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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Winter Hike up Mount Willard, New Hampshire - 52 With A View

Winter Hike Mount Willard

It was day two of our Girl's Hiking Trip and our first full day in the Whites. The day before, Kristen and I had gotten up to the lodge before 3:00 pm and donned our snow gear to head into the woods for a short hike up to the waterfalls. We did a bit more post holing than we anticipated the following morning and decided to talk to the staff for future trail selection. After some deliberation headed up to hike Mount Pierce a beautiful hike with absolutely zero views as a summit was sucked in my gray clouds Doom and Gloom.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

7 Reasons to Stay at the AMC Highland Center in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

AMC Highland Center

It's a Sunday morning and I'm watching the snow fall and the sunrise outside of the two story windows in the sitting area of the Appalachian Mountain Club Highland Center in Crawford Notch, nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I'm on a girls trip, joined by six other female hikers all staying at the lodge, organized by a friend and fellow hiker. It's my first time here and to be quite frank, for someone who has spent so much time in the woods and a fair amount of time up here in the Whites, it's a place I've never even heard of.

I knew the AMC had their famous inter-mountain hut system, these beautiful lodges tucked into mountain peaks with lodging and meals available. What I didn't realize was there there were these larger beautiful drive up lodges at the base of the mountain where for a very reasonable price, you could spend the night; bedding, towels, and meals included. For just over $100 a night in the winter with a group, we had a quad bunk room in the lodge and a home base where we could really enjoy the peace the quiet and the access to some of New England's most iconic trails. If I didn't know about it, there's a fair chance you dear reader were left in the dark as well so let's go through six reasons why you should pack your bags and head north for a stay at this beautiful lodge in the whites. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Winter Hike - Mount Pierce (via Crawford Path) White Mountains, New Hampshire

Mount Pierce NH

Unpopular opinion...Winter is an amazing time to head to northern New Hampshire and hike.

I know, I know, we love the sunshine and shorts weather, sitting on top of a summit with a snack and a view while the cool breeze goosebumps your sweaty skin, but here's the thing. We tend to glamorize the glory and we forget about all the less-than-ideal conditions. We forget about the early bird start times to guarantee parking, the swarms of mosquitos and flies, the scorching humidity, and the crowded trails. Winter hikers are a different breed from summer hikers. While I truly think the outdoors are for all, the bluebird sky and mild temperatures bring about a different crowd of hikers that don't always have the same respect for nature. It was a different scene to see clean trails, sans toilet paper and food wrappers as winter conditions truly calls a more seasoned hiker into the woods.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Putnam Memorial State Park - Redding, Connecticut

Katie Wanders is something I am so happy to have and proud to share, but it is truly a hobby and a passion project. I work as an Environmental Consultant for a firm I started, where I work on "due diligence environmental site assessments". To put it simply, I write environmental reports covering the history of a commercial property and the current use to decide if there are any environmental concerns before the bank agrees to hand over a loan. Part of my job is physically examining the properties which takes me all over the state of Connecticut, and a lot of the northeast really. I try to break up the drive with a run or a hike somewhere new. A recent work trip to the western portion of the state brought me to a beautiful Connecticut State Park loaded with history that I had never heard of - Putnam Memorial State Park

Putnam Memorial State Park is much more than your traditional state park with a variety of hiking trails and picnic pavilion. For starters, it is Connecticuts FIRST state park, designated to honor the location of Continental Army's 1779 winter encampment in Redding, Connecticut during the American Revolutionary War. The park offers a museum and visitor's center as well as hiking trails, group camping, fishing, picnicking, and educational signage around the property. There are also yearly events including reenactments, ghost walks, and winter hikes. If you want the full experience and a chance to see the museum and visitor's center, plan to visit between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. If you just want to use the trails and take in the history, the park is open daily dawn to dusk. 

I visited in the late fall when the facilities were all closed. I had Olive with me and walked the one mile loop/auto road, stopping to read various signs and take in the history along the way. The property is absolutely beautiful and during the week late in the season, I only saw a few other dog walkers.