Saturday, November 09, 2013

2014 TCT End to End Endurance Challenge

Here is some important information for the May 17, 2014, Taconic Hiking Club’s Endurance Challenge – the End to End. 


On Friday, May 16th at approximately 7PM there will be a meeting of all the entrants at the Berry Pond Campsites in the Pittsfield State Forest.  This orientation will be conducted by Colin Campbell, THC trails chairman, who will go over the maps of the Taconic Crest Trail and will answer questions about the trail itself.  No meals will be provided on Friday night.


Due to the early starting time (5:30AM) all are encouraged to camp at Berry Pond where drinking water and a latrine will be available even though the park is not opened to the public.  Wake up will take place at 5:00AM and a hot breakfast will be served to all.  Juice, tea and coffee will also be provided.  The hikers will then be led out of the park by our official bagpipe starter at 5:30AM.  Anyone who does not camp at Berry Pond should adhere to these times.  Those coming later will be allowed to hike but will not be permitted to start after 6:30AM.


Participants must bring another person to move their vehicles from Berry Pond to the end at Rt. 346 and to transport the weary hiker home. We feel that it is in the best interest of hiker safety that she/he not drive home after a grueling 29 mile hike. A list of participant names and contact information will be provided so that perhaps people can car pool.


As hikers progress north from Berry Pond, support sites along the Crest Trail will be at:

#1 Madden Road, Hancock, MA (5.3 miles)

#2 Mattison Hollow (12.8 miles)

#3 Petersburgh Pass (20.9 miles) 


At these support sites THC members will have water available for the hikers.  Any prepackaged small bags the entrants have prepared for themselves will be at sites #2 and #3.  We recommend these contain dry socks, lunch, gorp, a flashlight and a jacket for the last site.  These items should be packed in a plastic bag, not paper, and be clearly labeled.  There is a maximum of two bags per hiker and please keep them light.  Hikers are free to carry whatever they wish on the trail. The club recommends a beverage, whistle, compass or GPS, map handouts from the THC, rain gear if appropriate and comfortable, sturdy hiking boots.  Most of the trail is wooded and there will be protection from the sun, but a hat is always useful as well as sunscreen.  There is NO rain date for this event.  If a hiker fails to show on May 12th the registration fee will NOT be refunded.


All hikers must clear the Petersburgh Pass site by 4:30PM to avoid problems caused by the remaining 8.35 miles of trail and oncoming darkness at approximately 8PM.


Lastly, the THC will schedule two trail work days, usually in the month prior to the End to End. All entrants are encouraged to participate in one or both of these dates to get familiar with the terrain and trail markings.  If you are interested in attending please contact Colin Campbell at 518-438-9629 or


A trail map with waypoints that can be programmed to a GPS and a map to Berry Pond will be sent to entrants in April.  I hope this information helps you plan a successful End to End hike.  Feel free to contact me at  or 2 Miller Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 if you need more information.
1) How many years has this event been happening?
"existing as a scheduled event since 1966..."
2) What is the fastest and slowest times recorded for this hike?
We don't really keep track of times as we do not encourage it as a race, but as a personal endurance challenge. Someone recalled that we've recently had  two entrants (1 male, 1 female) complete the trail sections and finish somewhere around 1:30 or 2:00. Most people trickle across the finish at 346 starting around 4:00 pm and keep on coming until maybe 7:30 + or -.   Someone else said that in 2008 we had someone (or more than one) finish up at 8:50 with a head lamp.
3) Approximate trail miles for each waypoint would be helpful; do you happen to know them?
The trail guide says:
Berry Pond - Potter Mtn Rd parking 3.2
Potter Mtn Rd - Madden Rd parking 2.1
Madden Rd - Rounds Mtn - 1.65
Rounds Mtn - Mattison Hollow access - 6.28
Mattison Hollow access - SE Hollow access - 2.55
SE Hollow access -Berlin Mtn - 2.5
Berlin Mtn - Green Hollow access - 1.2
Green Hollow access - Petersburg Pass parking - 1.6
Petersburg Pass - Snow Hole - 2.75
Snow Hole - Pownal Overlook - .95
Pownal Overlook - Prosser Hollow access - 1.85
Prosser Hollow access - 346 - 2.1   
4) What is the driving distance and time from Berry Pond to Rt. 346?
34 miles and about 1 hour
 Directions will be available Friday May 11th or you can request that I e-mail them to you sooner.
5)  What does the finish on Rt 346 look like?  Is it a park, picnic area, trailhead parking lot?
HEAVEN!!! Just kidding. It is a small parking area where club members helping out at the finish will park their cars. Participant cars will be parked nearby on a wide shoulder of Rt 346. 
6)  Does anything "official" happen at the finish; refreshments, finish board, etc.?
Applause, light refreshments, certificates and patches will be handed out. There is a Stewart's about 3 miles away with gas, restrooms, sandwiches and soup, etc.
Support for those running the event will not be guaranteed.
No dogs or other pets are allowed to participate.
Address to the entrance of the Pittsfield State Forest (Berry Pond) for camping Friday night and the start of the hike Saturday morning:
1041 Cascade St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201


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