Summer Hiking

The trail to Pennsylvania’s Glen Onoko Falls became a victim of its own success. Widely considered one of the best waterfall hikes in the East, this short, steep trail leading to a series of falls—including the namesake Glen Onoko—is now closed to visitors. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, which manages the land on which the trail…

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This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of Appalachia. Fifteen people had crammed sleeping bags onto the floor of the Guyot Shelter deep in the White Mountains that wet August night. The structure’s open front faced rows of dark pines. I stood on the platform edge, staring into the light curtain of…

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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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One of the most frequently visited shelters in the White Mountain National Forest will be out of commission this September. Guyot Shelter, which housed 3,513 guest overnights in 2018 alone, will be razed and rebuilt following years of accumulated damage from rain and snowstorms. With construction planned for the busy fall hiking season, the closure…

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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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Oceans, glaciers, rivers, lakes, and streams cover 71 percent of our planet. The 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule ensures protection of these water sources from pollution and other exploitation. For now. Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have moved to rescind the rule and return to previous…

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Crowds can be intensely heavy on the trails of the White Mountains. Or not, depending on where you go. If you’re looking for solitude and tranquility on your next hike, here are some of my go-to locations, based on my experience researching AMC’s Best Backpacking Trips in New England. Where NOT to go First, though,…

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If you’re planning on backpacking with young kids, you really want them to enjoy the experience so they’ll keep coming back for more. After multiple trips taking my two young backpackers into the woods over the past two years (when they were between the ages of 4 and 8), here are a few key tips…

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People have climbed 6,288-foot Mount Washington—New England’s highest peak and the centerpiece of the White Mountain National Forest—by foot, ski, bike, wheelchair, unicycle, pogo stick, car, bus, train, and just about every other mode of transport imaginable. Here’s a look at some of the all-time fastest ascents—and how they compare to the estimated hiking time…

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The summer hiking season is fast approaching, which means that many folks will soon be pulling their boots out of the closet or shopping for a new pair. Here are three common (and easily avoided) mistakes people make that can lead to misery on the trail. Failing to break in a new pair of boots before…

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