Appalachian Mountain Club Closes White Mountains Huts for 2020
The Appalachian Mountain Club has closed its huts in the White Mountains for the rest of 2020, a decision the AMC called painful but necessary because of the spread of COVID-19.
The closings, along with shutdowns of backcountry sites by the White Mountain National Forest, severely limit options for camping on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire.
The AMC’s announcement is here.
An estimated 30,000 people stay at the huts annually. The huts provide lodging and meals to hikers from spring to fall, with a few open year-round. Thru-hikers and day hikers use them for rest stops to fill up on water or buy a hot bowl of soup and bread cooked by the huts’ croo, as seasonal works are called.
The huts also offer limited overnight space to thru-hikers to do a work for stay, which can range from light to major cleaning or other projects the croo wants done. The hikers sometimes get leftover food from the meals cooked for paying hut guests.
Madison Spring Hut, built in a col between the summits of Mount Adams and Madison in 1888, was the first building constructed by the club as well as the first high mountain hut. Lake of the Clouds hut followed in 1915.
Since then the AMC built Lonesome Lake, Greenleaf, Galehead, Zealand Falls, Mizpah Spring, and Carter Notch huts. All the huts except Greenleaf are on the Appalachian Trail.
The White Mountain National Forest has also closed many backcountry campsites on the AT, including Gentian Pond Shelter, Imp Shelter, Osgood tent site, Rattle River Shelter, Beaver Brook Shelter, Coppermine Shelter, Eliza Brook Shelter, Ethan Pond Shelter, Garfield Ridge Shelter, Hexacuba Shelter, Jeffers Brook Shelter, Kinsman Pond Shelter, Liberty Springs tent site, Moose Mountain Shelter, Ore Hill tent site, Smarts Mountain Cabin and tent site, Three Ponds Shelter, Trapper John Shelter, Velvet Rocks Shelter, and Nauman tent site.
In addition, the Randolph Mountain Club, which has shelters on feeder trails to the AT in the White Mountains, has asked hikers not to stay at their camps until further notice. Read the RMC’s request here.
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