Hiking | New Hampshire Public Radio

Hiking

Sean Hurley

If you’re thinking that right now is the perfect time to bag some peaks and get that Four Thousand Footer patch, AMC committee member Steve Smith says think again.   

“The mantra has been 'Stay Low and Local,'” Smith says, “but we felt that enough people weren't listening to that. And we decided that we needed to take a step further, and just say that we would not count the peaks for anybody that's working on a list as sort of a disincentive.”

Connecting with Nature While Social Distancing

Apr 7, 2020
NHPR listener Alex Weech

It’s warming up and signs of Spring are beginning to emerge. How can we connect with nature safely and responsibly during this pandemic? We discuss where to find less-travelled trails, and how to find inspiration in your own backyard. Hosted by Sam Evans-Brown.

 

Air Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020

 

With the recent closures of Rumney Rocks and Pinkham Notch, and burgeoning crowds reported at popular New Hampshire parks, Governor Sununu on Friday encouraged outdoor enthusiasts to hike locally with his “Home Hike Challenge."

But on Saturday, the day after the challenge was issued, NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the most popular hiking destination in New Hampshire - Mount Monadnock – where staff confirmed the mountain was busier than normal. 

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

The first weekend of Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order saw a surge of hikers heading to popular trails in New Hampshire.

Some officials and conservation groups say that could become a problem.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

With reports of busy hiking trails, New Hampshire’s search-and-rescue teams are urging people who head into the forest to use an extra degree of caution to avoid putting wilderness first responders at risk for COVID-19.

While conservation officers are carrying personal protective gear, performing rescues could expose rescuers to the coronavirus.

Andrew Drummond/Ski the Whites

In addition to hikers on N.H.'s many trails, there are also a growing number of  trail runners, backcountry skiers, bikers and climbers. As adventurers in New Hampshire's backcountry press at limits previously untested or left alone, this trend is joined by modern technology in presenting a new series of challenges for rescuers and for society in general.   

Original Air date: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

Fifty-Two With A View: Fall Hiking in N.H.

Oct 9, 2019
Ken MacGray

We celebrate the fall hiking season with the author of a self-published guidebook, "52 With A View: A Hiker's Guide," detailing the New Hampshire peaks under 4000-feet with trails and a rewarding vista. Originally conceived in the late 70s by a group called the "Over The Hill" hikers in Sandwich, the 52 peaks are located throughout the state, and are appropriate for different hiking abilities - lower elevation does not necessarily mean less challenging! Send us an email and photo of your favorite hike with a view in N.H.!  Air date: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

Courtesy N.H. Fish & Game

New Hampshire authorities say a rock climber fell about 50 feet in the Franconia Notch area Sunday and suffered life-threatening injuries.

Conservation officers say a 20-year-old man was climbing on the Cannon Cliffs when he fell. The climber was unconscious and stuck on a ledge just halfway up the cliff.

A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter crew worked with rescuers to lower a medic 160 feet to the injured climber, who was hoisted into the helicopter.

The helicopter took the man to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment.

Sean Hurley

Owl's Head mountain in Franconia was briefly in the news after a hiker died there last week. Officials say it was a medical emergency made more complicated by the trail's remote location.

Among hikers, Owl’s Head is a regular topic of conversation. To some, it's the best hike in the state....for others, the worst.

NHPR's Sean Hurley has recently set out to reach the summit of all of New Hampshire’s 48 mountains over 4,000 feet. Owl's Head was a natural place to start.

Google Maps

New Hampshire authorities say a 62-year-old hiker suffered a medical emergency while hiking and died.

Conservation officers say the man, who was from New Hampshire, was near Owl's Head Mountain in Franconia on Monday afternoon.

Rescue crews responded and an Army National Guard Helicopter was requested, due to the remote location.

The helicopter crew was able to hoist the man and his wife on board and took them to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

His name has not been released.

 

The New Hampshire Fish & Game Department says an injured hiker had to be rescued in the White Mountain National Forest.

Authorities say the 56-year-old man suffered a non-life threatening injury while hiking down Dickey Mountain on the Welch and Dickey Loop Trail on Saturday.

Rescuers from around the area carried the man down the trail in a litter.

Wikimedia Commons

Authorities say a 78-year-old man suffered a medical emergency and died while hiking along New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock on Memorial Day.

Lt. William Boudreau of the state Fish and Game Department said the man, who was from Massachusetts, and two companions were on a trail in Jaffrey. They were just below the summit of Mount Monadnock when the man became unresponsive about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

WMNF

 

White Mountain National Forest officials are reminding visitors to be prepared for slippery rocks, spring melt-off and high stream crossing levels this Memorial Day weekend.

Officials say be sure to check weather conditions for the area that you're planning to visit. Some places still have snow.

Not all forest system roads are open for the season yet. Road openings are posted regularly online.

Most campgrounds are open, but food and trash should be properly stored so as not to attract bears.

 

Ken Gallager

Trails in the White Mountains could be more challenging this holiday weekend. As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports many still show signs of winter.

It may be summer in New Hampshire but Frank Carus, with the Forest Service,  says most of our taller peaks don’t know it yet. "We've had a lot of snow," Carus says, "and you're going to run into snow anywhere between 3,500 hundred and 4000 feet."

Laid-Back Hiking

May 24, 2019

With temperatures warming up, you may be itching to get outside. But where to go and how to get started - especially with kids? New Hampshire is blessed with plenty of hiking trails, especially in the White Mountains, as well as networks of trails around its cities and towns. We discover favorite trails and uncover some new discoveries, and discuss how to keep it fun for everyone involved.

 

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department conservation officers have come to the aid of a 16-year-old who became ill while out on a hike with over 20 students in Easton.

An emergency beacon was activated in the area of Clay Brook on Monday afternoon. The beacon was registered to The Mountain School of Vershire, Vermont.

Officers learned that students and three adult chaperones were camping in the area. One adult was able to hike out and drive to a home to call for assistance.

Sean Hurley

If you’re looking to sleep overnight on Mount Washington in the winter you have two choices.  You can stay at the Hermit Lake Shelters near Tuckerman Ravine - or you can stay at the go-to-spot for winter climbers - Harvard Cabin near the base of Huntington Ravine. But, as NHPR's Sean Hurley learned when he recently spent a night at Harvard Cabin, the pleasures of those winter days are matched by their dangers - and the responsibilities of the two mountain caretakers go beyond simply keeping track of guests.

Wind. Footsteps. White snow.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Local forest stewards will get trained this summer on how to help hikers enjoy Mount Major more – without leaving as much behind.

The popular hiking spot in the Lakes Region was one of fewer than 20 hiking spots chosen nationwide to be the focus of training from the Leave No Trace program.

Leave No Trace: Finding Balance in Outdoor Ethics

Mar 7, 2019

New Hampshire's mountains attract visitors year-round, and avid hikers are the among the biggest ambassadors of Leave No Trace, a set of principles and best practices for sharing and conserving wilderness areas. But while most people agree on the broad strokes, sorting out the details can be an emotional and argumentative affair.  The Outside/In podcast team joins us to discuss outdoor ethics and how we enjoy nature.

GUESTS:

Jeremy R. Clark

The White Mountains are a legendary playground for hikers. For those who like an extra challenge there’s the New Hampshire 48 – the 48 mountains in the state with elevations over 4,000 feet.

But a new survey is calling almost all our summit elevations into question - and signal a possible change to the famous list of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers.

 

Something Wild: Hiking to Escape

Jan 22, 2019

Over the years, we’ve spoken to a lot people – mostly biologists – about how they were first bitten by the nature bug. Since these stories came from people who’ve made a living exploring, studying and maintaining the natural world, they follow familiar tropes: like an unexpected experience or sighting, or the influence of a parent or teacher who sparked that initial interest in the outdoors.

N.H. State Parks

 

New Hampshire's Division of Parks and Recreation is hosting hikers for guided trips around the state on New Year's Day.

The free "First Day Hikes" take place Tuesday in Portsmouth, Hollis, Milan, Winchester and Allentown. In Hollis, the hike includes a loop around Silver Lake State Park and a campfire with snacks and warm drinks.

In Milan, participants will snowshoe or cross-country ski through Milan Hill State Park, with snacks and drinks at a newly-constructed warming hut.

Samantha Brady/AVSAR

With pleasant weather comes a busy hiking season in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. A misread map, a sudden storm, a forgotten headlamp - and suddenly a hike could turn into a matter of survival. We look at a new book, "Critical Hours," that offers a history and a celebration of the search and rescue workers and volunteers who save lives in the White Mountains.  The growth of inexpensive but sophisticated navigation devices and mobile phones have become part of the experience for both hikers and rescuers. We examine the impact of ubiquitous technology and the future of search and rescue operations. 
This rebroadcast will air Tuesday, January 1 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Google Maps

 

Officials say falling ice struck and killed a Massachusetts woman who was hiking with her family in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the 57-year-old Wellesley woman was injured around noon Sunday.

WFXT-TV reports the woman was hiking with a group of 10 people on the Frankenstein Cliff Trail in Hart's Location when a falling piece of ice struck her in the head.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene and the woman was taken to a hospital where she later died.

The woman's name has not been released.

 

Something Wild: The Dangers of Hiking the Whites

Oct 26, 2018
Dave shares a few tips about hiking safely and conscientiously.

I rolled into the parking lot of the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I was there to meet two White Mountain hiking experts. Authors Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff Books and Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide. Steve also owns the Mountain Wanderer. From the bookstore, we drove to a nearby trail head for the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in Lincoln.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

After a long week of news, this seems like a good moment to turn off the television, to log off social media, and go out for a long walk in the woods.

In Peterborough, the local library has teamed up with the Harris Center to offer a guided approach to communing with nature. It’s called Forest Bathing.

SectionHiker.com

A dilapidated bridge in a North Country wilderness area is officially slated for removal this fall. Officials in the White Mountain National Forest Service finalized their decision on the Thoreau Falls Bridge this week.

The old wooden bridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness has been closed to hikers since last fall. It spans a rocky creek bed that sometimes floods.

District ranger Brooke Brown has now officially decided the bridge doesn't belong in federal wilderness, which is meant to be primeval and undisturbed.

Looking back on my past two years as a single person fitfully dating in New Hampshire, I don’t actually remember most of the first dates I’ve been on. I remember the second and third dates, in which conversation flows normally and you both feel comfortable enough to really learn about each other.

 

But on first dates, I enter a kind of fugue state, propelled by self-awareness and nervous drinking. I know roughly what was said and how much I should be embarrassed by it, but not much more than that.

 

Google maps

 

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department says trail maintenance projects have caused hikers to seek alternate routes to the summit of Mount Washington, which may be resulting in more rescue calls.

The department says Huntington Ravine has been a consistent producer of rescue calls this summer, when many groups have been taking the Huntington Ravine Trail instead of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit.

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