I have hiked and written about New England’s 67 4000+ foot peaks and many other big mountains in this beautiful part of the world. I share my experiences here and on Instagram. I am also a Registered Maine Guide, supporting other hikers on their adventures and sharing my excitement about all things outside.
On my blog, you will find details about the trails I hike, the gear and resources I use, and what each hike was like—amazing, decent, tough, or downright awful. At the bottom of each hiking post, there is a table of stats to help you plan your own hike.
You will also find enthusiastic promotion of nurturing your thing. My thing is (obviously) hiking, although the thing itself doesn’t matter. It can be any activity that brings joy to you and only you, something that inspires awareness, change, growth, and self-preservation.
Why did I start hiking?
I started hiking alone in August 2020. The pandemic was dragging on. There was no end in sight. No imminent return to normal. I felt physically stuck, creatively stagnant, and emotionally exhausted. I was overstimulated by the demands of quarantine and underwhelmed by my ability to cope. I wanted space. To breathe, to think, to process.
So, I headed for the only place I knew I’d be really, truly isolated: the mountains.
I live in Portland, and although Maine is certainly a mountainous state, the more significant peaks are over two hours away. It was a shorter drive to reach the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a place I am fond of and familiar with.
Before the pandemic, I hadn’t hiked in years. I hadn’t been in the woods—I mean really in the woods—in years. It only took one hike over the Moat Mountain range and I was hooked.
On September 11, 2020, I hiked Mt. Adams (my first 4000 footer) and set a goal for myself. I would hike New England’s 67 4000 footers in one year. That meant hiking at least once a week. It meant leaving home before the sun was up and returning after dark, too exhausted to do anything but fall into bed. During the summer, it meant leaving for days at a time to string together multiple peaks in one trip.
At first, pursuing my goal felt weird and selfish and undeserved. But I quickly realized: nurturing your thing only works if you make it a priority, putting its importance on the same level as work, family, home, and social obligations.
As I worked through the 67, my hiking project morphed into something much bigger than bagging peaks. It became an exploration of places, challenges, and my individual capacity for hard work. My commitment to self-prioritization began to positively affect my work, my habits, and the people I care about. It also made me bolder and braver.
About six months into my project, I went on my first multi-day backpacking trip. After that, I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail’s 100 Mile Wilderness into Baxter State Park and end my 67 on the summit of Mount Katahdin. On September 8, 2021, I climbed Katahdin’s Hamlin Peak and finished my goal three days shy of one year after I started on Mt. Adams. The seven days I spent alone in the woods at the end of my adventure were empowering, affirming, and life-changing.
In addition to providing helpful information about New England’s mountains, the goal of She Hikes Mountains is to inspire other women (and men… but especially women) to find their thing and to nurture it boldly, bravely, and unapologetically. I became a Registered Maine Guide with this goal close to my heart. For those who want to look for their joy in the woods or at the top of a mountain, I will enthusiastically be your partner in adventure!
We get one life. It is meant to be lived.
A note about She Hike Mountains stats:
At the end of every hiking post you will find stats I’ve compiled about the trail. These are my opinions based on my personal experience with the hike. This is not an official guide. Your experience may differ drastically depending on the season, the weather, your prior hiking experience, and your physical condition.
A note about dogs:
In my stats, ‘dogs’ refers to whether or not I think dogs can use the trail, based on my knowledge of Luna’s capabilities. For reference, Luna is a 60lb, 2 year old Golden Retriever. Some trails and parks have very specific rules about dogs, ie, on-leash only. Check before you go and always hike with a leash just in case!
A note about mileage:
The trail mileage I list is taken from my iWatch recordings, the AllTrails app, and the Appalachian Mountain Club guide book. I’ve found these don’t always match each other, so consider these mileages an average, occasionally giving or taking about a half mile.
A note about safety:
Your safety on any trail is your responsibility. Always, always, always take a compass and a map and make sure someone knows where you are and when you will be back. Check the weather forecast for the SUMMIT before you go, not just the trailhead. Bring layers, even if you’re sweating while you’re packing, and carry more water than you think you’ll need.
Remember: The goal isn’t to reach the summit. It is to return safely to the trailhead or terminus point.