AMC Highland Center
The AMC was on the forefront of conservation in the White Mountains, helping to draft a bill for the creation of a forest reserve as early as 1903. It was with the support of the AMC and its members’ influence on Congress that The Weeks Act of 1911 was finally passed. Today, the AMC operates a string of backcountry huts along the Appalachian Trail under special use permit from the US Forest Service. It also operates two overnight lodges in the White Mountains including The Highland Center. The Highland Center is in many ways the fulfillment of a vision formed years prior to the Weeks Act. This is a center for outdoor recreation and education surrounded by protected forests and open to the public. It’s a great spot to get information on recreational activities, conditions and forecasts, trail information and even take overnight lodging. In 2011 the Highland Center added a natural “playscape” playground for children. Prior to the Highland Center, this was the site of The Crawford House, a grand hotel that survived for over a century. The studio of Frank Shapleigh, artist-in-residence at the Crawford House from 1877 to 1893, has been preserved by the AMC as a bunkhouse.
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We venture now across the street from the AMC Highland Center to one of the White Mountains most historic hiking trails.