Comments on Hiking Dates

Old branching "pasture" maple tree on the trail to Blueberry Mountain (photo by Webmaster) Dates are included on the trail reports so that you will have an exact indication of what time of the year the hike occurred and how current the information is. But don't be discouraged by older dates... remember many trail guides on your shelves at home and even in bookstores are quite old. Plus as I become aware of new information, I go back and update the trail report (see the Last Updated Date section).

Many hiking websites include only the season instead of a specific date. I find this practice to be misleading or unhelpful: compare a summer-like hike in early fall (late September) to a wintry, snowy hike in late fall (mid-December). By giving you the actual date of the hike you can better judge when you should go on that hike if you're hoping to get similar conditions. Including just a season is not only ineffective; it also leaves you with no idea as to how old the information is.

With books people are accustomed to receiving outdated information... by the time the book is researched, written, edited, and published, there is quite a lapse between when the data was originally gathered and when it appears in the bookstore. With the Internet, where publishing is instantaneous, we can be more exact and therefore give you more precise as well as timelier information.

Generally speaking, most trailheads remain in the same place so even if a trail has been rerouted, you should still be able to follow it if you can get to the trailhead. So take a look at the date the hike took place on but don't be too worried if it shows an older date. When I become aware of information that's no longer valid in a report, I will update it. And please help me with this process by emailing me if there's anything in any of the reports that seems to be inaccurate or incomplete.

Hikes without Dates   

You'll notice that there are some hikes that don't have a date and whose season is listed as "variable". These represent reports written up as general trail guides - hikes that the author has done repeatedly throughout the seasons where a general write-up was deemed to be more beneficial than a report of the hike on a specific day.

Snowy trail to Peaked Mtn. and Middle Mtn. (photo by Mark Malnati) Winter Road Closures   

Many roads leading to trailheads are closed in the winter. I believe I've included a note about this on all the affected trail reports but the exact opening and closing dates change every year and are dictated by the weather and other situations. For the very latest information, check out the White Mountain National Forest's road status page.

Day of the Week   

The day of the week is also included as part of the hike date. This can be useful for determining how busy a trail might be. If the author notes that there were few people on the trail, it could be simply because the hike was on a weekday. Weekends tend to be busier... for some it's reassuring to see other people on the trail while others purposefully seek out solitude.

Last Updated Date   

When present, this indicates the date that the hiking report was last reviewed for accuracy and/or last updated.

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