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It might be hard to believe that the now lush White Mountain National Forest was, just a century ago, barren and heavily logged. By the 1850s, about 70% of the land south of the White Mountains had been cleared of trees, due to the arrival of European settlers who used the area for agriculture and…

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The Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is one of the most iconic mountain ranges in the United States. It comprises thirteen mountains, nine of which are over 4,000 feet in elevation, and seven of which are named after U.S. Presidents. One of the most challenging hikes in the White Mountains is…

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There are many ways to get outdoors all year round, including winter. Amid the social, physical, and mental health challenges presented by COVID-19, spending time outdoors may be more important this winter than ever. (Check out our Winter Survival Guide for some great ideas you can do anywhere.) Knowing where to look for more organized…

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This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. My first impulse was to flee to the mountains. “The Appalachian Trail, here I come!” The Quarantine My first impulse was to flee to the mountains. “The Appalachian Trail, here I come!” That compulsion was quickly dashed to pieces. The AT was…

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This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. At a secluded crag near my house, there’s a climbing route called Malevolent Eye. It’s 32 feet high, with a 3-foot overhang and a difficulty rating of 5.10–. It’s tricky enough to challenge a good climber, with several blade-thin holds and a…

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This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. In a small patch of crumbly dirt and mulch, near the weather-worn trellis where the hydrangea had begun to bloom, my 5-year-old daughter, Uma, plucked a beetle off the wood and held it up to the sun. “Daddy, look Daddy. Isn’t she…

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  Sarah Goodnow says she was lucky the first time she saw a natural avalanche. Lucky, as in she and others around her were in a safe place, allowing them to witness the phenomenon without fear.“It was after a snowstorm and there wasn’t much wind,” she recalls. “I could see Hillman’s Highway (a ski route…

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  When venturing out on a hike in the colder months, staying warm and safe with traction and proper layers are key differences from summertime adventures, but don’t underestimate the importance of eating the right foods and staying hydrated to keep your body warm and fueled. To help cut through the fads and bad advice,…

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Getting outdoors in cities isn’t always easy; trust me, I live in a major city. Among the many things COVID-19 has taught me, one is that I absolutely took my morning commute for granted. My commute to work used to have me walking an average of 4 miles per day, and when COVID-19 hit I…

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With many downhill ski resorts in the Northeast expected to be closed or restricted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, backcountry skiing is booming. In fact, going back to the early spring, outfitters across the region reported shortages of backcountry equipment as skiers skipped the crowded resorts in favor of more remote options. The sport…

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