Summer Hiking

  Mount Washington was feeling benevolent on the afternoon of August 14, 1945, and 14-year-old Hugh Dunphy was taking advantage of the mountain’s good mood. Dunphy was part of a crew of about 12 campers and counselors from Camp Ropioa in Harrison, Maine, that was hiking toward Washington’s summit under clear skies and mild temperatures—and…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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  I’m standing in the dining room at AMC’s Madison Spring Hut, and even though it’s late August, I can’t get warm. Two friends and I have just returned from Mount Madison’s 5,366-foot summit, where a sturdy gale-force wind battered our sweat-soaked bodies already weary from a climb that covered 3,500 feet of elevation in…

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The outbreak of COVID-19 this year, and the subsequent public health and safety regulations, has led AMC to make a heartbreaking decision: close all eight White Mountain high huts for the 2020 season, the first time in the history of the organization. “There’s never been a major, ongoing threat to health and safety like this…

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With COVID-19 still at the forefront of our thoughts, there’s another health hazard to keep an eye out for this spring and summer—ticks. While it’s important to continue to follow CDC guidelines when heading outdoors, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between you and another person, its also important to…

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Try these exercises to stay in paddling shape or this at-home rock climbing workout. You’re probably not doing much hiking these days—certainly nothing too intense or far away—but staying safe and physically distanced doesn’t mean you have to fall out of hiking shape. For a dose of inspiration and some hiking exercises you can do in your…

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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When staff scientist Georgia Murray launched AMC’s first initiative on iNaturalist in 2018, she had a hunch she was on to something. As far as theses go, this one seemed like a safe bet: Murray—who tracks plant phenology, or how plant species respond to weather patterns and, over time, to climate change—anticipated that using the…

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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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