In the months leading up to the event, more than 50 hikers from around New England signed up as individual fundraisers to support NFF’s work expanding access to sustainable recreation in the White Mountains. Together, they raised more than $6,000 dollars for the NFF, and celebrated by hiking to their choice of three iconic places in the White Mountain National Forest: Mount Willard, Tuckerman Ravine, or the summit of Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in the northeast and the home of the world’s worst weather.
The day started at 6AM as participants for the Mount Washington hike arrived to check-in at the Northeast Mountaineering Bunkhouse for directions and their goodie bags. The weather was a little discouraging; fog and wind in the valley can often mean some of the most inhospitable weather on the summit. It was short-lived however, and the skies cleared for a sunny and comfortable day of hiking in the Whites.
At the conclusion of the day’s many adventures, the group of hikers, guides, friends and family gathered at a beautiful venue called the Theater in the Wood to celebrate with live music, a food truck, drinks, a bounty of raffles for outdoor gear, and a feature short film about recreation in the White Mountains entitled: It’s All Yours: White Mountain National Forest.
The film was an adventure through the White Mountains with 11 year old Kai Dude, Liz York, and the Breeds Family, and their personal experiences in the White Mountains and what the forest means to them. At the end of the film, it was apparent that young or old, near or far, biker, hiker, runner, boater, fisher or climber, the White Mountain National Forest is an iconic landscape that brings us all together in the beauty of the outdoors.
The cumulative funds raised at the first annual Sum.it for the Forest will be channeled straight into projects on the White Mountain National Forest. Some of these projects include trail restoration on the famous 200-year-old Crawford Path, railing repair at Sabbaday Falls, and site renovation at Glen Ellis Falls.
The National Forest Foundation extends its gratitude to Sum.it for the Forest’s premier sponsors: Senior Hiker Magazine and 60Tree Company for making the first annual Sum.it for the Forest a success, as well as its many supporters and participants. Thanks for supporting the public lands we all love and enjoy. We hope to see you next year at the 2nd Annual Sum.it for the Forest!