Hiking the Crawford Path

Hiking the Crawford Path

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, you will find the oldest hiking trail in America


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♪ ANTHONY: IT IS A DIFFERENT WORLD AT A 5000 FEET. AN EMPIRE OF SKY. ADRIFT ON WAVES OF EARTH. WE ARE HIKING THE CRAWFORD PATH, THE OLDEST HIKING TRAIL IN AMERICA. THE PATH CLIMBS UP AND OVER THE SPINE OF THE SOUTHERN PRESIDENTIAL’S AND THE WHITE MOUNTAINS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. HERE, JUST BELOW THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT WASHINGTON, WE’VE ENTERED THE ALPINE ZONE WITH CONDITIONS SO HARSH, THE ONLY THING GROWING SEEMS TO BE ROCK. ♪ THERE IS A PARTICULAR EXHILARATION THAT COMES WITH HIKING IN OPEN RICH ABOVE TREE LINE. COMPLAINTS OF THE LEG MUSCLES OFFSET BY THE ENDORPHINS EXPLODING IN THE BRAIN. AND MAKING A HIKE ABOVE TREE LINE EVEN BETTER, KNOWING SOMEONE HAS BEEN UP HERE WORKING ALL DAY MAKING A HOT DINNER FOR YOU. ♪ ANNOUNCER: THIS IS “CHRONICLE” ON WCVB NEWS CHANNEL 5. ♪ ANTHONY: IT IS A MOST WELCOME SIGHT FOR A WEARY HIKER. >> I MADE IT. >> ARE YOU GOING TO STAY HERE TONIGHT? >> I AM STAYING HERE TONIGHT. ANTHONY: THE LAKES OF THE CLOUD HUT SITS ON THE SHOULDERS OF MOUNT WASHINGTON, THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN IN THE NORTHEAST. OPERATED BY THE APPELLATION MOUNTAIN, THE HUD CAN SLEEP UP TO 92 HIKERS. HOT DINNER AND BREAKFAST INCLUDED. >> WE WILL WAKE YOU UP AT 6:30. BREAKFAST WILL BE SERVED AT 7 A.M. >> MELODIOUS FASHION. BETTER THAN WHAT I GET AT HOME. GUESTS SLEEP IN SHARED BUNK ROOMS, PILLOWS AND THREE WOOL BLANKETS PROVIDED. >> HOME SWEET HOME. UNBELIEVABLE VIEWS. MY GOSH. >> LAKES OF THE CLOUDS IS THE LARGEST OF THE AMC’S EIGHT FULL-SERVICE MOUNTAIN HUTS LAID OUT ACROSS THE WHITE MOUNTAINS, ROUGHLY A DAY’S WALK APART. HIKERS CAN STRING TOGETHER MULTI-DAY EXCURSIONS WITHOUT HAVING TO CARRY A TENT, BEDDING AND FOOD ON THEIR BACKS. >> IT IS THE BIGGEST HUT IN THE SYSTEM, THE HIGHEST ELEVATION AND ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR. ♪ >> BECKY, ARCHIVIST FOR THE AMC, TELLS US THE FOUNDERS OF THE AMC WERE NATURE LOVING ACADEMICS FROM THE BOSTON AREA. >> THE ORIGINS OF THE HUTS WERE BORN NOT THE LOVER HIKING, GETTING OUT IN THE MOUNTAINS. THEY HAVE SEEN HUTS IN EUROPE AND THOUGHT WE COULD PROBABLY DO THIS KIND OF THING HERE IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS. >> HALF THE PLEASURE OF STAYING AT AN AMC HUT, MEETING YOUR FELLOW HUT MATES. >> THE WHITE MOUNTAINS HAVE BEEN IN MY BUCKET LIST FOR A LONG TIME. >> HE HAS BEEN ON THE TRAIL FOR SEVEN DAYS. MAKING HIS WAY NORTH OVER THE SOUTHERN PRESIDENTIALS. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE WHITES? >> OH, MAN. FIRST OF ALL, SPECTACULAR. I NEVER EXPECTED THE LEVEL OF ALPINE HIKING YOU GET HERE. I’VE HIKED GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, I HAVE HIKED IN THE CASCADES. I’M USED TO SEEING ALPINE VEGETATION AND THOSE KIND OF VIEWS OUT WEST BUT I DIDN’T THINK WE HAD ANYTHING LIKE THAT pIN THE EAST. THE OTHER SIDE OF IT IS HOW INCREDIBLY RUGGED THEY ARE. I HAVE DONE A LOT OF APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKING IN THE SOUTH, YOU WANT TO GO UP A STEEP MOUNTAIN, THERE ARE SWITCHBACKS. IN TEHE WHITES, WE ARE GOING STRAIGHT UP THE MOUNTAIN. >> THERE ARE THOSE MORE INTERESTED IN GOING STRAIGHT DOWN. >> IT IS A LITTLE CRAZY. I THINK PEOPLE STILL SKI HERE IN JULY. >> WE WILL GET BACK TO THE HEROIC ONTO FOR SUMMER SNOW IN A BIT. FOR NOW, WE WANT TO REST UP AND TAKEN THE VIEW. AS THE SMELL OF FRESH BAKED BREAD WAFTS OUT OF THE KITCHEN, WE FEEL THE DEEP SENSE OF WELL-BEING WE SENSE WHEN THE TORMENT OF OUR POOR MIDDLE-AGE MUSCLES FINALLY STOPS. ANTHONY: THE AMC HUTS USUALLY OPERATE MAY TO OCTOBER. UNFORTUNATELY, DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT COVID-19, THE AMC HAS HAD TO CANCEL THE ENTIRE 2020 SEASON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION. THEY PLAN TO RESUME HUT OPERATIONS IN SUMMER 2021. IF YOU DO GET THERE, ACCOMMODATIONS ARE PRETTY BASIC. BUT AT THE END OF A LONG DAY HIKING, IT MIGHT AS WELL BE THE RITZ. IN GOOD WEATHER, THE CRAWFORD PATH IS ONE OF THE GRANDEST WALKS IN THE NORTHEAST, WITH VISTAS THAT GO FOREVER. IN BAD WEATHER, STAY TUNED AND YOU’LL SEE. ON OUR VISIT TO THE WHITES, WE MET BACKPACKERS AND BACK COUNTRY SKIE

Hiking the Crawford Path

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, you will find the oldest hiking trail in America


The Appalachian Mountain Club has eight high mountain huts, strung out through the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Additional video: Appalachian Mountain Club, Ski the Whites, Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Washington Auto Road Co., Cog Railway, Cory Bergeron, Abby Evankow

The Appalachian Mountain Club has eight high mountain huts, strung out through the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Additional video: Appalachian Mountain Club, Ski the Whites, Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Washington Auto Road Co., Cog Railway, Cory Bergeron, Abby Evankow


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