Top 10 White Mountain Foliage Hikes and Fall Naturalist Blog Unveiled by AMC

By AlpineZone News |
Aug 13 2007 - 10:20 AM

BOSTON, Massachusetts — The Appalachian Mountain Club this fall is offering its unique expert perspective on outdoor adventure in New Hampshire’s White Mountains to help take the guesswork out of planning a leaf peeping trip to Northern New England.

Looking for short nature walks to nearby waterfalls or more challenging hikes with expansive foliage views of the White Mountains? AMC is offering free maps and trail descriptions for its top 10 fall foliage hike picks through its new White Mountain Guide Online community and subscription service. White Mountain Guide Online combines expert content from the 100th anniversary AMC White Mountain Guide with interactive maps. Starting September 1, users will be able to view and download trip itineraries for these recommended hikes, including locator maps, trailhead directions, detailed trail descriptions with advice on what gear to bring, and additional safety and stewardship information.

Also starting in September, the new “AMC Naturalist Notes” blog will offer a window to the seasonal changes taking place outside of AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch and Highland Center at Crawford Notch, as well as from the trails at AMC’s backcountry White Mountain huts. Blogger Nancy Ritger, an AMC naturalist for nearly 20 years, will share weekly photos and observations about fall’s progression. Readers can witness the season unfold through updates that will include reports on the first signs of color changes evident at higher elevations, tree-line locations, and lower-elevation swamps; birch, beech, and maple trees turning hues of yellow, orange, and red; status of leaf drop; impacts of local weather conditions on foliage; wildlife spottings; transformation of flowering plants; and the first overnight formations of ice crystals as November approaches.

The blog is maintained as part of AMC’s alpine plant monitoring and air quality research, which includes AMC’s “citizen-scientist” program, called Mountain Watch. The program gives hikers a hands-on way of volunteering to help track the timing of fall color change and leaf drop. Hikers can pick up a fall foliage survey from AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge, Highland Center, and mountain huts or download it from AMC’s website. Then, simply take a foliage hike to any forest view from an overlook or peak in the White Mountains or other Northeast location, and record observations as part of long-term research examining indicators of climate change.

Another option for enjoying White Mountain outdoor adventure up close and personal this fall is to let AMC’s experts plan??”and lead??”the way. Free, expert-guided foliage activities, including foliage hikes, interpretive outdoor programs, and skills workshops will be available through AMC’s walk-on Outdoor Explorations program introduced this year. Following is a snapshot of what guests at AMC’s Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge can expect this fall:

  • Free, “Adventure of the Day” two-hour guided programs, including shutterbug hikes, trail running, and trail maintenance offered daily at 9:00 a.m. to Highland Center guests.
  • Free, three- to eight-hour guided hikes, including hut hikes, offered at 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays at Highland Center. Four Thousand Footer hike offered every Sunday at 8:00 a.m.
  • Free, naturalist-guided tours of Pinkham Notch offered every weekend at 10 a.m. at Joe Dodge Lodge.
  • Free, one-hour interpretive outdoor programs offered daily at 1:00 p.m. and skills workshops daily at 3:00 p.m. at Highland Center. One-hour programs offered every Wednesday through Sunday at Joe Dodge Lodge at 8:00 a.m. Programs vary by location and will cover such topics as fall colors, White Mountain weather, forest ecology, Leave No Trace principles, map and compass skills, trail maintenance, fire-making, nature-journaling, and wild edibles.
  • Free evening programs, including moose-spotting forays, stargazing, and nocturnal creatures walks offered daily at Highland Center at 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday nights at Joe Dodge Lodge.
  • Multi-day, guided adventures offered at AMC lodges and huts in New Hampshire’s White Mountains will include naturalist-led, foliage-themed lodge-to-hut hiking with AMC’s White Mountain Huts, in addition to a fall digital photography workshop based at Highland Center. These programs are fee-based, and pre-registration is required.

For more details about fall activities and packages, visit AMC’s Fall Guide starting on August 1 at

Additionally this fall, AMC is offering its 50+ Adventure Camp experience and Bike and Stay package with Joe Dodge Lodge and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center.

50+ Adventure Camp
This September 23-28, during peak foliage season, AMC is breaking the traditional, kids-only camp mold and expanding its programming to offer camp exclusively for adults 50 and older at AMC’s Highland Center. The week-long program is tailor-made for adventure-minded travelers ages 50+ interested in a mix of nature walks, half-day and full-day hikes, local and natural history, and the chance to meet new friends amid a spectacular mountain landscape. Activity highlights include a hike to AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut, part of the oldest and only full-service hut-to-hut hiking network in the U.S., and a nature hike at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, a National Natural Landmark. Highland Center combines doorstep access to many miles of scenic White Mountain trails with the comforts of lodge amenities off the trail, including private rooms/private bathrooms, freshly prepared meals, and a selection of day and evening programs. Highland Center also provides an award-winning “green-friendly” experience reflected in every detail, from the design of the lodge to daily activities with expert naturalists.

The package starts at $375/person, plus taxes, for members ($435 for non-members) and includes guided programs, five nights’ lodging, dinners, breakfasts, and trail lunches, and the ability to borrow outdoor equipment at no charge from the L.L. Bean gear room. Accommodations at Highland Center include private or shared room/shared bath (depending on availability). Private room/private bath is available for an extra cost.

Bike & Stay at AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge
This fall, stay at AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and receive a free, one-day pass to Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center with every mountain bike rental??”plus get an additional $5 rental discount to sweeten the deal. Take this opportunity to explore Great Glen’s network of family-friendly rolling carriage roads and more challenging terrain for hardcore mountain bikers. Also enjoy Joe Dodge Lodge’s proximity to a wide variety of area hiking trails, including the Tuckerman Ravine Trail for a summit hike up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet. The all-inclusive bike-and stay-package at Joe Dodge Lodge includes dinner, comfortable bunkroom accommodations, and a full buffet breakfast. Member adult rates start at just $57 per person/night ($62 non-members), plus taxes. Discounted child rates and family rooms are also available.

Rates and Reservations:
For rates and reservations, call (603) 466-2727 or visit All AMC programs and destinations are open to AMC members and non-members, with additional discounts available to members. Membership is $75 for families and $50 for individuals. Specific package deals must be mentioned when booking, and packages cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Space is subject to availability.

One-hour to full-day Outdoor Explorations are offered free to Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge guests. All-inclusive stays at Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge feature private room/shared bath lodging, family-style dinner and breakfast, Outdoor Explorations as scheduled, and free use of L.L. Bean gear with stays at Highland Center. Highland Center rates for fall 2007 start at $64 per person/night for members ($77 for non-members), plus taxes. Joe Dodge Lodge rates start at $57 per person/night for members ($62 for non-members), plus taxes.

For additional fall story ideas and detailed, multi-activity seasonal itineraries, visit:

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is the oldest conservation and recreation organization in the nation. With 90,000 members in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and wise use of the mountains, rivers and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.