Trails Volunteer of the Month - June 2009

Chris McNeil
Six Husbands Trail Adopter

I’ve been hiking and rock climbing for a long time but only started doing trail maintenance a few years ago. I signed up for a week long crew at Baxter State Park in 2005. I enjoyed it so much I returned again in 2006. Alex was my crew leader when I started out and in the course of sitting around the camp fire after dinner I learned about the “adopt a trial program”. When I checked it out on the AMC webpage I saw that Six Husbands trail was open for adoption. I hike this trail several years ago and remembered it was a tough trail but a fun hike with some interesting features. There are a couple of caves to scramble through and some ladders to help climb up the steep sections. I liked the idea of the adoption program too, since I could work the trail at my own schedule.
When I started work, the trail was incredibly overgrown. Lopping, lopping, and more lopping till I was exhausted. Little by little the trail started shaping up and is now in pretty good condition. Since the brushing is over for the time being I’m looking at improving the drainage below treeline and building more and better cairns in the alpine zone.
I get some interesting comments when I tell people I’m the Six Husbands adopter. The trail seems to have a reputation as a wild and crazy trail. Although Six Husbands is challenging and hard, it is well worth the effort. There are a number of rock overlooks as the trail goes up to Jefferson Knee. The views of the Great Gulf are spectacular and there are great places to sit and admire the mountain landscape. Hikers who venture into the Six Husbands are well rewarded by the breathtaking scenery. There’s also a sense of satisfaction to push your limits on a really hard trail and complete it.

Six Husbands trail is a hidden gem in the White Mountains. It is a remote and steep trail. It is a trail that hikers remember and enjoy taking about with other hiker friends. I highly recommend it and hope you get to enjoy it too. Hope to see you out there.

Chris McNeil