The Tuckerman Ravine Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in the White Mountains, is scheduled for a temporary closure this summer. On July 18, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) will begin a significant reconstruction project in the steep Headwall section of the trail. Hikers will be able to use the lower portion of the trail, from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center to Hermit Lake Shelter. From Hermit Lake the trail will be closed until the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail. The trail will remain open from the Alpine Garden to the summit of Mt. Washington.
An AMC Professional Trail Crew will work for 4-5 weeks restoring the trail to its original location, building rock steps, and fixing problems caused by erosion in persistently wet areas. The combination of extremely high use, steep terrain, and often challenging weather makes this trail reconstruction a high priority. Since challenging weather is a factor, the work must take place during the height of the summer hiking season. With an experienced crew on board this year AMC Trails Supervisor, David Salisbury wants to take advantage of their expertise. “This is a good year for us to take on this project,” Salisbury said, referring to the numerous veterans working for the AMC trails program. There will be numerous signs posted warning visitors of the trail closure. According to Jeff Lane, Trails, Backcountry, and Wilderness Supervisor for the Androscoggin District, this type of trail closure is very rare. “We have very real concerns for the safety of any visitors who might find themselves underneath the workers. Boulders falling from that height can travel farther than you might imagine.” Closing the trail and keeping hikers away from the area will allow the crew to perform the work as efficiently as possible, according to Lane. “We hope to have the work completed and the trail reopened in mid-August.” Information about trail options and conditions can be found at White Mountain National Forest Ranger Stations in Gorham Conway, or Campton, or from the AMC Visitor Center in Pinkham Notch. For White Mountain National Forest information visit: www.fs.fed.us/r9/white
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