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North East 8 Routes
Our main goal at the North East Ultra 8 since the beginning has been to “MAKE NO RULES” and “DEFINE NO ROUTES”
These 8 hikes have existed for a long time.
3 of the 8 hikes have their own clubs, with the rules well defined.
Each of the other 5 hikes, have long standing traditional routes, but not all 5, are well defined.
Given the fact that the North East 8 is a “lifetime” challenge, with no beginning or end dates to achieve, we cannot make rules, for long ago hikes.
With more than one way to do most of these hikes, we decided on a BONUS POINTS SYSTEM to reward hikers for doing the NE8 desired route, or for putting in extra effort, such as going out of your way to see something because you are nearby.
We have defined each hike, and the bonus points available for each hike, and the reason for the bonus points.
We are calling the Bonus Points the JW Bonus Points, in honor of Jim Wallace and the way he completed the NEU8. always going the extra mile and getting everything out of each hike no matter how much harder it became. Most of us can hardly conceive completing these NE8 hikes let alone adding to them. Jim always has a vision to do more, and he does it! Without Jim I would not have earned my GOLD Patch, and the NE8 would not have bonus points. I believe Jim earned all 18 of the bonus points along his journey through the NEU8.
They are called the Jim Wallace NE8 Bonus Points!
Bonus points will be posted on the Finishing Roster next to your name
The NEU8 “Jim Wallace Bonus Points” Long Explanations by hike!
The Mahoosuc Traverse: 3 Points available
The Mahoosuc Traverse is a 30 mile section of the Appalachian Trail System, that runs from Hogan Rd just North of Rt.2 in Gorham NH to Grafton Notch State Park on Rt 26 in Maine! And let’s be very clear. The southern end of the Mahoosuc Traverse as far as the NEU8 is concerned is Hogan Rd. Whether you use the Centennial Trail (AT) or the Mahoosuc Traverse the Southern finish line of the Mahoosuc Traverse will be the same. Both trails intersect Hogan Rd! The 24 hr clock starts or stops on Hogan Rd. One bonus point is available to those that use the Mahoosuc Extension to Hogan Rd. Vs the Centennial trail. Finding your way from the southern end of the Mahoosuc trail on Hogan Rd, to the bridge where you park your car on main street in Gorham, is worth the extra point! This makes it a true end to end Mahoosuc Traverse as well.
There are 2 spur trails off the Mahoosuc traverse that are not required for completion of the traverse! Goose Eye Mt and Old Speck Mt summits! Each one is worth one bonus point if you choose to go there during your Mahoosuc traverse! One bonus point for Goose Eye One bonus point for Old Spec!
The Cranberry 50: 3 Points available
The Cranberry 50 is well defined by the Cranberry 50 club. But it passes right by 3 amazing attractions that are not directly on the route. Cat Mt, High Falls, and the Overlook camp. Each are worth 1 point if you choose to visit them on your Cranberry 50! They add around 4 miles to the hike, making it roughly a 56 mile hike. “They make the hike worth doing” Jim Wallace
The Pemi Loop: 2 bonus points available
The Pemi Loop is well defined trail that goes very near several 4,000 ft. summits without going over them. We at the NE8 decided to stick with 2 most visited when a hiker does a Pemi loop. Galehead and West Bond. Yes many others can be added but we are keeping it simple! They are both just 1/2 of a mile from the Pemi Loop adding roughly 2 miles. One bonus point for Galehead, and one bonus point for West Bond!
The Taconic Crest Traverse: 1 bonus point available
Visiting the snow hole!
The Saranac Ultra: No points available
The Presidential Traverse: 3 points available
The Presidential traverse route has always been highly debated because of Mt Jackson on the Southern end. Do I have to climb Mt. Jackson or not? It was not named after a President! Well, the answer for the NE8 is you get one bonus point for climbing Mt Jackson. Your Presidential Traverse still counts if you do not climb it.
And Mt Clay offers the same question? Same answer. One bonus point for Clay but you do not have to climb it..
We also offer one bonus point for starting or finishing on Rt2 at the Northern end of the Presidential Traverse and heading up to Madison vs following the AT to the South. This makes it a true end to end traverse.
The Great Range Traverse: 3 points available
The Great Range is probably the most complicated of the NE8 hikes with so many options for approach. The Garden, The Ausable Club, The Rooster Comb, and the LOJ to name a few. What is the correct route? The FKT site says Garden to the Garden. Here at the NE8 we like the traditional traverse from the LOJ to the Rooster Comb. Or from the Rooster Comb to the LOJ. The bottom line is, stand on all 8 summits in under 24 hrs, and you have completed the GRT in our eyes. It counts no matter how you get there. If you take our preferred route, you can earn 3 bonus points. One point for starting or finishing at the LOJ. One point for starting or finishing at the Rooster Comb lot, and one point for climbing the actual Rooster Comb itself. (The Rooster Comb adds 1 mile to the GRT.)
The Devils Path: 3 points available
Going from Prediger Road to Spructon Road, The Devils Path passes right between two 3,500 foot Catskill mountains around the ½ point called Hunter and South Hunter. Climbing each one earns you one bonus point each. 1 point for Hunter and one point for South Hunter. This adds around 5 miles to the Devils Path.
On the eastern end of the Devils Path, you can take a short cut from the Prediger Rd parking lot to the summit of Indian Head, by going up the gap in between Indian Head and Twin, (Jimmy Dolan Notch) then doing an out and back to Indian Head.. If you are willing to take the long way around to the east side of Indian Head, which is basically following the actual Devils Path route, and climb or descend the East side of the mountain you earn another bonus point! You can use Jimmy Dolan Notch and still get credit for completing the Devils Path in our eyes, but just by following a known route, earns you a bonus point on this one!
NE8 Bonus Points Summary by Hike
Bonus points will be posted on the Finishing Roster next to your name!
18 TOTAL Bonus Points Available
The Mahoosuc Traverse 3
1 For climbing Old Spec Mt to the summit
1 For climbing Goose Eye Mt to the summit
1 For using the Mahoosuc extension to Hogan Rd at the Southern end
Cranberry Lake 50 3
1 For climbing Cat Mt
1 For visiting High Falls
1 For visiting the Overlook Campground
The Pemi Loop 2
1 For climbing Galehead
1 For climbing West bond
The Taconic Crest Traverse 1
Visiting the snow hole!
The Saranac Ultra 0
The Presidential Traverse 3
1 for Climbing Mt Jackson
1 for Climbing Mt Clay
1 for starting or finishing on Rt2 on the northern end
The Great Range Traverse 3
1 for starting or finishing at the LOJ
1 for starting or finishing at the Rooster Comb Lot
1 for Climbing the actual Rooster Comb itself
The Devils Path 3
1 for Climbing Hunter Mt
1 for climbing South Hunter
1 for climbing or descending Indian Head from the East