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Midstate End to End patch

Ray's end to end hike.


    I recently completed a thru-hike of the Mid State Trail (very enjoyable) and thought some notes from my journal might help you and others associated with the trail. I have no criticisms; the trail was, for the most part, well marked. Just trying to be of help.

1. For food, there is a good pizza shop in town at Oxford, Mass. It is just to the left of the trail as you head north. (Police Station is to the right of trail)

2. I got lost crossing under Rt 20. First, there was a no trespassing sign near a home owner's yard so I had to go to further away from the actual trail and down a steep embankment and then circle back to find the tunnel under Rt 20. This wasn't too bad, but then I got lost coming out the tunnel on the other side. I couldn't find the marker directing me back into the woods and, instead, went left on Rt 20. I suggest clearer yellow triangles here.

3. A perfect restaurant awaits on Rt 31. As you head north on the trail, take a left on Rt 31 and five minutes later, on top of the hill, is the Black & White restaurant.

4. A variety store with deli awaits at the juncture of Rt 68 and road. It's only a tenth of a mile to the left of the trail as you head north.

5. Just after Barre Dam, two concrete slabs prevent cars from driving over a plank bridge, BUT they were switched somehow so that the markers/directions are reversed/opposite. I suspect that when the slabs were removed and put back, someone didn't notice that the triangles/directions were wrong.

6. Forgot to mention that the Spencer Country Inn on Rt 19 is closed.

7. My notes say that there aren't many triangle markers as you climb up the hill on Davis Street from Rt 68. I kept climbing and because I was used to seeing frequent markers, I walked back down to Rt 68, figuring I had gone the wrong way. More markers needed here, I think.

8. I'm sure you are aware that the trail emerges into the parking lot of the Wachusett Inn, where I stayed the night. Got a single room for a reduced rate and the meals were good. I had no trouble as a single hiker and find it odd that this was not listed in the guide book. I did my thru-hike in the middle of June and did not encounter one other person the whole time I was out there. Truthfully, the shelters, except for Long Pond, were pretty messy. Not your fault and a shame hikers can't clean up a little bit. Trash all over, and many unburnables dumped in the fire pits. Again, please interpret these as constructive comments. It was a splendid little hike. There is only one thing I would urge you to do in your next revised guidebook. Hikers, especially thru-hikers, need to know water availability. A lot more of the streams, in my opinion, need to be listed in the guidebook.

Ray

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