If you want to go hiking in the summer, or snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the winter in the Northeast check out the Appalachian Mountain Club. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), which has been around since 1876, now maintains and protects more than 1,500 miles of trails in the Northeast, including 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The AMC offers more than 8,000 trips a year -- including some free guided hikes -- has nearly 90,000 members in 12 chapters, and 20,00 volunteers who help maintain and protect the trails that flow through America's Northeastern mountains and alongside rivers.
Lodges, Huts, Trips, Interactive Trail Guides and MoreThe AMC has many lodges, huts, full-service camps, cabins, shelters and campgrounds, where you could stay during warm-weather hikes, or winter snowshoe walks and cross country skiing excursions, along the Appalachian Trail and in other mountains around the Northeast.
AMC's White Mountain Guide Online has descriptions of more than 500 trails in New Hampshire's White Mountains, suggested fall foliage hikes and other information to help you plan a personalized hike. The subscription fee is $15 ($12 for AMC members) and there may be a multi-week free trial.
Fall Hikes and Programs
If you like to hike in the fall, AMC has a list of downloadable "Top 10" foliage hikes itineraries, with maps and naturalist blogs. Free walk-in AMC Outdoor Explorations programs are often offered in the fall, for guests at two AMC White Mountain lodges. Among the programs are one- to eight-hour guided activities, which include shutterbug hikes, moose-spotting forays and trail running.
Winter ProgramsGuided hut-to-hut adventures are the most popular winter trips, but AMC offers a variety of courses, too. Check on the website for the dates of this year's Into to Winter Mountaineering, SOLO Wilderness First Responder , and SOLO Wilderness First Aid courses.
Volunteering to Help Maintain and Protect Hiking TrailsIf you use AMC's hiking trails, why not volunteer some sweat equity to help maintain and protect them? You could join one of the Volunteer Crews, which are stewards of specific trails. These crews join weekend Work Parties, or one-to three-week Volunteer Vacations. Yearly, AMC volunteers donate about 18,000 hours to building bridges over bogs, buildings cairns along the trails and maintaining heavily used trails in other ways.
Interactive AMC Website
To learn more about AMC, and to see if there's a chapter near you, visit Appalachian Mountain Club.