Appalachian Trail

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 1993  issue of Appalachia. Walking alone up the chain of the Appalachian Mountains for half a year is hard enough, but Elizabeth McGowan did it as respite from another round of cancer treatments. In 1991, she was a young woman with her life ahead of her. She…

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  Thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail face many challenges while striving for their goal. Just ask the Crawfords, a family of eight from Bellevue, Ky., who in 2018 became the biggest family to complete a thru-hike of the 2,192-mile trail. Sure, there’s the elevation gain over rocky paths, whining kids on the trail, and even…

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The past few years, as AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew ventured out to chain saw blown-down trees, clean up eroded footpaths, and repair steps and ladders, the 101-year-old team—which maintains 360 miles of trails in New Hampshire and western Maine—featured as many women as men. This certainly wasn’t always the case. AMC’s trail crew…

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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When staff scientist Georgia Murray launched AMC’s first initiative on iNaturalist in 2018, she had a hunch she was on to something. As far as theses go, this one seemed like a safe bet: Murray—who tracks plant phenology, or how plant species respond to weather patterns and, over time, to climate change—anticipated that using the…

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Mount Katahdin is one of the most notable landmarks in the Northeast. As the centerpiece of Baxter State Park, the tallest mountain in Maine (reaching 5,269 feet in elevation), and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), Mt. Katahdin attracts thousands of eager hikers each year. However, those who choose to summit Mt. Katahdin…

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The American craft beer scene is exploding across the Northeast, with new breweries popping up seemingly every month. Luckily for trekkers who’d like to wash down an accessible hike with a hoppy IPA, there are plenty of trails near breweries that make for easy day trips.   1. WOLFE’S NECK WOODS STATE PARK & MAINE…

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Peak foliage, when leaves are at their most vibrant and colorful, is an unfailingly beautiful time of year. Why not prolong it and chase the changing colors southbound along the Appalachian Trail, with stops along the way for easy to moderate hiking? 1. GORHAM MOUNTAIN AND OCEAN PATH | Acadia National Park, Maine To begin your…

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EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: The Unlikely Thru-Hiker The following excerpt, about a next-generation trailblazer, comes from Derick Lugo’s new memoir, The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, available now. We’ve been hiking for more than three hours, and I’m still trying to figure out how to swing my poles when we arrive. I see Josh staring at the distant mountains that…

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Well, we did it. On Friday, August 23, two friends and I finished the adventure for which we’d been training for more than a year: we completed a single-day Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, running as much of it as we could. I’ll save the more harrowing tales for the magazine feature, scheduled for…

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