Rewards and risks in hiking New Hampshire’s White Mountains
A lazy day like this seemed well deserved after the intense and dehydrating journey we had made the day before. You are not allowed to make campfires at the campsites, but there is a ring of stones set in a circle where it is safe to make a fire below, closer to the river. We decided against it, as some other hikers had stopped there to set up camp in the late afternoon. Instead, we sat and ate dinner in the gathering darkness, enveloped by the verdant forest and, once again, the gathering clouds of insects.
On our final day, we continued down the Wild River Trail, following the gurgling river back to the Wild River Campsite and parking lot where we began our trip. Even with all the proper supplies and preparation in the world, when nature throws a curveball your way, it is best to be flexible with your plans. Our trip may have been cut in half by the exceptional heat, but two nights spent miles deep in the wilderness of New Hampshire's White Mountains was well worth the trouble. I look forward to exploring this area more in other seasons, when the temperatures are lower but the surroundings just as savagely beautiful.
The Appalachian Mountain Club is an excellent resource for planning any trip in the White Mountains. The organization has a White Mountain Guide website where you can customize your trip, plan your route and check out the topography of the terrain into which you will be venturing. Remember to bring rope or bear containers to hang or store your food and toiletries when camping, as there is bear activity in this region. A water filtration system is essential, as is rain gear and clothing suitable for both warm and cold conditions. No matter what time of year, the weather can change very quickly in the White Mountains. Carry a map and never hesitate to change your route or even turn around if conditions become unfavourable, as heat, cold, exhaustion and dehydration can become dangerous very quickly. Nearby towns where you can get information, food and supplies include Fryeburg, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire.