Massachusetts Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Massachusetts

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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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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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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Thanks to the efforts of conservation groups and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local clean-water policies, many of New England’s most iconic rivers—including the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Merrimack—are cleaner today than they were in decades past, says Kristen Sykes, AMC’s director of conservation strategies. Despite the improvements, there is no guarantee better conditions will…

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It may not feel like beach weather to you, but piping plovers are already returning to their northern nesting grounds along the Atlantic coast. These tiny shorebirds usually reach southern New England by the end of March or early April and arrive in habitats farther south even sooner. In 1986, plovers were listed as threatened…

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  Morning is still asserting itself—early light eking through dusty windows, aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting in from the kitchen—as eight strangers settle into mismatched couches and chairs on an unseasonably warm Thursday in October. The group gives off a mix of excitement, anxiety, and grogginess, some having driven from as far as New…

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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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