With the rise in media attention about the Appalachian Trail such as books, and recent movies (A Walk In The Woods) Baxter State Park is worried about the influx of traffic already a problem in the pristine part of Maine.
Trail officials, like Polfus, are working with park leaders to alleviate chronic friction points, such as litter, alcohol and drug use on the trail, as well as large groups ascending Baxter Peak to party in celebration of the mammoth journey. Too many thru-hikers are inviting large parties into campgrounds set aside for trail hikers, and bringing dogs falsely marked as service animals, said Jensen Bissell, the park’s director.
“We are concerned that any significant increase [in AT hikers in Baxter] will strain the current system beyond its capacity,” Bissell wrote. Park officials “do not plan on expanding lodging availability or staffing effort for AT hikers in Baxter Park.”
So, to get more Thru-Hikers aware of Baxter, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy asked Hikers what they new of Baxter State Park. In the first episode of our Trail Talk series, we ask 2016 Appalachian Trail thru-hikers: what do you know about Baxter State Park and ethical hiking practices?
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