Trail Skills

In the late 1970s and early ’80s AMC’s Cardigan Lodge was my wife Joyce’s and my favorite place to spend a couple weeks every summer. We were drawn to its rustic and intimate atmosphere, the camaraderie of a shared interest in the outdoors, and of course the hiking. We had developed a proprietary feeling about…

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Late last fall, Appalachian Mountain Club staff and volunteers celebrated the opening of a 3-mile rail trail that is an important link in a larger recreation initiative in eastern Pennsylvania. Taking nearly a decade to come to fruition, the conversion of this former commuter rail line into the Upper Bucks Rail Trail was a key…

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  Excerpted and adapted from Essential Guide to Winter Recreation, from AMC Books. Making your way across brooks, streams, and open water carries hazards any time of year. There’s always the chance you’ll slip and end up in the drink. When it’s well below freezing and ice is involved, the dangers multiply exponentially, although there…

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  The need to get outside and break free from our homebound life is acute this winter. If you’re living in a snow-bound world or plan to drive to one, a pair of snowshoes can open up new doors of exercise, adventure, and escape. It’s a booming pastime—early numbers are showing a dramatic increase in…

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Leave No Trace is more than just not throwing your granola bar wrapper on the ground. It also means leaving the landscape in its most natural state by not moving, removing, or damaging in any way rocks, plants, trees, and other items native to an area. In other words, no matter the season, leave areas…

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  According to Leave No Trace principles, anything that does not belong in nature in the first place should be carried out. This “pack in, pack out” philosophy applies to trash and food waste, human and domesticated animal waste, soaps, lotions, and other products. “Human waste is a hazard to public health and also attracts…

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The following is an excerpt from the 2017 book, Blazing Ahead, by Jeffery H. Ryan. Chapter 7: A Bold, New Plan In the aftermath of the unexpected loss of his wife, Benton MacKaye moved in with his brother Hal and Hal’s family in Yonkers. Soon thereafter, Benton received an invitation from his close friend 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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Every fall since 2013, Dave and Monica Metsky of Somerville, Mass., have loaded their mountain bikes onto their car and driven the nearly 200 miles to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vt. There, they check into a rental home and spend several days biking at what Dave calls “the mecca of New England mountain biking.”…

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Dr. Tom: How do I prevent getting caught in a lightning storm? What if a member of my party is struck by lightning?   If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. The absence of clouds overhead or rain does not mean you are safe. The…

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