The Appalachian Trail, or “AT,” runs approximately 2,175 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. Included in those are 161 miles in New Hampshire, considered by many to be the most spectacular and challenging of the entire trail, traversing rare alpine zones, four wilderness areas and seventeen peaks above 4,000 feet.
The idea of the AT was first promoted in 1921 by the Harvard-educated forester Benton MacKaye. MacKaye knew the value of these forests as headwaters, having personally collected much of the scientific data linking the health of White Mountain forests to the health of stream flow. He also knew their value as a refuge from urban sprawl and a source of recreation. In 1925, MacKaye organized a conference in Washington, D.C. to initiate the creation of the Appalachian Trail. The trail was completed in 1937 and is today known as one of the world’s premier hiking paths, famous for the natural beauty surrounding it up and down the Appalachian Mountain Range. Consider, though, what the reputation of the trail might be without the lands protected by the Weeks Act. How many National Forests does the AT pass through from Georgia to Maine?
Our current location on the tour is the head of the Webster Cliff Trail, part of the AT. The trail begins with an easy nature walk over a flat, gravel path to a foot bridge over the Saco River. Beyond that, however, the trail is challenging, rising steeply over two miles to the top of Mount Webster.
Directions to Next Site:
To return to The Week’s Act Legacy Trail, follow Rte 302 west for 1 mile to the Willey House in Crawford Notch State Park.