From the Magazine

When my dog Bravo sees me carrying hiking boots or a daypack, he races to the door. As soon as it swings wide enough, he squeezes through and plants himself behind the car, quivering with anticipation. As the tailgate drops, he leaps gleefully inside. Once in the car, Bravo rides unobtrusively, no matter the distance,…

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Afoot and afloat in Maine’s most beguiling backcountry My introduction to Maine’s famed 100-Mile Wilderness region came in early July of 1974, when a junior high school friend and I concocted a plan to hike the Appalachian Trail from Monson to Katahdin. We would cover the 100 trail miles of the name, plus the final…

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I leaned into the wind and pushed toward the dark shape materializing in the fog, squinting to keep my eyes free from blowing snow. Tears streamed across my cheeks, and my beard froze. Ice-coated stones stacked to eye level slowly came into focus. Then another blurry silhouette appeared in the distance. Reassured by their presence,…

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When Michelle Cusolito’s 5-year-old daughter got so excited about snow that she tried to carry a huge ball of it through the living room, Cusolito didn’t just see the spills on the Oriental carpet. She also saw a teachable moment. After handing her daughter a dustpan and broom and telling her to clean up quickly,…

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As we ring in the New Year, let’s remember “Great Kids, Great Outdoors” highlights of 2012: the posts that were read and shared most widely. I’ll start with posts that were written in the last 12 months, then revisit some classics from previous years. 10 Great Appalachian Trail Hikes with Kids topped the list this…

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A few times recently, my daughter has corrected me when I have referred to the winter weather. She knows it’s still autumn, although it doesn’t always feel like it. But on Friday, the seasons will officially change. It is the winter solstice, the shortest day—and longest night—of the year. We mark this day as the…

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Autumn is the showy time for many trees, when kids, teachers, and parents talk about and collect their bright leaves. But what about winter? You can keep the tree conversation going through the colder season by making observations on walks and other outings. Follow your budding naturalist’s lead when you can, but bring a few…

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In the current din of parenting advice—from tiger moms and drinking mommies, hipster daddies and tool-belt fathers—parents looking for advice on raising outdoor children may not realize how much their corner of the parenting bookshelf has grown over the past decade. Books for outdoor parents now go beyond guidebooks to include manifestos; new research in…

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Ready to get a Christmas tree? The national forests are full of them—and you’re invited to hike in and cut your own. Tree-cutting permits cost just $5; in the Northeast, they are available for the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. In addition to cash or…

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While walking in Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge on Thanksgiving, my 3-year-old spotted some birds that neither my husband nor I could identify. To my delight, she responded to our ignorance by asking for a bird book for Christmas. I spent much of Black Friday walking in another local conservation area, rather than starting my…

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