2017

I. One of my oldest memories survives from an unknown year in the early 1980s, when I was 6 or 7, and takes place near the top of a long-since-forgotten mountain in Acadia National Park. I had been following my parents as usual when we stepped out from the canopied shelter of the trail onto…

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The Appalachian Trail (AT) cuts an iconic, white-blazed path along the eastern United States, but did you know those 2,190 miles are the spine of a far more complex trail system? Thousands of miles of blue-blazed side trails add to a network offering some of the region’s best hiking in any season. Strap on your…

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Whether you’re on a snow-covered hiking trail or bushwhacking through the woods, at some point on a snowshoe trek, you’re bound to come to a stream without a bridge. Whether the water is frozen or not, even a small stream can pose a slippery challenge. And if there’s ice, will it support the weight of…

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The 75th anniversary of AMC’s first bike trip got us thinking about how the second World War changed outdoor recreation. While WWII unfolded overseas, a host of challenges faced those on the home front, from a gas shortage to a depleted workforce. Although recreation was far from a priority, the war did much to shape…

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You might not know it, but deer and moose aren’t the only antlered giants roaming the Northeast. Elk can still be found in north-central Pennsylvania. The 1,000 or so elk currently living in the state aren’t descended from native, pre-Colonial herds. Overhunting wiped out the Eastern elk by the 1870s, according to Jeremy Banfield, a…

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» CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW What is AMC? Ask any two members and you might get two totally different answers. For some, AMC means trails and huts and the White Mountains, but the organization’s mission spreads well beyond those iconic elements. Each year AMC’s photo contest gives us a 365-day view of the…

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More than six decades after transitioning to newer methods, Pennsylvania is returning to a tried-and-true approach toward combating forest fires: fire towers. The state plans to replace up to 25 existing towers and to build two new ones by summer 2017. Fire wardens and volunteers will staff the towers during the height of fire season,…

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The worst has happened. You are severely injured. Or profoundly lost. Or dangerously exposed to the elements. You cannot get out of the backcountry on your own. And now you are going to die. Your only hope is that help comes and finds you. Fortunately, you have a personal locator beacon, or PLB. You activate it,…

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We broke trail into the fading light of dusk. Just as we thought to grab our headlamps, our destination’s soft outline materialized in the falling snow. We had made it. The cabin door was partially sealed by rime ice and snow—nothing a good shove couldn’t handle—and after passing through it and dropping our packs, we…

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Think of it as a sign of progress rather than failure: Falling on snowshoes or cross-country skis is part of learning a new skill. Although it’s never enjoyable to fall, practice makes perfect. Try righting yourself on varying grades and standing up from both your right and left sides. Working on these skills in a…

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