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Redlining the White Mountains

Redlining Map of the White Mountain National Forest
Redlining Map of the White Mountain National Forest

There’s an expression up here among die-hard White Mountain hikers and peakbaggers called Redlining, where hikers try to walk all 529 trails listed in the White Mountain Guide. That’s quite a feat and can require a lifetime of walking, since there are about 1,420 miles of trails listed (the number fluctuates each time the White Mountain Guide is republished.)

Last weekend, I took one of my old and very well used waterproof White Mountain Maps and highlighted all of the trails I’ve hiked with a Red Sharpie Pen. I estimate that I’ve completed about 250 miles, including 98% of the New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Trail.

From what I have been able to dig up about the Redlining,  there were three hikers known to have completed all 529 trails: Tony Federer, Larry Garland, and Dave Govastki. (see  July 23, 2008 (pg 12), It took each of them decades to finish and they crept up on it by hiking all over the region recreationally before zeroing in on the final milestone.

Like them, my focus is on enjoying the region and picking off some peakbagging lists like the White Mountain 4000 Footers in between my multi-day backpacking trips. Still, it’s an impressive milestone and a worthy lifetime achievement.

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3 comments

  1. Philip,

    Great for you!

    I think that my White Mountains mileage count is less than tenth of yours…

    Edgar

  2. This goal makes much more sense to me than The Grid.

    Adam and I are close to finishing redlining Monadnock and it has been fun to see how different the north and west trails are from the white dot/white cross highways.

  3. This is a dangerous temptation for me and Sherpa! we are so very goal driven and combining our love of the whites and Goal has become irresistable!!! I forsee some red sharpies in our future :)

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