts Appalachian Trail Management Committee in partnership with Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation established the following guidelines and regulations to aid in that effort:

• Camping is permitted only at designated sites (see the list).

• Shelters and campsites are available on a first-come first-served basis. Maximum stay at one overnight site is 2 nights.

• Fires are permitted only in the main fire ring in front of the shelter. To preserve vegetation, no fires are permitted at Laurel Ridge Campsite.

• All campsites have privies. Some privies use a composting process to reduce waste, so please read and follow the posted instructions. Do not throw trash or food into any privy.

• Water sources are near each campsite. Some campsite water sources may dry up at certain times of year. Boil, filter or chemically treat all water from backcountry sources.

• Do not leave trash or food at campsites or shelters. Carry in, carry out.

• Some overnight sites have steel boxes to keep food away from bears and other animals. Use them!

• Day hiking group size is limited to no more than 25.

• Overnight groups are limited to no more than 10.

• Please respect hikers, and limit noise and activity after 8:00 P.M.

• Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in State Forests and Parks.

• Practice Leave No Trace™ principles.

• Groups should plan to use tents. Long distance and individual hikers have priority for shelter use.

• Group leaders should review the ”Group Hiking on the AT” and then contact the Group Outreach Coordinator at atgroupoutreach@amcberkshire.org for more information and to avoid conflict and over crowding.

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