Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Taconic Crest Trail: Petersburg Pass to Mattison Hollow

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Taconic Crest Trail: Petersburg Pass to Mattison Hollow

    Today, TBPDPTI and I completed our section-by-section traverse of the Taconic Crest Trail in the winter. We began this endeavor in December 2018, finishing up two years later. We split the trail into four sections: (1) Northern Terminus to Petersburg Pass (2) Mattison Hollow to Route 43 (3) Route 43 to Southern Terminus and (4) Petersburg Pass to Mattison Hollow. Today we took care of our final segment: Petersburg Pass to Mattison Hollow.

    The Petersburg Pass parking area is a snowy/slushy mess, probably not suitable for 2WD vehicles at the moment, although that may well change after the warm temperatures later this week. We set off southbound from the pass around 7:30AM, enjoying well-trodden snowshoe tracks all the way to the summit of Berlin Mountain. From Berlin’s summit, we followed a combination of snowshoe and snowmobile tracks up and over the north summit of Misery Mountain. I can’t remember where the snowmobile tracks stopped, but the snowshoe tracks ended at the MA boundary marker in the North Misery / Misery col.

    Misery Mountain lived up to it’s name given that we had to break trail uphill in ~1 foot deep snow (drifts up to 2-3 feet!) after skating by on broken trails up to that point. It actually wasn’t that bad since the snow was still pretty fluffy. We took turns breaking a few hundred feet at a time going up hill. From Misery down to the Mattison Hollow trail junction was pretty much all downhill; a true joy when snowshoeing on un-broken trail!

    We followed tracks out from the TCT/MH trail junction back to the road. The snow was sticky and soft down low, making the ~2.5 mile hike out along the Mattison Hollow Trail feel an eternity. But we made it. Back to the (spotted) car around 12:30PM.
    Last edited by nickUSA; 12-28-2020, 06:50 PM.
    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

  • #2
    Nicely done. I can imagine that some pretty good portions of that trail don't get much winter traffic, apart from snowmobiles on some sections. At least in the winter, I bet you didn't have to deal with muddy ATV ruts! Did you snowshoe the entire trail? Or ski parts of it?

    I thru-hiked the TCT a couple of summers ago, over 3 days/2 nights. My general observation was that the trail had potential to become something pretty special, but in it's current state the trail was sort of lacking. Some better maintenance, more efforts at addressing the ATV impacts (which generally weren't horrendous but there were a few spots where it was pretty bad), a few more established campsites to make a thru-hike logistically easier, and perhaps even cutting open a few more viewsheds to make the PUDs a bit less... pointless (much of the trail is on state forest lands where timber harvesting already occurs) would all help to improve the TCT experience, I think.

    My pipe dream is that the TCT will one day be extended northward to join up with the AT near Glastonbury/Bennington VT, and southward to join up with the South Taconic Trail. As the South Taconic Trail is already connected to the AT by way of trails in the Mt. Frissell vicinity, this would form a roughly 200+ mile backpacking loop traversing both the Taconic and Berkshire Mountain Ranges, passing through portions of 4 separate states (NY, VT, MA, and CT).
    Last edited by DSettahr; 12-23-2020, 09:06 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
      At least in the winter, I bet you didn't have to deal with muddy ATV ruts! Did you snowshoe the entire trail? Or ski parts of it?
      Yes, the snow covered up all of the ruts this time around, especially the ones before the final climb to Berlin's summit. Yesterday we snowshoed from start to finish, although we did notice some ski tracks at one point. For the other sections, we either bare booted or snowshoed depending on the conditions.

      Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
      My pipe dream is that the TCT will one day be extended northward to join up with the AT near Glastonbury/Bennington VT, and southward to join up with the South Taconic Trail. As the South Taconic Trail is already connected to the AT by way of trails in the Mt. Frissell vicinity, this would form a roughly 200+ mile backpacking loop traversing both the Taconic and Berkshire Mountain Ranges, passing through portions of 4 separate states (NY, VT, MA, and CT).
      This would be awesome! I would characterize the TCT as "pleasant but underwhelming" but even so it would be really cool to link up with other existing stretches of trail. The northern part of the TCT comes tantalizingly close to the southern part of the Long Trail / AT in Vermont.
      Last edited by nickUSA; 12-28-2020, 06:51 PM.
      From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

      Comment


      • #4
        I skied over there on Sunday. Great snow but I'm unsure how much will be left after this rain event on Christmas.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nickUSA View Post
          This would be awesome! I would characterize the TCT as "pleasant but underwhelming" but even so it would be really cool to link up with other existing stretches of trail. The northern part of the TCT comes tantalizingly close to the southern part of the Long Trail / AT in Vermont.
          My experience thru-hiking it in the summer was that a lot of it looked the same- open forest with plenty of fern-filled glades. It was a pleasant enough setting to hike through to be sure, but there was relatively little variation in the scenery along the full 36 miles. Even just a couple of additional viewsheds would help to switch things up a bit.

          The South Taconic Trail has absolutely phenomenal views from some of the summits that trail traverses- as do parts of the AT in CT, MA, and VT. Routing a connector trail between the TCT and the STT over Harvey Mountain would provide more views still (and Beebe Hill is not so far out of the way as to not be an option, either).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DSettahr View Post

            My experience thru-hiking it in the summer was that a lot of it looked the same- open forest with plenty of fern-filled glades. It was a pleasant enough setting to hike through to be sure, but there was relatively little variation in the scenery along the full 36 miles. Even just a couple of additional viewsheds would help to switch things up a bit.
            Little question that, in our 2 year effort in completing this trail, we noted that there are different characters of forest throughout, but they are mostly confined to small pockets here and there. Otherwise, it was really quite homogenous throughout. I think that the greater variety was found in the varied terrain than in the flora. Perhaps not a enjoyable as hiking in the ADKs (or Cats), but they are still mountains, and they are still (practically) in my backyard, so why not? Get out and enjoy what we have, right?
            High peaks: Summer: 46/46 (1st iteration); 29/46 (2nd); 11/46 (3rd); 7/46 (4th) Winter: 7/46 (1st); 1/46 (2nd)

            The other 56: Summer: 55/56 (1st); 12/56 (2nd); 4/56 (3rd); 3/56 (4th) Winter: 13/56 (1st); 3/56 (2nd); 1/56 (3rd); 4th (0/56)

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, I definitely don't regret thru-hiking the trail at all. And like I said, despite the monotony, the scenery was nevertheless nice for the most part.

              But that doesn't stop me from dreaming about what the trail could be with a little more attention and resources.

              Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

              Comment

              Working...
              X