Regions

About 1,800 miles into their thru-hike of the 2,186-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), northbounders encounter a place where weather, terrain, and hiker services differ markedly from what they’ve come to know from miles and miles and months in the woods. The skies throw in a wild card, what with the trail’s proximity to fabled…

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In late March or early April, a warm rain will fall and spotted salamanders will emerge from underground in the evening to return to vernal pools to breed. This phenomenon is known as “Big Night,” and it’s a great teaching moment for kids. Here are some suggestions for how to introduce children to Big Night….

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After a fluffy snowfall earlier this winter, my husband and our 4-year-old went out in the backyard to play. They came back at dinnertime with a project that intrigued me: They had packed a glass jar full of clean snow and screwed the lid tight. My husband asked: How long would it take for the…

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We had the island to ourselves: 2 acres of spruce forest surrounded by a wonderland of curving, polished granite ledge that dropped into the sea. The kayaks rested above the beach, beyond the reach of the tide, and we’d pitched our tents—each of our two families in a campsite of its own—beneath the canopy of…

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Paul is in trouble. Midway into our ascent of the Valley Way Trail in New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, his pace slows considerably. His face, sweat-soaked and somber, maps the struggle within. He’s an experienced hiker, but the burdens of a 40-pound backpack and weary, 66-year-old thighs are conspiring against him. Nonetheless determined, he leans…

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Snow, whipped off Mount Washington by violent winds, collects in the glacial cirque of Tuckerman Ravine all winter. The eastward-facing bowl captures drifts that can reach 100 feet deep. The snow buries trees and jagged rocks, creating a winter playground that can last into the late spring or even early summer. The first known skiers…

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If you’re hiking in late March or early April and you hear an odd quacking in the woods, like a group of hiccupping ducks, you’re probably close to a vernal pool. The sound is the courtship call of male wood frogs, which gather to reproduce in this ephemeral but vital habitat each spring. Vernal pools…

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Some of the Northeast’s more tranquil and remote spots can only be reached by water. With spring upon us, it’s time to launch your kayak or canoe into a new lake or pond. AMC authors have explored the best ponds and lakes across the Northeast for the Quiet Water book series (a completely revised edition…

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Fresh off of two years of record-setting growth in AMC’s volunteer trail programs, managers have added new projects for 2014, expanding the scope and geographic reach of trail maintenance work. For instance, performing brushing, drainage, and erosion-control work on the Pacific Crest Trail in southern California is a new option for trail volunteers as part…

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You and I are all a part of something bigger. I mean something even bigger than AMC, and we all play a supporting role. I’m talking about the outdoor recreation economy. The gear we buy and the trips we take—whether to the local park or across the country—pump money into the economy and support local…

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