If there is one town on the Appalachian Trail that epitomizes what dreamers think all Trail towns look like, it's Monson, Maine.
Four miles from the 100-Mile-Wilderness. Monson is either your last stop in civilization before trying to reach Katahdin ... or it's your first glimpse of soft beds, hot meals, cold drinks and new friends after hiking like a boss in the truest wilderness of the AT.
Our pal, Javier Folger, media dude for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), says they've opened a visitor center there to:
Help hikers prepare for the unique circumstances and environment in the last section of the Trail, which extends through the boundaries of Baxter State Park (BSP).
A few of the world's most fortunate people will staff the center daily through October 16, 2016. They can explain the guidelines for hiking into BSP and the permits that northbounders must acquire before their final climb up Katahdin.
Nice guy and Executive Director/CEO of the ATC, Ron Tipton, says:
"These are common-sense principles that ... are particularly important... as we all strive to preserve the hiking experience ... and the unique alpine environment on Katahdin. [We] ... developed these smart-hiking guidelines to help ... manage the increasing number of long-distance hikers entering BSP. Strategically located in the last town northbound thru-hikers encounter before entering BSP, the Visitor Center allows them to pre-register for the Baxter Long Distance Hiker Permit Cards and make plans for their stay in BSP and their ascent of Katahdin."
The transition from the 100-Mile-Wilderness to entering Baxter State Park is mind-bending for some men and women who have lived in the woods for months and thousands of miles. There are strictly enforced rules in BSP. That's the way it is at the End of the Trail. Deal with it and enjoy it.
Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Hiker Hostels, Hiking Safety, Information, appalachian trail hikers, appalachian trail visitor center in monson maine, and monson maine
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