Appalachian Mountain Club's (AMC) Director of Media and Public Affairs Rob Burbank kindly gave us a tour of AMC's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in New Hampshire, at the base Mount Washington.
AMC, perhaps, is best known for their eight "huts" that are conveniently spaced a day's hike apart along a 56-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire's White Mountains.
Each of these rustic lodges is a place of refuge along the Appalachian Trail, with meals, lodging, and educational programs, including Junior Naturalist workbooks, certificates and patches, and naturalist-led walks near the huts.
It sounds hard to believe, but the huts have been operational for 125 years. Don't worry, they've been updated and upgraded many times. Prices and availability are online at the links below.
AT thru-hikers will be happy to know they are eligible for AMC's work-for-stay program at huts and shelters.
AMC volunteers, who are revered by Rob Burbank, donate hundreds of hours annually maintaining more than 1,500 miles of trails in the New England, including 350 miles of the AT.
The Pinkham Notch Visitor Center helps hikers on the AT and on the many trails surrounding Mount Washington -- known for its severe weather. You can gear up, get the latest maps and gizmos, don the snazziest hiker apparel available anywhere, buy cool moose stickers for your car and find books on any and every aspect of hiking.
The latest weather information for hiking that area can save your life. Wise hikers study the current conditions and forecasts, then they sign the convenient hiker register, just in case.
The Visitor Center is a wonderful respite for a hot meal before you head out or a cool drink when you return. The Black Moose Deli is open for lunch and family style dinners are gloriously served in the evenings.
Many informational sessions take place in the large but cozy lounge area. Be sure to take time to browse the educational displays, library and bookstore. Friendly staff and volunteers will have the answers to many of your questions, but only a few are schooled in quantum physics and/or how to calm ardent advances from the occasional frisky moose.
You're welcome to stay for a day or many at the Joe Dodge Lodge, next to the Visitors Center.
Hike a local trail, take a course in something you find fascinating, have a meal, pose as a hiker (try using a foreign accent for maximum effect) or volunteer to help others.
Be sure to visit the AMC Visitor Center in Pinkham Notch.
Then, go for a hike ... after you check the weather.
Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer
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