Trail Maintenance

Imagine a perfect cross-country ski trail. The snow underfoot is firm but not icy, forming a wide, clear, white path. It takes you over frozen creeks and under tall pines. There are no branches in your way, no potholes to hinder your progress. You can glide, swiftly and surely, through the winter woods. These trail…

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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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The Appalachian Mountain Club believes that successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors. This June, we are asking Northeast and Mid-Atlantic residents to support the outdoor places of their community by attending local trail maintenance events. Trail work volunteers who participate in our Instagram contest will be eligible to win prizes, see details…

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On a crisp early November morning in 2017, Zack Urgese, AMC’s White Mountain trails supervisor, and Joe Roman, AMC’s campsite program and conservation manager, were hiking up Mount Pierce for the umpteenth time. But this hike was different for the coworkers and friends: Urgese and Roman weren’t sure exactly what they’d find when they reached…

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AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019. Here are the milestones that have helped grow the AMC trail crew from a rag-tag band of volunteers into one of the preeminent maintainers in the Northeast. 1819 Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen cut Crawford Path—considered the oldest U.S. recreational trail,…

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Nestled in the shadows east of Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has remained relatively wild since its designation by President Obama in 2016. Sparse infrastructure throughout the monument’s 87,500 acres, much of which once served the area’s logging industry, offers minimal support for outdoor recreation. In order to make the monument…

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Also Noteworthy typically appears in print but was held from the Summer 2018 issue of AMC Outdoors magazine to cover the unraveling of the Northern Pass transmission line at length. You can always find more AMC news in Field Notes. 2017 TRAIL WORK, BY THE NUMBERS In 2017, more than 1,000 AMC trail crew volunteers…

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  AMC’s trail-blazing legacy extends back to its founding, in 1876. One of the organization’s first White Mountain projects, constructing Lowe’s Path, involved installing signs on 400 trees. The crew hung a small board every 100 meters (yes, they originally used the metric system) and painted the same information on flat stones, from treeline to…

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There are no mindless miles in the Mahoosuc Range. You will crane your neck upward to take in the incline and crawl on your hands and knees to chip away at the distance. Hikers say each section of the Appalachian Trail has its own personality. Well, this section is contradictory: stubborn but forgiving, ambitious yet…

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Just inside the door to AMC’s trails workshop in Pinkham Notch, N.H., there’s a battered wood tool bench with a faded logo spray-painted on its side: a pair of double-bit axes forming a cross. Actual axes and ax heads cover the bench’s surface. Many are rusted and missing handles; others feature jagged shards of wood…

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