The Crawford Path in the White Mountains turns 200 this summer, making it the oldest known recreational mountain path in the country. It was established two centuries ago at the very start of the industry of people coming north from Boston and New York to relax in the White Mountains, and it’s still heavily used (sometimes to its detriment).

As we prepare to celebrate the bicentennial, I want to look back at one of my favorite columns, from two summers ago, answering that question which arises in a lot of Western hikers who think our relatively small mountains will be a breeze: Why are our hiking trails so *&*&^%!! difficult?

You can read the column by clicking away. Here’s a hint: lack of horses.

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