Date completed: 12/75/2021
Home base: Boston, MA
Miles: I hiked have been section hiking the NET across MA the last two years. I don’t usually have a car spot, so I frequently have to do there and back hikes for most sections and break up longer sections into pieces. In total it took almost 200 miles of walking to finish hiking across MA. I did about half of those miles in 2020 and 101.4 miles in 2021–these varied across sections as I did not hike in contiguous order. But sections I completed this year included parts of section 6, section 7, sections 9-11, half of section 15 (backpacking overnight), most of section 16, and all of sections 17-19.
What do you love about the NET? The NET has helped me get out and explore new places in MA I never would have thought to hike. I have found so many beautiful areas that I have fallen in love with and would hike again and again.
Advice for NET Hikers: Just start! Some sections are more exciting than others, but there is variety in length, intensity, and terrain across the various sections, so find one that looks interesting and try it out!
I started hiking the NET in 2020 with goal of section hiking my way across Massachusetts (someday I hope to complete CT too). I usually don’t have a car spot, so I have to do there and back hikes which adds up my mileage! This year, I finally finished my hike across MA, saving sections 18 and 19 for last so I could finish at the NH/MA border. It felt so good to take my picture under the MA state line sign, and the snowy backdrop around Royalston Falls (I just completed this at the end of Nov) was picturesque. I capped off my completion of the MA NET with a side trip down to Royalston Falls which I have wanted to see for a long time.
One of my other highlights from the trail this year, was doing a there and back backpacking trip on the northern half of section 15. I hiked southbound on section 15 and stayed the night at the Wendell shelter. It was April and patchy snow was on the ground after a recent storm had come through, and while it was cold I was so excited to be out for my first backpacking overnight of the year. The trip was even more amazing than I expected, with so many beautiful waterfalls and streams along the way. I would backpack that section over and over again.