Hiking on the Appalachian Trail

AMC Western MA Chapter
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) 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 A.T. 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 have established the following guidelines and regulations to aid in that effort:
  • Camping is permitted only at designated sites.
  • 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, shelters, or in firepits. 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 other hikers, and limit noise and activity after 8:00 PM.
  • 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 Group Hiking on the A.T. and then contact the Group Outreach Coordinator for more information and to avoid conflict and over crowding.
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