White Mountain National Forest

Fifty years after the passage of the federal Wilderness Act, officials have designated more than 109 million acres nationwide as Wilderness Areas. Nature takes its course in these areas, signs of human impact are few, and visitors can enjoy a uniquely remote experience. Here are hikes in seven of the more pristine landscapes in the…

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Want to climb the highest peak in the Northeast the hard way? The Great Gulf Trail follows the West Branch of the Peabody River through a Wilderness Area and then ascends New Hampshire’s iconic Mount Washington via an infamously precipitous headwall. The Great Gulf Trail begins at the Great Gulf Wilderness parking area on the…

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I took my daughter on her first hike before she was 6 weeks old. My husband, Jim, and I picked the shortest route to the summit of Mount Cardigan, the West Ridge Trail, which winds a mile and a half up through forest to sloping granite ledges and a view that sweeps across New Hampshire’s…

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The Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) perches atop its namesake 6,288-foot peak, the highest summit in the Northeast, and offers a trove of useful information for White Mountains-bound hikers. Online offerings include a series of free and constantly updated web cams of the Presidential Range, a dashboard of current summit conditions, and a daily weather forecast…

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Back when a dollar went a lot further than it does today, an overnight stay at AMC’s Carter Notch Hut would run you 75 cents. That was a century ago, and while the Consumer Price Index has since seen more hikes than a chapter trip leader, one could argue that the value of a visit…

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Thinking about your summer outdoor adventures? If you’re interested in spending the night at one of New England’s most iconic destinations, now is the time to make reservations. Here’s what you need to know. Baxter State Park: Chimney Pond Home to mile-high Katahdin and its airy Knife Edge—New England’s only true mountain arête—Baxter State Park is…

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The glaciers that carved Carter Notch between Wildcat Mountain and the Carter Range left several landmarks behind. A jagged boulder field—”The Ramparts”—covers much of the notch, and two tarns hold cool, clear pools. AMC chose these shores for its second hut a century ago. Using native stone, a crew built an approximate replica of the…

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Typically we seek nature to get away from human development. But in the case of the Northeast’s abandoned stone quarries, a past industrial age has left us with especially dramatic landscapes: sheer cliffs, jagged rock piles, deep pools. Not all quarries are open to the public, so before exploring one, make sure that it’s legal…

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About 1,800 miles into their thru-hike of the 2,186-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), northbounders encounter a place where weather, terrain, and hiker services differ markedly from what they’ve come to know from miles and miles and months in the woods. The skies throw in a wild card, what with the trail’s proximity to fabled…

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Paul is in trouble. Midway into our ascent of the Valley Way Trail in New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, his pace slows considerably. His face, sweat-soaked and somber, maps the struggle within. He’s an experienced hiker, but the burdens of a 40-pound backpack and weary, 66-year-old thighs are conspiring against him. Nonetheless determined, he leans…

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