Trail Etiquette

A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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How essential is it to put your food in bear boxes even if there aren’t any bears in the area? While bears can be a major concern, they’re not the only wild animals that pose a risk. We see it all too often. Campers arrive after a long slog overs hills and rivers to finally reach home. In an effort…

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Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill. Wet Trails are Fragile “More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people…

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On almost any hike, you’re likely to encounter other people on the trail. Good trail etiquette helps ensure that everyone enjoys their experience outdoors and that the trail is left in good condition for its next visitors. In this outdoor skills video, AMC experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to be a good…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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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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Federal and state agencies have rules for hiking with dogs in backcountry areas. Here are the key ones to keep in mind in the Northeast, followed by some AMC-specific regulations: National Parks Dogs are not allowed on many hiking trails on National Park Service lands, and those that do allow them typically require dogs to…

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When my dog Bravo sees me carrying hiking boots or a daypack, he races to the door. As soon as it swings wide enough, he squeezes through and plants himself behind the car, quivering with anticipation. As the tailgate drops, he leaps gleefully inside. Once in the car, Bravo rides unobtrusively, no matter the distance,…

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I had the biggest wildlife encounter of my life last winter on the cross-country ski trails of Anchorage, Alaska. I skied by a moose calmly browsing in the willows near the trail. As I passed behind, it suddenly whirled without warning. Within a ski stride, the moose advanced almost close enough to stomp me with…

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