Wilderness Heals

Thank you for visiting the Wilderness Heals blog. Wilderness Heals is an all-women, three-day annual pledge hike that benefits the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH), a Boston-based emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and therapeutic community that provides services to women and children who are escaping violence and overcoming trauma. By encouraging hikers to set challenging physical, emotional, and financial goals, Wilderness Heals mirrors the experiences of hundreds of women who have sought help from the Stone House. Committing to hike is a way to grow personally while simultaneously standing in solidarity with women of the Stone House and women everywhere who are working to overcome the effects of violence in their lives.
Wilderness Heals 2011 will take place July 15-17, 2011. Registration materials may be downloaded here.
Go here to view the 2011 routes, and visit our Who's Who page to meet this year's team leaders and Recruitment Committee members.
Want to learn more? Visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions? Contact Erika Whyte, Wilderness Heals event coordinator, at 781-726-0551 or ewhyte@elizabethstone.org.

Monday, February 04, 2008

You Can Go Your Own Way, or 2008 Hiking Routes

Wilderness Heals offers a range of hiking routes that are uniquely tailored to a variety of skills and interests. Routes are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most challenging. Routes for Wilderness Heals 2008 are listed below:

Itinerary 1: Pemi Ridge Exploration, Two Nights in Galehead Hut

Summary: Hikers on this route spend two nights at the remote and beautiful Galehead Hut, located at the edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Depending on the team's trail choices, this route can be anywhere from relaxing to strenuous. Spending two nights at Galehead allows hikers to explore portions of the Pemigewasset Wilderness at their own pace, as well as providing possibilities to summit one or more 4,000-foot peaks. Hikers can also carry slightly less gear and food in their packs on Saturday's adventure.

Rating: 2-5

Day 1: Hikers can choose one of three routes to reach Galehead Hut. The most strenuous option is to hike from the North Twin trailhead up and over North and South Twin mountains to the hut. Another challenging route brings hikers up and over Mount Garfield. A less challenging option is a shorter hike up the Gale River Trail to meet the Garfield Ridge Trail, which meets up with the hut.

Day 2: Summiting opportunities abound on the second day of this hike, or, teams may opt to take it easy. Hikers may choose a relaxed jaunt to Thirteen Falls or hike along the Twinway to Zealand Falls. Or, if hikers want to bag a peak or two, they can choose among several 4,000-foot mountains, including Mount Bond, West Bond, Bondcliff, North and South Twin, Mount Garfield, and Mount Lafayette. Hikers may leave non-required gear and hike with lighter packs.

Day 3: Today, hikers have the same three trail option as on Day 1, but in reverse. Hike straight out the Gale River Trail, over Mount Garfield and out, or, with an early start, over South and North Twin. Drivers will meet the teams at the trailhead to transport them to the Highland Center in Crawford Notch.

Itinerary 2: President Venture, Mizpah Spring Hut to Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Summary: This is a moderate hike option for hikers to explore the Southern Presidential range. This route invites hikers to summit six 4,000-foot mountains, including Mount Washington--New England's highest peak--over the three-day span. Hikers will take in stunning views along the ridge as they travel from hut to hut. This route also allows hikers to meet up with other Wilderness Heals teams coming from the Lakes of the Clouds Escape.

Rating: 3-5

Day 1: Hikers will be dropped off at Crawford Path to ascend to Mizpah Spring Hut. Those looking for a more challenging route can trek in over Mount Pierce. Afternoon hikes include Mount Pierce or a loop over Mount Webster and Mount Jackson.

Day 2: Hikers will follow the Crawford Path to Lakes of the Clouds Hut with the option to summit Mounts Pierce, Eisenhower, Franklin, and Monroe. After unloading extra weight at the hut, hikers can scale Mount Washington to take in the panoramic views of the Presidentials. Hikers will also have the pleasure of mingling with Lakes of the Clouds Escape hikers who will already be at the hut.

Day 3: On the final day, hikers can choose to hike out via Crawford Path to the Highland Center, or they can hike down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, where a shuttle will be waiting to transport them to the reception.

Itinerary 3: Lakes of the Clouds Escape, Two Nights at Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Summary: Hikers on this route will spend two nights at the beautiful Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The range of trails from the hut offers something for everyone. By choosing this option, hikers have the possibility of conquering five 4,000-foot mountains, including Mount Washington, New England's highest peak. Staying two nights in the same hut allows hikers to carry slightly less gear and food in their packs during Saturday's hike. Hikers will be joined at the hut by the Presidential Venture teams on Day 2.


Day 1: Hike into the Lakes of the Clouds Hut via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Teams may choose to summit Mount Monroe or explore the ridge once reaching the hut.

Day 2: Today there are several hiking options ranging from easy to strenuous. Hikers may choose to summit Mount Washington and explore the adjacent ravines. Other options include following the Crawford Path to summit Mounts Monroe, Franklin, Eisenhower, and Pierce. An alternate hike includes a traverse along the Dry River Trail to the scenic Dry River Falls. At the end of Day 2, hikers will welcome teams of hikers who will be traveling in from Mizpah Spring Hut.

Day 3: The final day concludes with a hike out via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, where a shuttle will be waiting to transport hikers to the Highland Center. Ambitious teams may choose to hike out Crawford Path, with options to summit Mounts Monroe, Franklin, Eisenhower, and Pierce before descending to the Highland Center.

Itinerary 4: Backcountry Camping

Summary: There are no huts with running water and prepared meals for this option. The backcountry team will have the opportunity to plan and prepare meals together on portable stoves. The White Mountains offer a range of backcountry camping possibilities with great day hikes from the established camp. No prior experience in backcountry camping is required. Hikers who choose this option should be prepared to carry tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment, and they must contribute to the route-planning each day. This route offers a great opportunity for hikers to learn about backcountry camping experience in a supportive environment.

Rating: 3-5

Days 1-3: Backcountry hikers will decide their three-day routes as a team. Team leaders will decide which campsite to use based on the size and composition of the backcountry team. Campsite options include the Nauman tentsite, Ethan Pond, Guyot, Thirteen Falls, Garfield Ridge, and Resolution Shelter.

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