National Scenic Trails - Appalachian Trail
|The Appalachian Trail|
In its 281 miles across Maine, the Trail, marked throughout with vertical white-paint blazes, passes through an extensive wilderness at a great distance from towns and cities. The Katahdin region at the northern terminus is outstanding.
The Trail in Maine may be roughly divided into three segments:
1) The 120-mile eastern segment from Katahdin to Monson is characterized by disconnected mountains, lakes, ponds, streams, and pleasing forest growth. Easy to travel, it is the most isolated except at the termini.
2) The second segment, from Blanchard to Mt. Bigelow, is of historic interest. The first part involves more exertion, but the remainder affords the easiest travel in Maine.
3) The western segment is an area of rugged, steep, 4,000-foot mountains with many ascents and descents. Opportunities for canoeing and swimming are features of the Trail in Maine.
Much frequented and well known, the White Mountain region and the White Mountain National Forest are the main features of the Trail in New Hampshire. Trails of the Appalachian Mountain Club are followed for the most part. Much of the trail is above timberline, where temperatures may change suddenly. A trip here requires intelligent planning and you should allow ample time. The connecting link between the Green and White mountains, the Dartmouth Outing Club section of the Trail, passes through broken terrain of alternating mountains and valleys east of the Connecticut River.
West of the Connecticut River to the Green Mountains, the route is through high, rugged country of abandoned and overgrown farmlands and woodlands. From Sherburne Pass south, the Trail follows the lower 101.3 miles of the Green Mountain Club's famed Long Trail along the crest of the Green Mountains.
The Trail here leads through a series of wooded areas and valleys in the Berkshire Hills. Mts. Greylock and Everett are outstanding Trail features in Massachusetts.
The route through Connecticut meanders among the worn-down remnants of a much loftier mountain range and presents greatly varied scenery. Main features are the Housatonic Valley and the Taconic Range.
New York and New Jersey
From Connecticut to the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey. The Trail's terrain is less wild than to the north. Palisades Interstate Park is much-frequented. Along the Kittatinny Ridge the Trail is rugged and more remote than elsewhere in these states.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
Appalachian Trail - New Hampshire Highlights
- Trail Stats: 160.9 Trail Miles, 16 Hiker Shelters, 8 AMC Huts
- One of the Appalachian Trail’s crown jewels, New Hampshire sports some of the toughest hiking along the entire trail, but it’s worth every ounce of your blood, sweat, and tears. The White Mountains are among the most popular on the east coast, and for good reason. It takes serious effort to tag some of these peaks, but you get what you pay for: You’re rewarded with panoramic views on windswept summits—many above timberline—that are not easily forgotten.
- The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) manages a series of eight huts that bring a little civilization to the White Mountains. Each hut is run by seasonal volunteer staffers who make breakfasts and dinners, and entertain visitors with fun (perhaps goofy) skits and educational presentations. These simple accommodations make the rugged terrain a little less foreboding. They also offer a “civilized camping” experience that allows anyone willing to put in some effort the opportunity to enjoy this amazing landscape without having to lug a ton of camping gear. Huts are only staffed and offer full service during the summer months and range from $75 to $95 per night. Reservations are strongly recommended.
- Though the Presidential Range gets most of the press, it’s possible to experience the White Mountains without the crowds. Challenging and rewarding mountains like Mount Moosilauke, South and North Kinsman, Mount Lincoln, Mount Lafayette, Mount Guyot, the Wildcat peaks, and the Carters all see far less traffic and are no less spectacular.
- Recommended 3- to 4-Day Trip: This strenuous 26-mile hike is the real deal. To start, you ascend 2,700 feet to Mount Webster, during which all but the hardiest of hikers will be wondering why they wanted to tackle this route. Once the ridgeline is reached your purpose becomes clear: to enjoy the next 15 awe-inspiring miles above treeline as the trail snakes its way up the Presidential Range, with panoramic views nearly every step of the way. There are three AMC-operated huts located over this stretch of trail, offering rustic accommodations and hot meals between days of trail bliss. The high point of the trip, 6,288-foot Mount Washington is the highest point in the northeast and offers amazing views for hundreds of miles around. However, it is often overrun with tourists, as it is not only accessible by car, but a cog railroad runs to the top. Don’t let this dissuade you, for this hike you don’t need to be on the highest peak to be utterly floored by the views. The last peak, 5,367-foot Mount Madison, offers the final vista before you descend very steeply to Pinkham Notch. Directions: U.S. 302 (Crawford Notch) near Bartlett, north to New Hampshire 16 (Pinkham Notch) at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion (Appalachian Trail Conservancy)
Appalachian Trail: Georgia | North Carolina | Tennessee | Virginia | West Virginia | Maryland | Pennsylvania | New Jersey | New York | Connecticut | Massachusetts | Vermont | New Hampshire | Maine
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Articles & Advice on Appalachian Trail - New Hampshire
- National Scenic Trails - Appalachian Trail
- Trail Guide by State Part II