The Northeastern landscape has inspired poets, journalists, and novelists for centuries. Their words have, in turn, awed, informed, entertained, and even terrified generations of readers. The eight hikes below are set in locations that influenced some of our greatest literary giants. Get details, grab their books, and get out there. 1. RACHEL CARSON SALT POND PRESERVE New Harbor, Maine A modest quarter-acre salt pond on the shore of…

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Peak-bagging, thru-hiking, red-lining: There’s no shortage of challenges for hikers who like to check off their accomplishments. And as the lists multiply, so does the number of hikers reporting their achievements. With three years still to go in this decade, the 2010s have already been record-setting. (Data gathered from ADK 46ers, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, AMC Four Thousand Footer Club)

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Bright bluebird skies sprawl above a dark, craggy mountain peak. Glistening snow drifts along the shadowy forest’s edge. The same natural contrasts that make outdoor photography so spectacular can create a major technical challenge: How do you capture detail in both the brightest and the darkest elements of a scene? Fortunately, a standard smartphone feature can help you eliminate blown-out skies and dark shadows: high dynamic…

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Thanks to hats, shirts, fleece tops, water bottles, patches, pins, and more all bearing the organization’s logo, AMC members wear their club pride on their sleeves. But you’ll never see one of the most iconic pieces of AMC swag on the trail: car window decals. In the mid-1900s, AMC provided metal insignias that members could bolt to their cars. Though popular, these placards proved difficult to fasten to…

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Sometimes, escaping to the mountains isn’t enough to get away from summer’s steamiest weather. What’s a hiker to do? Get creative, seek some shade, and plan a victory dip. Here are eight hikes to get you through the heat. 1. FERRY BEACH Saco, Maine Steady breezes roll off the ocean across all of Ferry Beach…

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Nonprofits focused on conserving land through purchase or easement—commonly known as land trusts—have played an important role in U.S. land protection since 1891, when the Massachusetts legislature established The Trustees of Public Reservations. More than 1,300 land trusts now operate nationwide, with 667 focused on Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. A conservation-easement tax incentive passed by…

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The shiny brass theodolite in AMC’s Library & Archives was built by a British firm, likely in the late 1800s, but its exact provenance and its path to AMC remain unknown. Artifacts make up a small portion of AMC’s collection, but the theodolite’s relationship to AMC’s own history of cartography and trail building is strong…

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My favorite piece of running gear isn’t a perfectly fitting pair of shoes or a well-worn race T-shirt. It’s my running watch. My first running watch was the Timex Ironman: cheap, beautiful in its simplicity, and ubiquitous. A survey of wrists at an early 1990s high school cross-country meet would’ve revealed a lot of trademark…

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How do the Northeast’s tree-lined streets stack up against the rest of the globe? In the ongoing Treepedia project, researchers at MIT’s Senseable City Laboratory are using Google Street View to plot urban centers on a Green View Index (GVI), scoring the percent of a city covered by canopy. Why? In urban environments, trees affect…

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For a trail-loving runner, the search for a new stretch of off-road running never ends. I’ve lived in towns from Downeast Maine to Philadelphia, and the urge to explore defined many of my runs. In each spot I found a local go-to destination for regular runs, but I also kept looking for new trails, perhaps…

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