Hiking

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia. Dan McGinness is among the hiker elite in New England, where many of us admire his exploits. Four years ago, he endured a scary, unplanned overnight in mid-December. He agreed to show me where he’d hunkered down that night so that I could…

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If you’re hiking with kids, the single most important thing you can do is ensure they have fun, enjoy the experience, and continue on a path of  loving the outdoors. Having a few key items of gear can help with that goal, while keeping them safe at the same time. Here are seven things I…

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Ranging from as low as 448 feet (Delaware) to 6,288 feet (New Hampshire), high points—or the location with the highest elevation in each state—in AMC’s region vary greatly. Whether you’re looking for a challenging day hike or want to see geology in action, these hikes provide a unique bird’s-eye view of each state. 1. KATAHDIN…

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I step out of my car, gravel crunching underfoot. The warm September afternoon is filled with the aroma of sun-baked pine and fern, and I breathe it in deeply. As I stretch my legs, my mind wanders ahead of me, into the wilderness. I’ve driven more than two hours from my home in northeastern Pennsylvania…

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Obtaining an accurate measurement of a mountain’s elevation has become something of an obsession among hikers. Whether you’re tagging New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, the 46 4,000-footers in New York’s Adirondacks, or each state’s high point, your list is ultimately determined by elevation. But how, exactly, do geodesists­—scientists who measure and monitor Earth…

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Terri Werning’s biggest fear while hiking isn’t elevation, bears, or losing the trail. It’s men. Werning, 47, who has completed several sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) over the past four years, says that were she to be attacked by a man while hiking in a remote area, she easily could be overpowered. It’s why,…

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As J.R. Harris likes to tell it today, the first time he saw grass, he tried to smoke it. He’s joking, of course, but the rib illustrates how shocking an introduction to the backcountry can be for a 14-year-old city kid. Climbing off the bus at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, N.Y., Harris…

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Only one in four hikers who start the Appalachian Trail will finish it, yet more report completing the iconic 2,190-mile trek today than ever. Who are these hardy hikers, and how do they do it? AT hiking completion data from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 2,000-miler list provide a fascinating snapshot of who’s conquering America’s most…

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Whether you’re taking a walk in your local park or you’re hiking in the mountains, nature can offer solace when things feel overwhelming. For those on the autism spectrum—almost 2 percent of American children, who struggle to communicate and are extra-sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, and new places and people—a nature path provides especially…

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A man stands at the edge of the campfire, illuminated by the orange glow of an ever-growing flame as it licks the rock ring surrounding it. I’m nervous for his safety. He has been drinking for some time now, and one wrong step could result in injury. But he maintains his balance, cupping his hands…

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