Last Sunday, I and three other intrepid hikers joined Charlie Stewart on a hike across the Presidentials! It was an experience unlike any other I have had in any type of athletic endeavor! Charlie prepared all of us over the last two+ months to complete this epic journey of 22 miles in one day! I had doubts about being able to complete the hike (at age 58) but Charlie was there every step of the way with encouragement and patience. Charlie knows our White Mountains and leads an informative adventure from trailhead to finish. I valued his input as I prepared for the multiple treks leading up to and during the Prez Traverse.
If you are looking for an outing for a short jaunt to warm up your legs, a trip with young children or a more challenging "walk" in the mountains, I highly recommend that you talk with Charlie about enjoying the great outdoors that New Hampshire has to offer!
-Bruce B., Bow, NH
Charlie is a great guide to the Whites. I just completed the amazing 2017 Presidential Traverse under his guidance, which followed three training hikes of increasing difficulty. Through it all, Charlie was knowledgeable, encouraging and a lot of fun! I accomplished the Traverse feeling well prepared and safe. I look forward to future hikes with him!
- Alex P., Belmont, MA
In 2012, I, and a small group of coworkers from our firm, signed up to hike the Presidential Traverse with Charlie Stewart. At the time I was a 45 year old mother of two teenage boys who had always been very active and I considered myself to be in relatively good shape. Before the long hike scheduled for June of that year, Charlie coordinated 3 required training hikes for us to conquer. The intention, I think, was for us to get comfortable with various techniques needed for the traverse, to allow us to individually assess our fitness, and of course to get a feel for how well we would perform as a group. The hikes were very different and each had its own set of challenges.
During one particular hike, which I remember not so fondly, my fear of heights kicked in. I literally froze in a petrified state on a steep group of rocks, very close to the mountain summit. My fellow hikers had all made it past me and were encouraging me from the resting spot above. I was frightened and could not fathom making my next move. Charlie, continuing in his professional leadership role on this adventure, worked very hard to guide me to my next hand grasp and foothold, but I could not get my mind to free either my hands or my feet from their spot. So, without any hesitation, Charlie fearlessly positioned his own body in such a way that he became my physical anchor, allowing me to climb my way past that tricky area and join the rest of my group safe and sound.
I share this one little anecdote with you not to discourage you from signing up for this awesome and inspiring journey but to provide you with a personal testimonial to Charlie Stewart and his ability to train and guide you through what I promise to be a true lifetime accomplishment.
- Sherry A., Manchester, NH
My family and I went on a waterfall hike with Charlie Stewart in 2013. I am a single mom and I wanted to show my kids the outdoors, but didn't know how. Charlie was great! He was really good with the kids, taught them about the outdoors and about hiking and nature and we all had a great time. Because of that experience, the next summer my son wanted to go to overnight camp up north and we, as a family, have hiked a couple times since. Even now, three years later, whenever we are out hiking together, Charlie's name comes up during our trip.
- Tammy L. , Derry, NH
June 26, 2016 was my very first one day Presidential Traverse. It is the crown jewel of White Mountain hikes. I’ve always wanted to do it but didn’t have enough experience (confidence) to try it with casual hikers. Then I met Charlie. Charlie is a gifted leader, with a perfect demeanor: knowledgeable, calm, prepared, inspiring. He made the whole process comfortable. From task specific training hikes, gear selection, nutrition, logistics and an excellent set of trail maps, I never doubted I was ready to tackle this monster of a day hike. Hike day finally came and went. Weather and fellow hikers were great and I left exhausted and proud of our accomplishment. Bonus: A couple days later I got to relive our epic adventures by viewing dozens of photographs of our recent hiking adventure. I am really looking forward to our next adventure.
-Mike L., Goffstown, NH
Yes, I had the absolute pleasure of joining Charlie Stewart’s 2016 training hikes leading up to our SPECTACULAR Presidential Traverse on June 26, 2016! What a trip these past 3 months have been!
I am so thankful for such an educational and great experience! I truly felt that I was hiking with friends from the start. Having not only an expert hiking guide but a real FUN GUY - Charlie made the adventure even more enjoyable.
Charlie took the time to answer any questions and was always full of facts whether we were heading north on the road to get on the trail or bushwhacking through the NH woods! He is extremely knowledgeable. If you asked me… I think Charlie might be able to navigate through the Whites with his eyes closed! He “just knows” which route to take.
Charlie put together training hikes that were very well-planned. They were as strenuous as I hoped, wanted and needed without being too much. Personally, for me, the harder the hike the more rewarding I find it; hiking truly is a “hurt so good” challenge for me! I love every second of it!
You haven’t walked the world until you’ve trekked in the Whites! A HUGE “Thank You!” to Charlie at "Exploring the Whites" for an unforgettable experience and to our entire group of fellow hikers - you all made the experience truly monumental for me! I look forward to all of our paths, hiking and everyday life, crossing in the future!!
- Kristen R., Goffstown, NH
It has already been two months since my presidential traverse hike and I can’t help but to reminisce every now and then about this amazing journey. As I reflect on this accomplishment, I found myself questioning whether there is another challenge that would surpass conquering 22 miles of mountain climbing with no hiking experience whatsoever. Well, I have yet to answer that question, which leaves me to believe that nothing else will ever come close.
Charlie Stewart’s wealth and depth of knowledge as a guide/instructor certainly created that sense of easiness. He has a way of eliminating any shred of doubt or fear you might feel when faced with a difficult climb or situation. He puts you at ease and builds your self confidence at the same time. I cannot forget to mention the wonderful group of people/hikers that were there for one another with encouragement and support- what an experience!
I left this journey not only knowing, but experiencing first-hand, the reality that truly anything in life is possible with strength, determination, and will power. So, to all you hikers and yet-to be hikers out there, get on board and experience this phenomenal inner journey with Charlie.
- Carline, L., Raynham, MA