Field Notes Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Field Notes

The sounds of summer are only a few weeks away: kids laughing and playing at the park, the conspicuous jingle of the ice cream truck, the buzz of lawnmowers cutting the grass, pickaxes and shovels clinking on hardened earth and rock. Wait, pickaxes and shovels? That’s right: Summer is trail work season in New England….

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What do a swing set behind Manhattan’s Lincoln Houses public housing development and Maine’s remote stretch of Appalachian Trail have in common? They’re both playgrounds, in a manner of speaking. They also share a benefactor: the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Congress’s primary means of protecting land and water for recreation, wildlife habitat, and…

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For years, AMC’s Four Thousand Footer Club has awarded intrepid hikers who climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks with a commemorative patch. There’s another patch for those who hike the 48 in winter and yet another for those who complete New England’s 67 4,000-footers. Even dogs can earn a patch. If you complete…

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The start of the fall semester in Boston, a city overflowing with universities, is known as one of two peak moving times of the year. Not to be outdone by college kids, AMC made not one but two big moves in autumn: Concurrent with the relocation of AMC’s headquarters to 10 City Square in Boston’s…

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It’s gotten easier to find Lost Pond in New Hampshire’s Pinkham Notch, thanks to a new footbridge and boardwalk installed at the trailhead by AMC staff in October. Hikers will appreciate the new design, which provides surer footing than the old system: a deteriorating set of 15-year-old bog bridges and a small timber footbridge built…

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With environmental conservation at the core of its mission, AMC closely monitors energy-related projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. When those projects infringe on natural resources, AMC weighs in and often takes action. AMC has been involved in evaluating and commenting on windpower projects for more than two decades and was instrumental in developing legislation,…

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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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AMC’s on-the-ground conservation efforts in Maine extend to the water, thanks to recent successes in aquatic habitat restoration. That’s a fancy way of saying that, over the past seven years, AMC has worked to restore historic brook-trout habitat on the organization’s 115 square miles of land in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness. To date, AMC and partner agencies have opened 33.5 new miles of streams, with four separate projects restoring 4.5…

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A brand-new shelter along the Appalachian Trail (AT) has an unusual trait in common with its predecessor. For both, AMC helicoptered in prefabricated components that were then assembled on site, at AMC’s Speck Pond Campsite in Maine’s Mahoosuc Range. Last fall, AMC staff dismantled the old Speck Pond AT shelter, which had stood for 49…

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For many people, the loon’s eerie call is the quintessential sound of the wilderness. In an effort to protect this primitive and iconic bird (which faces threats such as human disturbance, habitat loss, and climate change), AMC Maine staff and guests, plus hundreds of volunteers statewide, are set to take part in the Maine Audubon…

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