White Mountain National Forest

Long before the backpacking boom of the 1960s and 1970s spurred the creation of new campsites and a caretaker program, visitors to the White Mountains built an informal series of crude backcountry shelters using bark and boughs. Lean-tos and more complex structures followed. Once upon a time, hikers camped in shelters in the Great Gulf,…

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We recently asked our Facebook followers what mountain they were most eager to hike when spring arrives. Their answers covered a wide range, from close-to-home day hikes to ambitious backcountry excursions. Here are eight of their favorite spring hikes. Avery Peak  |  Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land, Maine The Bigelow Range, which bisects the 36,000-acre…

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Untouched for hundreds of years, old-growth pine, hemlock, oak, and spruce trees reach for the sky. These forests, primeval woodlands rich in biodiversity, are rare gems in the Northeast. This winter, snowshoe back in time by exploring these ancient giants of the forest. Old-growth forests include trees never harvested for timber that are between 150…

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From powdery valley trails to snowfields overlooking the Atlantic, the Northeast has plenty of stunning— and varied—backcountry skiing options. Some were among the first routes skied in the region, cut by avid volunteers decades ago. Others are new finds, established within the last decade. The eight routes profiled here are just the beginning; for a…

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It’s likely some lodgers at AMC’s Shapleigh Bunkhouse may not be aware that they’re resting their heads in a space where once were created master works of American landscape painting. The building housed the summer studio of White Mountain School of Art landscape painter, Frank Shapleigh, who, from 1877 to 1893, served as artist-in-residence for…

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Winter can refresh your favorite hikes and entice you to new destinations. With snow covering the ground, the once familiar mountains and forests of summertime are transformed. Grab your snowshoes or skis and check out these easy winter hikes. Conners Nubble  |  Acadia National Park, Maine Like many of the peaks in Acadia, Conners Nubble’s…

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The New Hampshire 4,000-footers list—and other checklists of high peaks—motivate hikers to climb lesser-known mountains. But what about the many great 3,000-foot summits? Here are eight highly recommended hikes that even peakbaggers might want to seek out. Mount Coe and South Brother  |  Baxter State Park, Maine Though just shy of the 4,000-foot mark, Mount Coe…

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In northern New England, leaves begin to change from green to bright orange and yellow in mid-September. At first, only a few trees seem to realize autumn is arriving. Then, suddenly, the mountains transform into a kaleidoscope of colors, which spread down the mountains of New England into the Mid-Atlantic. Here are a few trails…

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A cockeyed old post holding a series of signs marks a junction 1.8 miles onto the Great Gulf Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. The top sign, a slab of bare wood, has text carved deep into its surface: “Entering Great Gulf Wilderness.” To the west lie 5,500 acres of federal Wilderness—the first…

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One of AMC’s founding goals was to produce a White Mountains map—and AMC member Louis Fayerweather Cutter (1864-1945) was one of the first to do so. The MIT-educated civil engineer spent a lot of time in Randolph, N.H. From there, he launched his extensive explorations of the White Mountains. He painstakingly measured trails with a bicycle…

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