Visitors to AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge and Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in New Hampshire will have a unique opportunity to see trail work up close this summer. AMC’s professional trail crew is set to construct an elevated boardwalk, featuring an accessible design to accommodate users of various physical abilities, at the Lost Pond trailhead, just across the road from AMC’s flagship White Mountains destination.
And that’s just the beginning. Every year AMC trail stewards contribute sweat and muscle to combat erosion caused by rain, ice, snow, and hikers’ incessant footfalls on 1,800 miles of trails throughout AMC’s region. In addition to maintaining well-graded paths that are a joy to hike, trail work protects our region’s natural resources and keeps the trails from washing away.
Trail lovers aren’t limited to watching the pros in action, of course. Volunteers ages 14 and older are needed for scores of trail maintenance opportunities across the region. In New Hampshire, volunteer opportunities—including those designed specifically for teens—range from repairing scree walls on Franconia Ridge to improving conditions on the Baldface Circle and Royce trails, near Cold River Camp in Evans Notch.
In the Greater Boston area, the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) will continue to benefit from volunteer stewardship. Last year, AMC’s teen volunteer BCT trail crew ran at 100 percent capacity, reflecting growing interest in this close-to-home recreational resource that encircles 57 communities. And new this year, adult and teen volunteer crews will contribute to trail work in New York’s Harriman State Park, the site of AMC’s soon-to-open outdoor center, located 42 miles from Manhattan.
Volunteers can choose from opportunities lasting a week or more, or they can commit to maintaining a specific segment of trail on their own schedule in Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, through the Adopt-A-Trail program.
Farther north, as part of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, AMC is working in partnership with contracted state crews and the Maine Conservation Corps to create new public recreational opportunities. Efforts include new hiking and mountain biking trails in the vicinity of AMC’s Medawisla Wilderness Lodge, currently under renovation. Nearby, both volunteer and professional trail crews will expand the hiking trail network near Gorman Chairback Lodge, creating a loop trail that will connect the lodge to East Chairback Pond and the Barren-Chairback Ridge.
In addition to the Maine and Lost Pond projects, hikers can spot AMC’s professional trail crew on New Hampshire’s Champney Falls Trail, Davis Path, and Crawford Path this summer, installing rock steps on steep sections of trail and repairing drainages. Improvements also are slated for the Guyot Campsite at the edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, in the White Mountain National Forest. There, AMC backcountry caretaker staff will kick off a three-year effort to build new tent platforms and relocate an overflow camping area, enhancing this popular site’s sustainability.
AMC pro and volunteer trail crews also will continue the organization’s long-standing trail stewardship in the Berkshires; at the Mohican Outdoor Center, in New Jersey; and on the Massachusetts section of the New England Trail.
These diverse projects are supported by a variety of funding sources, including the National Forest Foundation; the White Mountain National Forest; the National Park Service, through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy; the AMC Four Thousand Footer Club; the Fields Pond Foundation; and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.