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Rob Burbank
Director of Media and Public Affairs
rburbank@outdoors.org
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New Stops Enable Car-Free Hiking Vacations from Boston and Southern N.H.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2011

WHITE MOUNTAINS, N.H.-- As part of its ongoing efforts to promote energy efficiency and the use of mass transit, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) this summer will connect its popular Hiker Shuttle with two bus stops served by Concord Coach Lines in Lincoln and North Conway, N.H.

The new shuttle stops are at Munce’s in Lincoln and the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway Village. Also added this year is a stop at the U.S. Forest Service Lincoln Woods Visitor Center. In addition, Concord Coach Lines provides daily service directly from Boston and southern New Hampshire to AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.

The new stops are intended to make it easier for visitors from the Boston area and southern New Hampshire to plan a car-free visit to the White Mountains with station-to-trailhead service, thereby allowing visitors to reduce car miles traveled and fuel burned, while still enjoying convenient access to the region’s spectacular hiking trails and AMC’s famed backcountry hut system. The stop at Lincoln Woods will also make it easier for hikers without cars to access trails in the White Mountain National Forest’s Pemigewasset Wilderness.

The hiker shuttle connects AMC roadside lodges—Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch and Highland Lodge in Crawford Notch—to popular trailheads serving the AMC hut system as well as stops in Gorham, Lincoln, and North Conway.

“We are extending the reach of the AMC Hiker Shuttle to make it even easier for hikers to plan a visit to AMC’s huts while leaving the car behind, saving gas, and reducing their carbon footprint,” said AMC Vice President for Outdoor Program Centers Paul Cunha. “The initiative ties to the organization’s broader goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2015, and reducing it by 80 percent over the next four decades,” Cunha said.

Riders can reserve a spot when they make hut reservations, or they can board the shuttle at various trailheads and the Concord Coach Lines stops without reservations on a space-available basis. The shuttle schedule can be viewed online at www.outdoors.org/shuttle. AMC has operated its hiker shuttle for more than two decades.

AMC operates a series of eight backcountry huts situated along a 56-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Open to the public, the AMC huts provide meals, lodging, and educational programs in spectacular mountain locations. Visitors to AMC huts in the full-service summer season can enjoy bunkroom accommodations with mattress, pillow, and blankets; all-you-can eat dinners and breakfasts; and natural history-based interpretive programs. More information is available at www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts.

The AMC Hiker Shuttle operates daily from June 2 to Sept. 11, and on weekends and holidays from Sept. 17 through Oct. 16. Reservations are strongly recommended, and may be made by calling (603) 466-2727. Flat fare between any destination is $19 one-way ($17 for AMC members). A 10-minute/$10 fare is available for walk-on riders between certain destinations.

To further promote use of mass transit in the White Mountains, AMC also is working with the U.S. Forest Service, Plymouth State University, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Transportation Center to identify additional options for alternative transportation that will reduce traffic congestion and resource impacts.

AMC huts in the White Mountain National Forest are operated under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut is operated in partnership with the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is America’s oldest conservation and recreation organization. With more than 100,000 members, advocates, and supporters in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.