Marc Chalufour, Author at Appalachian Mountain Club

Did you know the first Boston Marathon was essentially a trail race? The roads between the starting line in Ashland and downtown Boston were a dirty, dusty, unpaved mess back in April 1896. The runners didn’t need to navigate rocks and roots, but they had to cope with the ruts left by countless wagon and…

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Sometimes I set out with a specific loop and distance in mind. Other times I plan to wander. And sometimes I stumble from one into the other. A couple weekends ago I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and run through Arlington’s Great Meadow (AGM) over to Whipple Hill and back, making a loop of…

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I hate carrying extra stuff when I’m running, whether in my hand or on my back. I still wear shirts, tights, and jackets that I’ve had for 15 years, and I’m one of those snobs who scoffs at wearing headphones on a run. But that doesn’t…

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Twenty-some years ago I was running through Belmont, Mass., with a few high school teammates. Our coach steered us off the familiar roads we ran almost every Sunday and onto a trail: a narrow, grown-over path that cut through the forest behind McLean Hospital to a road on the other side. It wasn’t much of…

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One of my favorite things about moving to a new area (maybe the only thing I like about moving) is finding the closest trail and seeing how far it goes. Five or 10 miles of closely clustered trails is just about perfect for trail running. That sort of network is big enough to explore over…

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Studying the movement of birds is challenging work. They’re fast, small, and can travel thousands of miles per year. Tracking devices are too large for many migratory species to carry, and that technology is also limited by cost, battery life, and antenna range. But movement biologists say their field is about to be revolutionized, thanks…

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From the club’s founding in 1876, AMC’s early membership was concentrated in the Boston area. To communicate with members farther afield, AMC maintained a Committee on Distant Membership. But interest in AMC’s core mission—recreation and conservation—was growing. By 1904, an informal group of New York City-based members had assembled, and in 1912 they were officially…

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With winter receding, it’s time to plan your next paddling expedition. If you’re looking for a remote spot to drift, watch wildlife, and picnic on an isolated island, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are flush with opportunities, from Maine’s backwoods to the Adirondack wilderness. To help you pick a spot, we asked two authors of AMC’s…

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A proposed National Park Service (NPS) hike in entry fees could impact hundreds of thousands of visitors to two parks in AMC’s region: Acadia in Maine and Shenandoah in Virginia. The plan, aimed to reduce an $11 billion infrastructure backlog, would increase revenues by $70 million per year, according to NPS. But the sharp uptick…

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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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