North Country

A predawn light has begun to brighten the eastern horizon, but I still need my headlamp as I scramble along under a cloak of maples and oaks. I make up time on a clear stretch of trail but immediately slow down again to avoid stumbling on loose stones. I’m hurrying because I’m late. I was…

Read More....

We awoke to a mist hanging over the water, creeping up the mountain on the opposite shore. It was a crisp fall morning, a little late in the season for most paddlers, and only a few hardy souls were out on Middle Saranac Lake, in New York State’s Adirondack Park. Even so, my 11-year-old nephew,…

Read More....

Paddling to an island offers the best of two worlds: the waterborne access of a canoe or kayak and the unfettered freedom of a hike. Islands can provide a remote picnic spot, a chance to stretch your legs or nap in the sun, and a temporary escape from the bustle of the mainland. Lucky for…

Read More....

My first visit to the alpine zone in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was on Mount Washington. I was 15 years old, surviving day three of a high school orientation camping trip. The challenge of climbing several thousand feet to stand atop an iconic peak filled me with a sense of accomplishment. While the summit view…

Read More....

Long trails ranging from hundreds to thousands of miles connect some of the Northeast’s and Mid-Atlantic’s most treasured public lands. While some hikers cover a long trail’s full distance in one extended effort, others carve out day hikes or multiday backpacking trips. The segments below provide excellent introductions to eight long trails. 1. Cohos Trail …

Read More....

The New Hampshire 4,000-footers list—and other checklists of high peaks—motivate hikers to climb lesser-known mountains. But what about the many great 3,000-foot summits? Here are eight highly recommended hikes that even peakbaggers might want to seek out. Mount Coe and South Brother  |  Baxter State Park, Maine Though just shy of the 4,000-foot mark, Mount Coe…

Read More....

Swish, swish. Swish, swish. Our skis whisked across the glossy white surface of a field at Dolly Copp campground in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. On this chilly, early spring morning, the campground was otherwise silent and empty. I followed two old friends, Brian and Val, eastward across the snow. In the distance lay…

Read More....

Last summer I took a cabin full of 11- and 12-year-old campers on a hike. Most of them had never hiked before, so we went to nearby Sabattus Mountain in Lovell, Maine. The 1.4-mile loop gains just over 1,000 feet of elevation. The hike was so easy that I almost felt guilty for being rewarded…

Read More....

The roar of the Sawyer River nearly drowns out Karl Roenke’s voice. While he walks along the water’s bank, the morning sun peeks through the birch and spruce trees and casts light on a world that has lain dormant for decades. The waterway seems to be the only constant in the area; once occupied by…

Read More....

Excerpt from Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2008 This isn’t a story about skiing the Tenth Mountain Division huts or the Chic-Chocs, or trekking in New Zealand or Nepal, or about hiking the John Muir Trail, or ridgerunning on the Appalachian Trail, or working with Appalachian Mountain Club volunteers to maintain trails on Mount Greylock. This is a…

Read More....