For anyone who aspires to conquer the Appalachian Trail, those who have completed the journey and want to hike down memory lane, and even those who simply want to taste the experience, Backpacker Magazine promotes AT in a Day. Their goal is to unite the hiking community to collectively complete the Appalachian Trail in a single day. Sounds fun, right?
We were hungry for an epic long-weekend backpacking adventure. The White Mountains aren’t exactly in short supply of rugged climbs rewarded with grandiose views, and while we didn’t want to exclude this from the menu, our appetite was for something different. One look at the suspension bridge arching over the Wild River, and we knew there would be no regrets.
The Appalachian Trail may be all hugs and kisses on the southern end of New Hampshire, but it will kick you in the fanny on its northern exit. This 31-mile section from Shelburne, NH to Grafton Notch, Maine contains 8,000 feet of elevation gain with majestic views, alpine bogs, ledge climbs, above treeline traverses, and the notorious mile-long boulder scramble of Mahoosuc Notch.
This is a story of what not to do on the Appalachian Trail. It has taken me two years to write this, which I’d like to conveniently pass off to life’s many priorities, but if I’m being completely honest, there’s a good deal of embarrassment here too. There’s also a responsibility to share, because this is something all hikers should read.
The Beaver Brook Trail on Mt. Moosilauke is a rough, and, if you’re not careful, easy-to-go-for-a-fateful-tumble hike. The physical price of admission is steep with 3,150 feet of elevation gain over cascades of rocks, wood-block steps and metal rungs, all often perilously close to the ravine’s edge, especially when wet. The arduous entrance fee is worth Mother Nature’s show with seemingly endless waterfalls headlined by a spectacular open summit.
New Hampshire has no shortage of premier hiking destinations, and the Presidential Range from Mt. Webster to Mt. Madison holds the most prized pearls in the state’s peak-bagging sea. Eight summits on the 19-mile Presidential Traverse are on the list of 48 4,000-footers, including the top five to tickle the sky.