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Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Plan to build backwoods hut in White Mountains fuels debate

More than five decades since a backcountry hut for hikers was last built in New Hampshire's White Mountains, a plan to put one less than 2 miles into the woods has stirred passions among some outdoor lovers who say the mountains are already overrun by wealthy out-of-staters who are trampling on a fragile part of the world and undermining the outdoor experience.

The Appalachian Mountain Club proposed building "Sparkling Cascade" — a place for hikers to get some rest, a hot meal and a bunk to crash on for the night — in a section of Crawford Notch. The club says it would be close enough to the main road that people who might not ordinarily get into the mountains...