Trail Skills Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Trail Skills

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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The following story, “Mahoosuc Notch,” by Arthur Stanley Pease, comes from the June 1918 issue of AMC’s journal, Appalachia (Vol. XIV, No. 3), and is reproduced here in its entirety. Read about a present-day backpacker exploring the Mahoosuc Trail on its 100th anniversary in “The Longest Mile,” from the summer 2018 issue of AMC Outdoors…

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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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The sounds of summer are only a few weeks away: kids laughing and playing at the park, the conspicuous jingle of the ice cream truck, the buzz of lawnmowers cutting the grass, pickaxes and shovels clinking on hardened earth and rock. Wait, pickaxes and shovels? That’s right: Summer is trail work season in New England….

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  Morning is still asserting itself—early light eking through dusty windows, aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting in from the kitchen—as eight strangers settle into mismatched couches and chairs on an unseasonably warm Thursday in October. The group gives off a mix of excitement, anxiety, and grogginess, some having driven from as far as New…

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The trailhead for Mount Prospect, in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, is innocuous, with parking for only two cars—three if you pull in nose-to-tail, tight against the maples and pines. For all of the trailhead’s subtlety, the route itself is well marked, winding over a small stream that’s crossable in one large leap if the weather…

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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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No winter trip to AMC’s Maine Wilderness Lodges would be complete without spending an evening huddled around the wood stove, warming chilly toes and sipping hot chocolate. JP Krol, a longtime winter caretaker for both AMC and Randolph Mountain Club, has spent many a night doing just this. “Caretakers wear many hats, but one of…

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It’s gotten easier to find Lost Pond in New Hampshire’s Pinkham Notch, thanks to a new footbridge and boardwalk installed at the trailhead by AMC staff in October. Hikers will appreciate the new design, which provides surer footing than the old system: a deteriorating set of 15-year-old bog bridges and a small timber footbridge built…

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