Bearsden Backpacking Trip

Saturday, March 23 -
Sunday, March 24, 2024
Bearsden Conservation Area
Athol, Massachusetts

Event Info


Troop 54 visited Bearsden Conservation Area in Athol, Massachusetts for our first time. This was a short distance backpacking trip – about 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the camp site. We had 3 youth and 3 adult participants on this trip.

Conditions were challenging on this trip. It had snowed a few inches the day before our arrival, and it rained all day the first day of the trip. That meant hiking and standing in an increasingly wet slush. The camp site included a small trail shelter, which we used to keep most of our gear out of the rain. The site was right above the Millers River (well over 100 feet wide at that point), at the confluence of Buckman Brook with the river. This gave the site a pretty spectacular river view, accompanied by the constant rushing of water from both the river and brook.

The site did not drain much, so it gradually turned into a bowl of slush about 6 inches deep , especially around the shelter and picnic table.

After setting up camp, we hiked around the park. As a result of the conditions, we seemed to have the whole 1568 acre conservation area to ourselves on Saturday and only saw one person on Sunday.

In the morning on Sunday it was 21°F, leaving our soaking wet boots and other gear frozen solid. For some of us, getting our feet into those boots was a challenge. The line for the bear bag froze to the tree branch it was hanging on, making it hard to retrieve our food in the morning. On the positive side, the slush had frozen solid for the hike out.

We did our cooking on lightweight camp stoves. On Sunday, we had a campfire for a bit of warmth. It was easy to get river water to sanitize.

This was our 183nd consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip. See the article on our website for more pictures from this event.

Page updated 4/1/24
J. Froimson

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