Why Take a Hike?

Are you able to walk out your front door and in just a short time see views that leave you speechless – or perhaps the opposite, inspire the poet in you? Our location on the southwestern edge of the White Mountains allows for an unparalleled range of trips, and, for many boys, the hiking program offers experiences unlike any that they can get at home.

Day hikes and overnight trips are available for all campers, with age-appropriate distances and challenge.

So…Why Take a Hike?

You’ll have fun…

Life in camp is terrific, but on a crystal clear New Hampshire day, there’s nothing like changing it up by getting out into the mountains or onto a local river with a bunch of good friends. You’ll explore the pristine White Mountain National Forest with a pair of trained staff members, enjoying the group bonding and strengthened friendships that come from shared effort and experience.

You’ll see beautiful sights…

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are the most majestic in the Northeast, and whether you’re on the top of the mile-high Franconia Range or looking at it in the distance from our half-mile neighbor Mt. Cube, you’ll be seeing sights that have taken Pemi campers’ breath away for over 100 years. Granite cliffs and ledges, sharp, forested ridges, rushing mountain streams and waterfalls, your mountain outing will be filled with lots of exciting “big” things to see and photograph. Keep your eyes out too, though, for the little things: wild blueberries; a tiny red salamander sunning on a patch of green moss; the marks of glaciers on a summit ledge.

You’ll gain appreciation for planning…

As exciting as it is just to head for the hills on a beautiful day, it’s also important to know what to take along to make for an enjoyable and safe trip. At Pemi, you’ll learn what you need in your pack when you hit the trail and, just as importantly, what you don’t need. You’ll learn the importance of choosing a route that’s realistic for the abilities of your group and the prevailing weather conditions. And you’ll learn how to look out for the welfare of everyone else on the trip.

You’ll sweat and feel rewarded…

If you’re like some boys, you might find certain trips to be a challenge, and the experience of working hard and successfully to reach an objective with a group of friends is something you can be extremely proud of. Lots of things in life take a long time to accomplish: learning to hit a curveball or a perfect backhand in tennis; mastering algebra; learning a foreign language. One of the beauties of trips is the chance to plan something very specific, do it successfully, and then sit back and say to yourself, “There. I did it. And it was great!” Taking in a 360-degree, 75-mile view on a nearby summit, then, you’ll learn the rewards of a little focused physical exertion. And on the way home, you’ll feel rewarded in another way, with a stop at a local country store or ice cream shop for a treat, known by Pemi veterans as a “dope stop.

You might discover a passion that lasts a lifetime…

Long after you hang up your lacrosse stick, your catcher’s mask, or your ice hockey pads, you’ll be able to lace up your hiking boots or snap up your life vest and head out into Nature on a mountain trail or wilderness river. The more trips you take now, the more comfortable you’ll feel setting out on really exciting expeditions in the future. And finally, chances are, Pemi trips will leave you with a rich appreciation for both the beauty and the power of Nature – and a new determination to play your role in preserving our precious wilderness.

You’ll make lasting memories…

Trips make for especially rich and lasting memories, something you’ll appreciate right away but all the more so in the future. Every year, campers from the past revisit Pemi and reminisce about hikes or paddles they took decades and decades ago. From the smiles on their faces and the look in their eyes, you might think they had just piled out of the van that picked them up at the trailhead.

Learn More…