May is the best month of the year for wildflowers in the Northeast. As forests awaken from their winter slumber, the ground explodes with spring ephemerals blooming in the brief sunny window before the trees leaf out and seal the woods in deep shade. Explore these choice destinations to see them in their greatest riots,…

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If you were on the trail for hundreds of days and thousands of miles, what would be your most cherished piece of gear? To help answer this question of packing priorities, we queried dozens of AT thru-hikers for their hard-won thoughts on the matter. Some answers you’d expect. Others may surprise you. Light is right…

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The Appalachian Trail travels through the Northeast for 1,166 miles, from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., to the summit of Katahdin, in Maine. Along the way, it journeys through profound natural diversity, pauses at mind-bending views, and spans the breadth of Northeast hiking experiences. You may never hike the entire AT, but you can still revel…

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AMC Outdoors, July/August 2005 Ah, a sock’s life. Absorber of sweat, keeper of odor, it lives entombed within the dark abyss of your shoes. Toenails prod it, footfalls pound it, and friction slowly wears it away as it dutifully protects your foot from blisters and abuse. Socks definitely take one for the team—and yet when…

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AMC Outdoors, April 2005 A pair of trekking poles can transform you into a fleet-footed, four-legged, full-body hiking machine. Or a brush-snagging, rock-scarring, hand-encumbered trail beast, depending on your point of view. In most situations, trekking poles improve your balance, and make crossing rushing streams, walking on slippery surfaces, and hiking over loose rocks both…

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