West of River

You know the feeling: Yesterday was rainy, but today the sun is out, the sky is clear, the temperature is creeping toward warm. It’s spring, and you’re ready to hit the bike trails. But hold up there, friend. Before you unleash your wheels on vulnerable backcountry mountain bike routes, think about whether there are other…

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Devoting a few months to completing an entire long trail may not be realistic for everyone, but hiking discrete sections of these trails is more doable—and much closer to home—than you might think. Try one of these eight section hikes for a day away from the hustle and bustle, all within a 90-minute or less…

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Why does AMC get involved in conservation policy? For insight, we asked the key players behind one major success story, the Highlands Conservation Act, which protects the water supply of 11 million Americans. This is their oral history. Did you know that members of AMC’s conservation and leadership teams trek to Washington, D.C., every year,…

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Have you ever met a Ridgerunner while hiking on the Appalachian Trail? For the AT’s entire 60 miles in Connecticut and its first 17 in Massachusetts, these AMC staffers serve as the trail’s eyes and ears: talking to the public about Leave No Trace principles, taking care of blown-down trees, gathering statistics on trail use,…

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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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One of my favorite things about moving to a new area (maybe the only thing I like about moving) is finding the closest trail and seeing how far it goes. Five or 10 miles of closely clustered trails is just about perfect for trail running. That sort of network is big enough to explore over…

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Congress passed the National Trails System (NTS) Act 50 years ago this October, designating the country’s marquee footpaths, the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast, as National Scenic Trails. The NTS also recognizes two additional categories, National Historic and National Recreation trails, and has grown to include…

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Sometimes, escaping to the mountains isn’t enough to get away from summer’s steamiest weather. What’s a hiker to do? Get creative, seek some shade, and plan a victory dip. Here are eight hikes to get you through the heat. 1. FERRY BEACH Saco, Maine Steady breezes roll off the ocean across all of Ferry Beach…

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Looking for some memorable destinations with a whiff of derring-do? Cave hikes might be just the thing for explorers of all ages. Formed by glaciers and erosion, the Northeast’s caves may be small, but they harbor plenty of surprises. From hidden waterfalls to American Indian artifacts, the caves below offer a bounty of treasures for the adventuresome…

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The natural scenery of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic reveals a dramatic geological history, shaped over centuries by glaciers and volcanoes. For the observant hiker, clues as small as a pebble or as large as a mountainside can teach us about the landscape and its formation. Look for those telltale signs—and enjoy the hiking—in these eight…

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