The Appalachian Mountain Club is launching its new Young Adult Adventures series this fall, designed especially for outdoors enthusiasts in the their 20s and 30s who want to challenge themselves with new activities, build on existing outdoor skills, and meet some new friends.

Five weekend-long guided programs — four in September and one in early December — will immerse young adult participants in alpine hiking, back-country navigation, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking. Base camp for these adventure weekends will be the AMC Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch, right in the heart of the White Mountains at the base of Mount Washington.

Each program begins on Friday evening with dinner and an orientation session. Then for the next two days participants are out on the trail, the water or the rocks for a full day of fun. The Saturday of each weekend focuses on one specific activity, while on Sunday participants can choose to go hiking or mountain biking. Plenty of social and relaxation time is also built in to the schedule.

Take your pick from this great program lineup:

Sept. 7-9: Land navigation skills and Mount Washington hike. AMC guides will lead a comprehensive eight-hour course that includes classroom instruction and field practice in the woods around Pinkham Notch. Put your map and compass skills to work the next day on a climb to the summit of Mount Washington via Tuckerman Ravine. 

Sept. 14-16: Rock climb, hike and bike. Seasoned instructors from the International Mountain Climbing School will guide the group at scenic Square Ledge, a 150-foot crag in Pinkham Notch. Learn about rope handling, climbing techniques, belaying and gear during multiple ascents. Then enjoy a day of hiking or try mountain biking on the 25-mile single-track trail system at nearby Great Glen Trails. 

Sept. 21-23: Whitewater rafting, hike and bike. Join the river guides from Backwoods Rafting for a wet and wild day of whitewater rafting on the Androscoggin River. From the put-in at Pontook Dam you’ll paddle exciting Class II-III rapids on multiple runs of this pretty stretch of river. The next day take a hike or mountain bike ride. 

Sept. 28-30: Paddle, hike and bike. Head up to Errol for a day of paddling on a placid section of the Androscoggin River. Try a run in a canoe and practice basic paddling strokes like the draw, J-stroke, sweep and pry. Next, jump into a solo kayak and practice mastering it. Pedal a mountain bike or go for a hike the next day. 

Dec. 7-9: Early winter hiking. Winter arrives early most years in the high peaks of the White Mountains, so this should be a terrific opportunity to get acquainted with the basics of safe and enjoyable cold weather hiking.

No experience is necessary, but participants should be physically active and have a desire to learn new skills in an outdoor group setting. Basic gear and clothing for day hiking is all you need to bring, plus some comfortable street clothes for the evenings. Climbing and paddling equipment is provided and mountain bike rentals are available. All meals and lodging are included.

AMC guides are highly trained in a broad range of outdoor skills, wilderness medicine and natural history interpretation. They know their stuff and they’re friendly and fun to be around; same with the guides at IMCS, Great Glen Trails and Backwoods Rafting. With many years of serious experience, you’ll be in very capable hands. 

The AMC Young Adult Adventures series is a great way to get outside and get active in the mountains with your peers this fall. For more information and to register, go to or call 603-466-2727. AMC has outdoor programs for teens, older adults and families as well, so be sure to inquire about these and other club activities.

Carey Kish of Bowdoin is editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. Follow his hiking adventures at