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White Mountain Favorites

by rfinprc

This is my last dispatch before the big event, so I thought I’d share some of my White Mountain favorites with you. This is just a short list to give you a taste of what you’ll find in the White Mountains. It’s my list, so it favors hiking and outdoor stuff. I invite all of you to send me your old and new favorites, so we can create a real guidebook for MOT2005.

The Kancamagus Highway – Yes, you all know about this one. If you haven’t driven it yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s a great twisty, with beautiful scenery as a bonus. If you have a chance, make the drive by yourself also, and take the time to make lots of stops at the overlooks. The highway, by the way, is named for Mt. Kancamagus, near Lincoln. That in turn is named for Chief Kancamagus of the Penacook Confederacy. Pick up one of the Kancamagus maps at the visitor information center and you can read more on the back.

The Mountain Wanderer Bookstore – This local gem is located on Rt. 112 in Lincoln. If you are at all interested in hiking, fishing, paddling, or any other outdoor recreation in the Whites, this is a great stop. Whoever’s behind the counter will gladly help you with any kind of information, and odds are they have a book about it. Great maps, too.

The 4,000 Footers – Peak baggers all over the world have target goals. The grandest is to climb the tallest mountain on every continent. In New Hampshire, the goal is to hike the 48 mountains over 4,000 feet. There’s a 4,000 Footer Club that recognizes the accomplishment, as well as more complicated versions, like climbing every peak in every season. From the top of Mt. Washington, if you’re very lucky with the weather, you can see 43 of the 48 4,000′ peaks. By the way, not every peak that’s over 4,000 feet qualifies – to make the list, a mountain has to rise at least 200′ above a ridge that connects it to its nearest neighbor.

The Appalachian Mountain Club – The AMC is a membership based organization that focuses on education, conservation, and recreation in the White Mountains. Even if all you ever want to do is take a short hike to a waterfall, check them out. They also have fantastic education programs for teens and adults.

Arethusa Falls – At 200′, Arethusa Falls are the highest in New Hampshire. The hike to the falls is about 1.3 miles, and takes about 1 hour each way. The trailhead is at the Arethusa Falls parking lot, located on the west side of Rt. 302, 3.4 miles south of the Highland Center at Crawford Notch. If you go, and if you hike anywhere in the WHite Mountains, carry water and extra clothes for foul weather.

The AMC Huts – If you’re looking for a backcountry hiking experience without having to haul a tent, check out the AMC Huts. Some of these are pretty remote and require a serious hike in, but others are fairly accessible. At the huts you get breakfast and dinner family style and sleep in bunk rooms.

That’s it for my MOT Dispatches until the big day. Sorry there couldn’t be more – it’s really annoying how real-life gets in the way of MINIs On Top sometimes. Let me finish with a suggestion for all of you: send me your stories and impressions of the trip, so we can capture them to share on the MOT web site. Ian did a wonderful job last year creating the souvenir photo album. Let’s add to it this time around, and we’ll break 200 in ’05.

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