Trail Skills

In August 2010, AMC Director of Huts and Pinkham James Wrigley received a call that a young hiker was in critical condition after falling hundreds of feet down steep sloping rock. The teen had been hiking on the Huntington Ravine Trail of Mount Washington, one of the most challenging and dangerous trails in the White…

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You’ve likely heard of New Hampshire’s 4000-footers, those  peaks in the White Mountains with summits cresting 4,000 feet in elevation. Thousands of hikers flock to them each year in search of a challenge. For some, the goal is to complete all 48. For others, it might be a single mountaintop. But where to start if…

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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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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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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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Getting home safely while winter hiking means knowing when to call it quits. The mountain, the trail, the journey: They’ll all still be there another day. A responsible hiker sets a turnaround time before hitting the trail, especially in winter, when daylight fades much earlier than other times of the year. But there are also…

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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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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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