Friday, September 26, 2014

9/26 Foliage Update from the White Mountains

If you've taken a peek at the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, chances are you might mistake it for a summer weekend.

But the calendar says it's almost October, and thanks to some cooler nights the leaves have started to pop. With sunny skies, warm temperatures, and 30-40% peak foliage on tap in New Hampshire's White Mountains, the outdoors is your best place to be this weekend.

We've grabbed some of the best shots from the Whites, courtesy of AMC staff from the Highland Center in Crawford Notch and Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch. Enjoy!

Scar Ridge from the Kancamagus Highway, taken 9/26/14 by Danielle Jepson
Lily Pond from the Kancamagus Highway, taken 9/26/14 by Danielle Jepson
Summit shot from Mt. Liberty looking into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Taken 9/25/14 by Danielle Jepson
Foliage along the Kancamagus Highway, taken 9/26/14 by Danielle Jepson
Popping colors surround the east branch of the Pemigewasset River! Taken 9/26/14 by Danielle Jepson
Bright leaves in the Great Gulf Wilderness, taken 9/23/14 by Joe Roman
AMC Highland Center surrounded with color, taken 9/26/14 by Sara DeLucia
Looking down Crawford Notch from AMC Highland Centertaken 9/26/14 by Sara DeLucia
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, taken 9/26/14 by Ben Cargill
Looking across to spectacular colors from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, taken 9/26/14 by Ben Cargill

Do you have your own foliage photos to share with us? Post them on AMC's Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @appalachianmountainclub or Twitter @AppMtnClub!

Announcing Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont from AMC Books

The Appalachian Mountain Club is thrilled to announce the release of Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont: 75 of the Best Family Hiking, Camping and Paddling Trips. This is a must-have, multi-sport guide for families in northern New England, residents and visitors alike. 

To order your own copy, visit our store >>

U.S. Forest Service Reopens Dry River & Isolation Trails

CAMPTON, N.H.- - The Dry River Trail and the Isolation Trail, both within the Presidential-Dry River Wilderness, have been reopened for use by the public, the U.S. Forest Service announced Sept. 24. 

In 2011, these trails were severely damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. With the help of several partners, the White Mountain National Forest has completed enough work to reopen them this fall. According to Forest Service trail crew lead Caitlin Campbell, “Working in Dry River is always an adventure, and we’re excited to have the trail open so the public can enjoy the adventure as well.”

The agency said hikers should understand that these trails have been reconstructed at a lower standard than most trails they are familiar with and from what was there before. They can expect a narrower and rougher tread, and will need to occasionally find the route in order to navigate the length of the trail. 

This work comes during a year when the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, which allowed Congress to set aside tracts of public land to be managed for wilderness values. These trails and others in the Presidential-Dry River Wilderness, managed in the spirit of Wilderness values, provide visitors a primitive experience with lower development levels than a typical White Mountain trail. 

The Forest Service noted it was not able to complete this work alone. Numerous partners provided input surrounding the decision to continue to provide trail access in these areas, but to a lower and more sustainable standard. These partners included the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, New Hampshire State Parks, surrounding towns, local trail clubs, outfitters, guides, and interested members of the public. 

This project was a part of the NH Drinking Water Improvement effort with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and is a part of the Treasured Landscape Campaign with the National Forest Foundation (NFF). NFF continues to raise funds for trail restoration work in the Presidential Range, focusing on resources to reopen the still-closed section of the Rocky Branch Trail, located in an adjacent drainage to Dry River. Work on the Rocky Branch Trail is expected to occur in the summer of 2015. Anyone interested in helping NFF with this effort can find more information at

More information about the Dry River and Isolation trails, is available by contacting the Saco Ranger District of the White Mountain National Forest at (603) 447-5448.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love Appalachia? Check out No Limits But the Sky, new from AMC Books

Faithful readers of Appalachia journal will love No Limits But the Sky: The Best Mountaineering Stories from Appalachia Journal, a brand new anthology from AMC Books. No Limits But the Sky collects the most riveting, real-life adventure stories from Appalachia, America’s oldest mountaineering and conservation journal.

To learn more, read the press release >>

To order your own copy, visit our store >>

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You Can Help AMC Protect White Cap Mountain

Deep in the Maine Woods is a remote mountainous area known as the 100-Mile Wilderness. The term has become the de facto name for this 1-million-acre region, but few people know that the term was first used as a warning about the remoteness of the area. It was a warning not just for casual visitors, but for long-distance hikers thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Unlike much of the Appalachian Trail on which a hiker comes across public roads or towns every few days, this stretch of trail from Monson to Abol Bridge Campground – about 100 miles--crosses neither. Hikers – even experienced ones – must carry everything they need for seven to 10 days of remote backpacking without resupply.

Seen on a map, the region is roughly book-ended by two of Maine’s most iconic natural features: Moosehead Lake – Maine’s largest -- to the southwest, and Katahdin-- Maine’s highest mountain -- to the north. The region is almost entirely comprised of private timberlands without conservation protections, but thanks to those landowners and the work of state and non-profit groups, multiple conservation success stories have arisen here. This includes AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, which has protected nearly 67,000 acres, and now an adjacent new conservation opportunity is in the works.

At 3,654 feet White Cap Mountain is the highest mountain in the 100-Mile Wilderness. It provides hikers with a stunning view across the 100-Mile Wilderness to Katahdin. The Appalachian Trail corridor protects the summit, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s conservation lands protect its north slope. But the rugged south slope, with multiple waterfalls and the West Branch of the Pleasant River, is unprotected – for now. Thanks to a willing landowner and the Forest Society of Maine, 14,000 acres of White Cap’s south slope could soon be conserved by a conservation easement and purchase by the State of Maine.

This conservation project, known as the “Gulf-Hagas White Cap Project,” seeks to permanently protect 5.5 miles of frontage on both sides of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, which contains sea-run Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. The project lands contain the trailheads to two National Natural Landmarks: Gulf Hagas, a 3.5-mile gorge on the West Branch of the Pleasant River, and The Hermitage, a 35-acre reserve with some of Maine’s oldest white pines. If successful the project will conserve 5,400 acres of high-elevation spruce-fir forest abutting 11 miles of the Appalachian Trail corridor and 1,200 acres of wetland forests along the West Branch of the Pleasant River as ecological reserves. An additional 7,200 acres will be protected from development while allowing sustainable forest management to continue. The project lands also include two scenic waterfalls, campsites, and hiking access to the summit of White Cap.

Funding for the conservation of these lands will come from the Land for Maine’s Future Program as well as federal grant programs like the Forest Legacy Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Public support for these conservation programs is critical to their being funded and for this project in particular. AMC is asking our members and anyone who values spectacular wild places in the Northeast to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support full funding for Forest Legacy and LWCF. For members in the Northeast, please ask them to support the Gulf Hagas-White Cap Forest Legacy project. Just a handful of calls makes a difference.

You can easily find your Representatives’ contact information at:

And your Senators’ contact information at:

AMC appreciates the assistance of the Conservation Alliance and the many outdoor retailer companies who support it. These companies give generously to support protection of wild places across the country:

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