The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 40-50 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We cover the same distance as backpackers, but at the end of the day we return to a comfortable lodging with beds and hot showers. This section of the AT has a wide variety of terrain, with roots, rocks, steep climbs and incredible views. We end the trip by summiting Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts. Maximum group size: 10
Hiking from 8 to 15 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with one 3,000-foot ascent, particularly on a trail with many rocks, roots, and muddy sections - even if the terrain is flatter than most sections of the AT - requires being in excellent physical condition and prior hiking experience. If you need a down day, you can always choose to stay at the rental house and explore the town. This trip is rated 5 and requires a high degree of fitness. Adding some specific conditioning such as strength training, endurance training, and longer aerobic workouts is suggested. Rating: 1 2 3 4 
This is a challenging hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail travels 90 miles in Massachusetts. While some of the hiking is relatively well-graded, hikers should be ready to encounter rough and rocky trails, some steep climbs and descents, and some long ascents and descents. Depending on weather, hikers may encounter muddy trails and rocks and roots that will be slippery when wet. In Massachusetts, the Appalachian Trail crosses over hills and valleys and through several towns in the Berkshires. Hikers should be comfortable hiking up to 15 miles a day for multiple days in a row.
We will be staying at a beautiful, historic home in Stockbridge, MA. The home sits by the edge of a field with garden and blackberry patch and is surrounded by 25 acres of woods. Walking paths on the property Villa Favorita was built in 1918, upgraded to its current structure soon after by Clive Livingston Duval I (father of a Virginia Senator of the same name), and later became the home of royalty, Prince and Princess Sapieha, after they escaped Eastern Europe during WWII. Former residents kept their own horses here, and former pasture, equestrian fields and orchards have now evolved into wild meadows, cultivated blackberry and raspberry fields, and pathways through forests of pine, maple and fruit trees.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
Being with owner ladies who love to hike.
Completing more miles on AT. Enjoy a great group of ladies
The AT through Mt Laurel in full bloom for miles! Walls of white and pink blossoms on all sides and way into the vistas for several days.
Claire Lukas is the best. I loved how we stuck to the mileage plan. The rambling house was a plus. Only negative is that sometimes the pace was too slow. People need to be encouraged to tell the slower person in front of them that they are "passing on the left" to bridge the gap between that person and the hike leader.
This trip enabled me to complete almost all of the AT in Mass. I've already hiked to where this trip began, and I'm connecting the rest of it next week! Being with guides and women I've traveled with before made this even more enjoyable.
Hiking on a new-to-me section of the A.T. with a great group of participants and excellent guides.
the participants and the guides. Claire Lukas is a gem.
Most of my trips with AGC have women who just mesh very well, and that was the case with this trip. And the guides were outstanding! The house we stayed in was quite old and had some very quirky elements to it, but was delightful. I was happy to meet one of the owners when he stopped by to check on things. He shared some family memories. And a bear walked through the yard on our last morning! What fun that was!
The guides. If you don’t have great guides, the trip falls apart. Communal living with great women Supportive environment— everyone looking out for one another
Challenging hiking Fantastic guides Great group of women