Snowshoeing

We started looking for a moose as soon as we arrived in the Maine Woods. Around each bend in the road, across every marsh or pond, we expected to see the gangly outline of the state’s most iconic mammal. So on our last evening, while walking a waterfront path below AMC’s newly rebuilt Medawisla Lodge…

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Whether afoot, on skis, or astride a bike, there are lots of ways to get around AMC’s nearly 75,000 acres of Maine Woods Initiative (MWI) property in the 100-Mile Wilderness region—and lots of trails to get around on. At last count, AMC’s growing network of recreational trails covered 130 miles, including 90 miles of groomed…

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While staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.   In the morning I set…

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You can strap a lot of different gear to your feet for winter adventure. But do you really need to? There are obvious benefits to avoiding the hassle and weight of equipment like snowshoes, gaiters, and crampons—so here’s my advice for evaluating whether you need them in the first place. For this exercise, I’m going to…

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Deep snow, cold temperatures, and slick conditions are upon us throughout much of the Northeast. If you’re headed outside for winter adventure, that means it’s time to strap some extra gear to your feet. I’ve written extensively over the past few winters about the myriad options available for winter traction, from the latest no-slip winter boots to…

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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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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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Most people have never even heard of qiviut, the astonishingly warm undercoat of the musk ox. It’s so warm, in fact, that it successfully insulates these Arctic creatures from the howling winds and sub-zero temperatures that descend upon the Far North each winter. And if you’ve got some (serious) money to spend, it’s remarkable properties can…

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Remember that classic scene from “A Christmas Story”? It’s a frigid morning, and a doting mother has dressed her youngest child in so many layers of winter clothes that he stands in front of her “like a tick about to pop.” “I can’t put my arms down!” he yells. “Put your arms down when you…

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