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Baxter State Park - New permit requirements for A.T. hikers

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    • Wow, and so it begins.

      This announcement raises a lot of questions. Once all the permits are taken the logistics of getting into the park to complete a hike looks daunting.

      In the future this could make NOBO thru-hiking a race to Maine to compete for the remaining permits. I predict earlier and earlier starts at Springer for the NOBOs. It may encourage alternative hikes, SOBO looks a lot easier to plan and accomplish.

      It appears that the ATC failed to work on a cooperative solution to this with the BSP officials.

      Wow!
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • This is why we need someone in power to thwart all this unnecessary red tape.

      Someone who, just by tweeting, can instill a sense of purpose into the masses.

      Someone so crazy even the Baxter people cower at the very mention of his name.

      I'll call Kanye at home.


      Datto
    • Other than At access to park has aways ben limited. They have increased limit beyond previous numbers. PCT has started a program to space out hikers. They limit start dates of "joint Use Permits" One permit that covers entire trail or when I hiked over 500 miles. I really don't see it as a bad thing. Let the ATC recognize alternative routes up to the peak. My thru pre-dates the stats listed. There were plenty of people om the summit, but I was the sole thru-hiker. Many trails limit hikers. I hope the ATC can help educate hilers to work with this. I have already seen one post on FB saying let them fine me, even twice I can afford it. That is an attitude I hate. Spoil things for hiker that may follow. Many like that & there may be an entrance kiok & fee!
    • From a practical standpoint for a northbound AT thru-hiker finishing their hike at Katahdin, is this the process?

      1) Day One -- Arrive on the AT at/near Abol Bridge, call the AT Lodge in Millinocket for a ride to Millinocket and stay overnight at the AT Lodge.
      2) Day Two -- Have the AT Lodge provide a ride back to the Abol Bridge area, then hike on the AT into Baxter State Park to Katahdin Stream Campground/Ranger Station, get the Baxter Long-Distance Hall Pass and get a ride back to Millinocket with the AT Lodge people from Katahdin Stream Campground, then stay overnight at the AT Lodge again.
      3) Day Three -- Have the AT Lodge people provide a ride back to Katahdin Stream Campground, hike up the Hunt Trail to Baxter Peak, come back down the Hunt Trail and get picked up again by the AT Lodge people at Katahdin Stream Campground and stay overnight again at the AT Lodge in Millinocket.
      4) Day Four -- Find a way back home or wherever after the northbound AT thru-hike is complete.

      Is that how a northbound AT thru-hiker is expected to finish their hike at Baxter State Park? Or is there some other way/process worked out by the ATC and the Baxter people? Or do the ATC and Baxter not GAS?

      I'm looking for a means to make this work.


      Datto
    • Datto wrote:

      From a practical standpoint for a northbound AT thru-hiker finishing their hike at Katahdin, is this the process?

      1) Day One -- Arrive on the AT at/near Abol Bridge, call the AT Lodge in Millinocket for a ride to Millinocket and stay overnight at the AT Lodge.
      2) Day Two -- Have the AT Lodge provide a ride back to the Abol Bridge area, then hike on the AT into Baxter State Park to Katahdin Stream Campground/Ranger Station, get the Baxter Long-Distance Hall Pass and get a ride back to Millinocket with the AT Lodge people from Katahdin Stream Campground, then stay overnight at the AT Lodge again.
      3) Day Three -- Have the AT Lodge people provide a ride back to Katahdin Stream Campground, hike up the Hunt Trail to Baxter Peak, come back down the Hunt Trail and get picked up again by the AT Lodge people at Katahdin Stream Campground and stay overnight again at the AT Lodge in Millinocket.
      4) Day Four -- Find a way back home or wherever after the northbound AT thru-hike is complete.

      Is that how a northbound AT thru-hiker is expected to finish their hike at Baxter State Park? Or is there some other way/process worked out by the ATC and the Baxter people? Or do the ATC and Baxter not GAS?

      I'm looking for a means to make this work.


      Datto
      I woulg say most Thru-hikers haven't worked for a company in the fortune 500 list & are pretty much broke. Your plan is prety nuch out of reach for the majority of hikers.
    • Okay, maybe this would be a better process for a northbounder finishing their AT hike at Katahdin:

      1) Day One --Camp on the AT just south of the Abol Bridge area the night before and the next day, hike on the AT to Katahdin Stream Campground, pickup the Baxter Long Distance Hall Pass, get a ride to the AT Lodge in Millinocket and stay overnight at the AT Lodge. I'm assuming any camping spots at the Birches/Katahdin Stream Campground spots will already be consumed or status unknown so the northbound AT thru-hiker may have to head into Millinocket for an overnight stay to be legal. Also, I see there may not be cell service in the Abol Bridge area so a hiker may need to make the call to the AT Lodge for the ride/reservation further south on the AT than Abol Bridge. That may mean more planning ahead than would be expected by an AT thru-hiker.
      2) Day Two -- Have the AT Lodge provide a ride back to the Katahdin Stream Campground area early in the morning, then hike up the Hunt Trail to Baxter Peak and then back down to Katahdin Stream Campground again and get a ride to the AT Lodge in Millinocket again (assuming there isn't anyone from back home meeting the thru-hiker at Katahdin Stream Campground to go home right afterward)
      3) Day Three --Find a way back home or wherever after the northbound AT thru-hike is complete.

      Is that the way the ATC and the Baxter people want this to work?


      Datto

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Datto ().

    • “When I started working with the park 18 years ago, there were a few hundred thru-hikers who came over the course of the summer,” Bissell says. “Now those numbers are surpassing 2,000."

      Ha, 2,000. That got me laughing.

      The misconception is Baxter/Bissell thinks anyone who's started northbound at Monson is considered an AT thru-hiker. My experience is one actual northbound AT thru-hiker heading toward Katahdin from Monson equals two to three other people from Boston/Big City/Section Hiker heading north from Monson toward Katahdin for a 7-10 day backpacking trip. Baxter/Bissell is mistakenly lobbing everyone into the "AT thru-hiker" category (or now calling everyone "long-distance hikers" which is an equal misnomer).

      It seems to me that a northbound AT thru-hiker's options are:

      1) Be compliant and be prepared to spend more money in Millinocket along with expending more logistic effort/planning to get to Baxter and back.
      2) Be lucky and be able to find/reserve a legal campsite at the Katahdin Stream Campground area before heading up and down the Hunt Trail the next day (and get a hitch out of Baxter the afternoon after summitting Katahdin on the Hunt Trail).
      3) Be non-compliant.

      My experience with AT thru-hikers is they will grumble at unnecessary red tape but if there's a reasonable method in place AT thru-hikers will make an effort to be compliant.

      if there's nothing in place that is thought-through well enough to seem grumbly reasonable, then there's likely going to be a problem.


      Datto

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Datto ().

    • Datto,

      If thru-hike permits are still available, they should be able to camp at the Birches. The real headache begins once thru-permits are all used up.

      I don't think you can walk into the park on the AT without a permit. You would be subject to the rules that apply to 'Day Use' and Campers. You would need to get back into Millinocket, wait till you can find an open entry permit, and then get back out to Togue Pond Gate. AT Lodge shuttle looks convenient but the costs could add up quickly. Most hikers would need two days in the park I think. One to fill the gap from Katahdin Stream to the southern border, the second to summit. This could quickly get expensive.

      I think the locals will love it. More money pouring into Millinocket. New shuttle serves and boarding springing up. Could be part of the plan.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Maybe I don't understand or didn't read closely enough(?), but how does issuing a permit control the hikers summiting Katahdn?

      Is the problem the large groups of hikers who stay in the campground and want to summit at the same time?

      If so, then early or late hikers aren't the issue, so how does having a quota fix this? If all the permits are gone and joe hiker shows up on a slow day, what's the problem? Why not have a daily permit requirement to control daily limits (and maybe they do, I don't know), and those who are in large groups will have deal with the headache.

      Isn't the real issue the bubble and how to disburse hikers? And how do you control that?
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • I was planning on having my middle son and best friend meet me at Baxter to summit in August.
      Now it looks like it might be better to drop that and just plan to wing it with the other hikers.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • The answer is to subsidize the shuttle from Millinocket to Baxter so the shuttle runs at regular, known times to Abol Bridge and to Katahdin Stream Campground during August 1 to October 15th every year.

      That creates a win-win for everyone involved. Bissell & Company have less contact with AT thru-hikers, the hikers know how to reasonably plan ahead and the town of Millinocket probably gets more money spent in-town (from tourists as well as from hikers).

      Also, it diminishes the argument about moving the northern terminus of the AT to some other dubious location other than Katahdin/Baxter Peak.

      Then it's just a question of the number of seasonal permits/AT Hall Passes or daily Hall Passes being issued.

      Arrangements earlier than August 1st for southbounders aren't really necessary -- there's so few southbounders the current methods in use today are already in place and work fine.


      Datto

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Datto ().

    • Datto wrote:

      The answer is to subsidize the shuttle from Millinocket to Baxter so the shuttle runs at regular, known times to Abol Bridge and to Katahdin Stream Campground during August 1 to October 15th every year.

      That creates a win-win for everyone involved. Bissell & Company have less contact with AT thru-hikers, the hikers know how to reasonably plan ahead and the town of Millinocket probably gets more money spent in-town (from tourists as well as from hikers).

      Also, it diminishes the argument about moving the northern terminus of the AT to some other dubious location other than Katahdin/Baxter Peak.

      Then it's just a question of the number of seasonal permits/AT Hall Passes or daily Hall Passes being issued.

      Datto
      i don't think that will work.

      first, a caveat that i am not intimately familiar with BSP rules and regulations and don't claim to be. with that said...

      years ago i hiked K on vacation. it was a simple matter of getting to BSP early enough to get a parking spot. but i don't think it works that way anymore. i believe the parking lot for K via the AT is now by reservation only (the other lots are still first come first served) with space available for others only if not filled by reservations.

      so just loading up the van with AT hikers and arriving at the gate by 5:00 isn't gonna work cuz it's not getting in without a reservation. and the shuttle company can't just make a reservation for every day; reservations are limited to no more than 3 a month.

      once the permits are gone AT thrus have to meet the same rules as everyone else. and BSP isn't gonna bend over backwards to make it any easier for them.

      i could be wrong and would welcome any comments by anyone who knows the rules.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • Astro wrote:

      Makes me wonder if I should consider starting at Mt Katahdin at the end June and then walk SOBO to Hanover, NH.
      guessing you would arrive mid to late august and guessing there would still be permits available.

      but look at worse case scenario -- ya get to K and get turned away. is returning to maine the next year to finish those last few miles really that horrible?

      i had a great trip to maine/new hampshire/vermont/massachussets when i returned a few years after my thru. let's see if i can remember what all we did...

      hiked up to katahdin. visited acadia national park. visited kennebunkport (meh). visited ll bean. camped at katahdin iron works in the HMW and day hiked gulf hagas. had a lobster dinner at an outside roadside "restaurant". hiked the whites and stayed a couple nights in the huts. stayed at mountain meadows lodge in vermont and day hiked the area. went to boston and walked the freedom trail. supper at legal seafood.

      if your family likes the outdoors it would be a great vacation.
      2,000 miler
    • Da Wolf wrote:

      stealth in, stealth out. no biggie
      entitled hikers who do that will be fined.

      and while illegally camping is pretty easy to do, gonna be hard to stealth hike up the hunt trail and pose for a picture behind that sign. those BSP rangers are gonna be checking for permits like a bar in a college town checks id's for anyone who looks 20 something.
      2,000 miler
    • Not encouraging it, but I do not see any way for the rangers to tell the day hikers from the thru-hikers. And before anyone suggests appearance or hygiene, remember once the permits run out, the thru-hikers will be day hikers as far as the park is concerned.

      Some will try to beat the system, and the rest of the try-hiker community will be blamed.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Astro wrote:

      Makes me wonder if I should consider starting at Mt Katahdin at the end June and then walk SOBO to Hanover, NH.
      If they run out of cards, see rule #9:

      9. If all available cards have been issued, AT hikers may still complete their hike byentering the Park through the Togue Pond Gate following the same process as other dayuse or camping visitors.

      I don't see it as a big deal. It's not going to discourage me.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • IMScotty wrote:

      It appears that the ATC failed to work on a cooperative solution to this with the BSP officials.

      “Now those numbers [of thru-hikers] are surpassing 2,000." Jensen Bissell.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Obviously, Baxter is filing for an IPO. They don't want the ATC messing with the real numbers.

      Ticker will be GKKO.

      Options won't be offered but Martens are all you can eat.

      After the IPO, filthy rich park rangers show up en masse to Seven Mile Beach with bikini clad women. A Cayman registration process has been put in place requiring bikinis to be tagged before going to the beach. Any bikinis not tagged will be subject to Rule 1.3. Umbrella drinks will not be allowed on the beach. No exceptions.


      Datto

      The post was edited 7 times, last by Datto ().

    • To thru-hikers who are down to their last dime, I think that having to pay for a shuttle into Millinocket, renting a room for a few nights until a day pass becomes available, and then paying for a shuttle back in, it could be a big deal.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Katahdin is an iconic mountain. Easily the best finish of the triple crown trails.

      But unless you just want something to hang on the wall, you don't have to finish there.

      The new Katahdin Woods and Waters NM looks pretty cool. Deasey Mountain seems a quieter places to end and dramatic in its own way.
      downeast.com/new-maine-national-monument/

      In the fall, I bet the view is absolutely stunning.

      EDIT: Yes, Yes it is.

      [IMG:http://www.nrcm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/View-from-Deasey-Mtn-5.jpg]


      You will be hiking an Appalachian Trail as opposed to THE Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

      Who gives a sh**. Save Kathahdin for another trip and not worry about your number.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by PaulMags ().

    • PaulMags wrote:

      Katahdin is an iconic mountain. Easily the best finish of the triple crown trails.

      But unless you just want something to hang on the wall, you don't have to finish there.

      The new Katahdin Woods and Waters NM looks pretty cool. Deasey Mountain seems a quieter places to end and dramatic in its own way.
      downeast.com/new-maine-national-monument/

      In the fall, I bet the view is absolutely stunning.

      EDIT: Yes, Yes it is.



      You will be hiking an Appalachian Trail as opposed to THE Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

      Who gives a sh**. Save Kathahdin for another trip and not worry about your number.
      What self respecting A.T. hiker would want to hike that? That sounds like it would require a map. Heck, it doesn't even have a two or three letter abbreviation yet! :whistling:
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • IMScotty wrote:

      To thru-hikers who are down to their last dime, I think that having to pay for a shuttle into Millinocket, renting a room for a few nights until a day pass becomes available, and then paying for a shuttle back in, it could be a big deal.
      My concern is more about the time than the $. Even though I am planning a week buffer, I am afraid that might get used up, and will be needing to get back on time.

      And I definitely do not want to encourage my son and his friend to take a week off work if they are not even going to be able to go up with me.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Astro ().

    • meat wrote:

      To be honest, none this phases me, it's been comin' for a few years now...no one should be super surprised.
      That is because you do not plan to complete a 2,189 mile hike this year.

      I guess it is my fault, I should have just hiked faster. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Astro ().

    • Astro wrote:


      My concern is more about the time than the $. Even though I am planning a week buffer, I am afraid that might get used up, and will be needing to get back on time.
      When do you plan on hiking? As a section hiker you should be able to beat the crowd. You should also consider reserving a campsite in the park. As a section hiker you should be able to control your arrival time better. When I do this I hope to be able to reserve a night at Chimney Pond at the finish. I think ending the hike with a walk over the 'Knife Edge' would be spectacular.

      If I am available I would be happy to help you with rides from Boston if you wish. I am planning my own hike, but I should be around until July 15th I think.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • PaulMags wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      wow. ya gotta read this statement from the ATC. spoiler alert - this was no joint project between the ATC and BSP!


      appalachiantrail.org/home/comm…-of-research-and-analysis
      Hmmm...One person makes a statement..person fires back with another statement.

      Sounds a lot like a divorce case.... :D
      IT DOES NOT!!!!!!!!!

      Wait...
      Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less. - Robert E. Lee