Hike New Hampshire
Hiking Clubs in NH

Boston, MA. The Appalachian Mountain Club is one of the most extensive, active, involved hiking clubs in the world, as evidenced by their large membership base as well as the first continental hiking trail in the US - the Appalachian Trail. The oldest of all US-based hiking clubs, the AMC strives to provide the community at large with information, research, and education about our wilderness in the Appalachian region. The AMC builds its programs on their three pillars: conservation, education, and recreation.

Founded in 1876 by MIT professor Edward Pickering, the AMC has a long history of conservation and education. The earliest members, of which there were 34, quickly began mapping and exploring the White Mountains. Many of the first maps of the WMNF (although the region did not become the WMNF until the Weeks Act in 1908) were created by founding AMC members. In their early years (the 1880s) the AMC encourage the collection of plants, rocks and other indiginous souveniers, and before 1888 was through, the AMC had built the Madison Spring Hut to assist in their exploratory efforts. Shortly after, the Carter Notch (1914) and Lakes of the Clouds Huts (1915) were built.

The success of the existing huts and the renewed interest in back woods exploration following WWI invigorated the AMC. By the late 1925 the AMC had added the Pinkham Hut, the Greenleaf Hut, the Galehead Hut and the Zealand Hut. Adventures of all kinds were being run by the AMC and outdoor life was catching on quickly.

Although outdoorsy activity began to diminish in the '50s, the AMc continued its efforts to promote responsible and exciting outdoor recreation. By 1961 National Geographic had printed a story about the huts, and in 1965 the Mitzpah Spring Hut was built. As the country began to take on conservation and earth friendly causes, the AMC marched right along, extolling the values they had always embraced. To this day, the AMC offers classes on conservation, education, and low-impact hiking/camping in addition to their outdoor trips.

The AMC publishes the definitive guide to hiking in NH, which if you've spent any time on this site at all you would know, called the White Mountain Guide (known as "the bible" around here) as well as many other books. They also offer volunteer activities that help maintain the Appalachian Trail and other parts of NH.

To learn more about the AMC, visit their web site at http://www.outdoors.org

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Chris Oberg & Robert Havasy