Kingfield, Maine is the 40th Appalachian Trail Community

When you reach Rangeley on your way to summit Katahdin and finish your northbound thru-hike, hike due east until you hit Kingfield, Maine. Even if you're not hiking, come to Kingfield for the official induction ceremony when this lovely village becomes the 40th Appalachian Trail Community on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Franklin County's Town of Kingfield had 997 residents in 2010, according to the federal census. You'll find it on the Route 27 Scenic Byway at the intersection of Routes 16 and 142. Ski Magazine once described Kingfield as "the most beautifully preserved ski town east of Aspen." Maine Huts and Trails is also headquartered there.

Kingfield, founded in 1816, is celebrating its bicentennial year with what might be its most important contribution to society since the Stanley brothers, hometown boys, invented the Stanley Steamer automobile in 1897. (Don't laugh. In 1906, a Stanley Steamer set the world land speed record of 127.659 mph. That mark wasn't broken until 2009.) The town's partnership with 39 other locations between Dahlonega, Georgia and Millinocket is a benefit to all who love the Trail.

Julie Judson and her crew at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy deserve a big round of applause (or a free season lift ticket to Sugarloaf) for such superb work befriending towns along the Trail and enlisting them in the valuable work of protecting and promoting the Appalachian Trail.

According to a story in the Franklin County Daily Bulldog:

The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. with a potluck BBQ at 5 p.m. The designation ceremony starts at 6 p.m. with Maine Senator Tom Saviello serving as Master of Ceremonies.

Hawk Metheny, AT Conservancy New England Regional Director, will welcome Kingfield into the AT Community Program, and chairman of the Kingfield Board of Selectmen, Wade Brown, will welcome guests. Invited speakers include Lester Kenway - President, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Simon Rucker - Chairman Appalachian Land Trust, and United States Senator Angus King.

At 7 p.m. the celebration will continue with live music, dancing, a "toast to our town," a cider pressing, and judging of the beard growing contest. The event is free and all ages are welcome.

Why would anyone want to be anywhere else on September 10th?


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About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Only the most friendly and dedicated towns are appointed official Appalachian Trail Communities by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.