New York-North Jersey Chapter

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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I’ve long been haunted by the dream of a girl who could shrink mountains down to the size of her palm, slip them into her pockets, and carry them with her wherever she went. It’s a fantastical idea, the kind a child conjures up while lying on her back, looking up at a star-packed sky….

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Rest easy, because sunny days and beautiful blooms have returned! Whether you’re in the White Mountains or the wetlands of the Mid-Atlantic, you’re bound to catch glimmers of red, yellow, pink, blue, and violet peeping through the trees. Pull up those galoshes, dust off that wildflower field guide, and celebrate the season by heading to…

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When Mike Carmon decided to propose to his girlfriend, Jesse Jameson, he picked one of the most remote peaks in New Hampshire for the setting: West Bond, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  For these two veterans of the White Mountains (Carmon was then the operations director for the Mount Washington Observatory, and Jameson is the group…

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I push off from Tubby Hook’s sandy beach into the Hudson River. My orange Dagger kayak rocks alongside my friend Cathy’s white Necky in the black ripples here, at the northern tip of Manhattan. Although it’s still cool at 8:30 in the morning, I’m prepared for a long, hot August day.  I can see New…

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Road cyclists have an embarrassment of riches: Unlike mountain bikers, pretty much anywhere they go, they can ride. If you think about it, our nation’s roads essentially form a coast-to-coast trail system. But some routes beat others, whether that’s due to the terrain, the traffic, or the scenery. Here are three big, ambitious bike rides…

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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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Congress passed the National Trails System (NTS) Act 50 years ago this October, designating the country’s marquee footpaths, the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast, as National Scenic Trails. The NTS also recognizes two additional categories, National Historic and National Recreation trails, and has grown to include…

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The second morning of our weeklong hike in the White Mountains was blue-sky beautiful. Standing with my group outside AMC’s Greenleaf Hut, I bent over to tighten the laces of my boots while our leaders outlined the hike ahead. It would be the most challenging day of the trip, and we were lucky not to…

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In the 1920s, when Benton MacKaye envisioned the long-distance footpath that would become the Appalachian Trail (AT), he foresaw a series of communities linked physically and figuratively to the 2,100-plus-mile route. The AT was recognized as a National Scenic Trail in 1937, and MacKaye’s dream of a conservation, recreation, and economic corridor has been evolving…

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