Granite Staters make hiking history on Cohos Trail

New Hampshire hikers braved everything El Nino could throw at them — frigid temperatures, harsh winds and snow — to accomplish something no one had done before.

Swanzey brothers Collin, 22, Ian, 26, and Ryan Hart, 24, along with their friend Matt Miller, 24, of Wilmot, became the first people to ever thru-hike the Cohos Trail in winter, according to Kim Nilsen, the founder of the Cohos Trail Association.

They began their trek on Feb. 2 at southern Crawford Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. Eleven grueling days and 170 miles later, they arrived at the Canadian border in Pittsburg. “When you’re hiking the Cohos Trail, you’re hiking with more moose than people,” Nilsen said.

Trail features include elevations between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, climbing 40 peaks and crossing three major rivers, according to Nilsen.

The trail itself is not difficult in terms of terrain, but Nilsen said its remoteness presents logistical challenges for hikers to resupply. “There’s places where it’s so remote that you’re not gonna be anywhere near population for several days,” he said.

Nilsen praised the Hart brothers and Miller for their preparation and skill, which allowed them to complete the feat.

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