Trails

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 1993  issue of Appalachia. Walking alone up the chain of the Appalachian Mountains for half a year is hard enough, but Elizabeth McGowan did it as respite from another round of cancer treatments. In 1991, she was a young woman with her life ahead of her. She…

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  Thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail face many challenges while striving for their goal. Just ask the Crawfords, a family of eight from Bellevue, Ky., who in 2018 became the biggest family to complete a thru-hike of the 2,192-mile trail. Sure, there’s the elevation gain over rocky paths, whining kids on the trail, and even…

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The past few years, as AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew ventured out to chain saw blown-down trees, clean up eroded footpaths, and repair steps and ladders, the 101-year-old team—which maintains 360 miles of trails in New Hampshire and western Maine—featured as many women as men. This certainly wasn’t always the case. AMC’s trail crew…

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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Visitors leaving the eastern Pennsylvania wilderness could find they’ve picked up a hitchhiker—or 20. A large swath of the state, from the Poconos to Philadelphia, has since 2017 been under quarantine for the spotted Pennsylvania lanternfly—an invasive, plant-hopping bug that threatens $14 billion worth of crops and hardwoods in the Keystone State. As researchers work…

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When staff scientist Georgia Murray launched AMC’s first initiative on iNaturalist in 2018, she had a hunch she was on to something. As far as theses go, this one seemed like a safe bet: Murray—who tracks plant phenology, or how plant species respond to weather patterns and, over time, to climate change—anticipated that using the…

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AMC’s members will hear a lot about the AMC150 vision in the coming years. But what is it exactly? Simply put, as Appalachian Mountain Club gets closer to its 150th birthday, in 2026, it’s working to create a world where being outdoors is an integral part of people’s lives and where natural resources are healthy,…

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This year, think big: When it comes to outdoor-inspired New Year’s resolutions, there are countless possibilities. Here are a few worthy quests and—should you choose to tackle them­—top spots across the Northeast where you might begin your journey.   I. START A NATURE JOURNAL It’s difficult to think back to a good hike or a…

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Mount Katahdin is one of the most notable landmarks in the Northeast. As the centerpiece of Baxter State Park, the tallest mountain in Maine (reaching 5,269 feet in elevation), and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), Mt. Katahdin attracts thousands of eager hikers each year. However, those who choose to summit Mt. Katahdin…

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The Appalachian Mountain Club today released a new report titled The Impact of Wind Power Development on High Value Scenic Resources in Maine. This study, conducted by AMC Senior Staff Scientist David Publicover and Assistant Staff Scientist Catherine Poppenwimer, examined the extent to which certain scenic resources (mountain summits and great ponds) have been and…

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