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Mags
03-02-2016, 18:45
...before entering park.

Details here

http://blog.hyperlitemountaingear.com/mt-katahdin-new-registration-at-hikers/?avad=3816_aab917b9

George
03-02-2016, 18:54
so looks like the main difference would be a card instead of just registering at the kiosk and the trail runner radioing in the info - potentiality being cutoff would discourage the trend to summit on weekends

peakbagger
03-02-2016, 19:15
I would suggest going directly to the source, the BSP website rather than a second hand account. When I look at the BSP site I don't see anything posted.

George
03-02-2016, 19:19
what fun is that?
WB is all about inter web speculation - facts are mere fog to cast aside

George
03-02-2016, 19:21
I think BSP actually comes here for input before finalizing policy

Offshore
03-02-2016, 20:37
I would suggest going directly to the source, the BSP website rather than a second hand account. When I look at the BSP site I don't see anything posted.

It does seen odd that the only mention (at least for now) seems to be on an equipment manufacturer's website blog post - maybe Hyperlite knows something that BSP doesn't. I do like the suggestions at the end of the blog post. They seem to be very Law and Order (i.e., ripped from the headlines!).

squeezebox
03-03-2016, 00:46
Any chance this thread will hit 1,000 posts??????

Rain Man
03-03-2016, 11:15
Would have been easy and perhaps more accurate for Hyperlite to put a question mark at the end of that headline?

Dogwood
03-03-2016, 12:30
what fun is that?
WB is all about inter web speculation - facts are mere fog to cast aside


LOL. That was nicely done article by HMG. I've been enjoying reading their articles. Some good writing. That 600 miler under the rim GC wanderlust hike has me interested.:-?

Tipi Walter
03-03-2016, 13:11
I hope to Odin himself that this permit is also required for Dayhikers.

dudeijuststarted
03-03-2016, 13:13
BSP should do as they see fit. I for one will respect it.

egilbe
03-03-2016, 15:57
I hope to Odin himself that this permit is also required for Dayhikers.

Dayhikers already pay a fee to enter the park and to have a Day Use parking Permit. Through hikers only have to obey the rules. They aren't that onerous.

This effectively treats through hikers like every other person who enters the park. They will no longer get special consideration.

Another Kevin
03-03-2016, 17:56
Dayhikers already pay a fee to enter the park and to have a Day Use parking Permit. Through hikers only have to obey the rules. They aren't that onerous.

This effectively treats through hikers like every other person who enters the park. They will no longer get special consideration.

It still gives them the special consideration that there are likely to be at least a certain number of slots set aside, rather than having to make reservation for a date certain in Abol Bridge before someone starts at Springer. The day trippers' reservations are only good for a specific date, fixed long in advance, which is obviously not feasible given the uncertainties of a thru-hike. (And if they want to enforce that sort of rule, they have a perfect right to do so. They'll just find themselves awash in requests to change date, no-shows, and gate-crashers. It's easier on them to make the concession to the reality that thru-hikes don't happen on that sort of fixed schedule.)

Do day hikers who enter on foot need to have a parking permit? Just curious.

One reason I ask is my experience closer to home. There are several New York state parks and campgrounds that require that cars pay a fee and show a permit, and have no charge to enter on foot (and are porous enough that it would be impossible to enforce such a charge). I've confused the temporary staff from time to time when they've asked for my permit, and I've answered, "I don't have one, I don't have a car here. I hiked from ... (some other place, outside the park, often a day or three away)" This has come up mostly when I've asked for the special day use permit that some of the campgrounds have, so that I could lawfully do things like take a shower at the campground bathhouse. These permits are usually a couple of bucks, much less than a car permit, to say nothing of a campsite.

The actual rangers and the permanent staff are familiar with the idea that people actually pass through the parks on foot. The temp who's working the gate may not ever have encountered such a thing. It's sometimes fun, in a perverse sort of way, to watch them try to process, "I don't have a car, and I'm not spending the night. I spent last night at Stephens Pond, and I'm hoping to make Blue Mountain, or at least Salmon River, by nightfall. I just want to shower and have lunch here at the campground before I hike on." The look of confusion and the, "wait, you sleep in the woods?" are priceless.

egilbe
03-03-2016, 20:45
Hikers entering on foot don't need a permit, but they have to exit the park at night, or pay for a campsite, if one is available. It's next to impossible to enter the park, summit Katahdin and exit in one day, while hiking.

Dogwood
03-04-2016, 00:41
... It's next to impossible to enter the park, summit Katahdin and exit in one day, while hiking.

Call me Mr. Impossible. Also went down Knifes Edge to Helon Taylor to Roaring Brook CG and hitched back to Katahdin Stream CG. It was a LOONG day not finishing back at KS CG until after dark but I ate it up being in primo LD hiker condition.

Mt Katahdin really is one of the premier summits on the east coast. It would be a downright damn shame for the AT not to go there. BSP is a GREAT place entirely worthy of being protected as Percival Baxter had the foresight to arrange.

Another Kevin
03-04-2016, 15:41
Hikers entering on foot don't need a permit, but they have to exit the park at night, or pay for a campsite, if one is available. It's next to impossible to enter the park, summit Katahdin and exit in one day, while hiking.

OK, about as I thought, then. BSP does, of course, have other destinations than Katahdin.

egilbe
03-04-2016, 16:45
OK, about as I thought, then. BSP does, of course, have other destinations than Katahdin.
Oh yes, it's a beautiful area. Plenty of great hiking, other than Katahdin.

PennyPincher
03-04-2016, 17:35
“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 2000! We now have to begin to consider what we think would be consistent, equitable and fair management for thru hikers and other user groups.”

if they are basing their plans on this inaccurate depiction of how many thru hikers they see each season, everyone will be in for a rude awakening. hopefully this is just poor reporting

egilbe
03-04-2016, 18:26
if they are basing their plans on this inaccurate depiction of how many thru hikers they see each season, everyone will be in for a rude awakening. hopefully this is just poor reporting

How so? Do you doubt they are getting 2000 hikers a year staying at the birches, claiming they've hike the HMW? That's all that's required to stay at the Birches.

Another Kevin
03-04-2016, 18:48
if they are basing their plans on this inaccurate depiction of how many thru hikers they see each season, everyone will be in for a rude awakening. hopefully this is just poor reporting

Their count of "thru hikers" is "anyone starting from farther away than Abol Bridge" - which really means, "those coming from the other side of the Hundred Mile Wilderness." Lots of people end section hikes at Katahdin.

My take on this:

If it's just "fill out a card at Abol Bridge," that should be no burden at all, and comparable to getting a High Peaks permit in the Adirondacks (where they have the forms in all the register boxes).

If it's "fill out a card at Abol Bridge, and maybe have to cool your heels in Abol Bridge Campground or Millinocket for a day or three," still very little impact in the long run.

What everyone's afraid of is that it will turn into, "sorry, we're out of slots for the rest of the year. We gave out the last slots for October 15 a month ago."

But it's nowhere near there yet.

And even if it got to that point, it's STILL a better deal than everyone else gets, where it's "reserve your slot on opening day, or at the very least months in advance, and that's the date you get - if indeed youmake your request in time to get a slot at all." I've heard that the weekend slots are all booked within hours when they start taking reservations for the season.

And I'd even be willing to live with that, if it left me feeling assured that my presence wasn't an intolerable burden.

Right now the message that keeps coming out is, "there are too many hikers entering BSP on foot from Abol Bridge, and BSP can simply not accommodate them all." That's an unfortunate message. The only thing that gives me a modicum of hope is that all the evidence offered in support of that claim relates to intolerable hiker behaviour, rather than to the simple impact of large numbers. That's a rather different problem, and admits of very different solutions. But I truly suspect that the numbers are indeed the problem, and the argument is being made clumsily.

In any case, I've not seen any reason to change my mind about staying away. That saddens me a little. I'd have liked to have seen the place. But if there truly isn't enough to go around, better I should let someone else have a go.

WingedMonkey
03-04-2016, 20:52
if they are basing their plans on this inaccurate depiction of how many thru hikers they see each season, everyone will be in for a rude awakening. hopefully this is just poor reporting

The ATC claims 2,100 used the 2015 ferry across Kennebec, of course not all are thru-hikers.

Not all "thru-hikers" that enter Baxter started in Georgia either.

Both numbers are scary.

TJ aka Teej
03-09-2016, 23:50
Baxter State Park Implements AT Hiker Permit Card System for 2016

http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/pdf/hiking/ATHikerRegistrationCardAnnounce_Final.pdf

TJ aka Teej
03-09-2016, 23:58
Baxter State Park Implements AT Hiker Permit Card System for 2016
The Baxter State Park Authority has hosted the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail since it was
established by Myron Avery in 1933.
For the past decade the increasing numbers of AT long distance hikers entering the Park has been
drawing the attention of Park management as the Park has applied increased resources to administer
this group’s unique needs.
In 1991, the total number of recorded AT long distance hikers in Baxter State Park was 359. In 2015,
2,137 AT Long Distance hikers were registered in the Park. Use of the Park by AT long distance
hikers increased an average of 8% annually over this period.
Processes to limit daily access to Katahdin trails to manage visitor experience in the Park’s wilderness
and to protect the Park’s alpine zone have been in place for 30 years for Park visitors from Maine and
elsewhere, with the exception of AT long distance hikers.
To improve our management of AT long distance hikers in the years ahead and to be equitable to all
Baxter State Park visitors, the Park will be implementing a new AT Long Distance Hiker Permit System in 2016.
All Northbound Thru Hikers, Section Hikers and FlipFlop AT Hikers entering Baxter Park in 2016
will be required to secure an AT Long DistanceHiker Permit Card. Southbound AT Hikers will not be required to
obtain a card.
Permit Cards must be acquired in person by the AT long distance
Hiker. There will be no limit to the number of AT Long Distance
Hiker Permit Cards available in 2016, and there will be no charge for the cards.
To acquire an AT Long DistanceHiker Permit Card, an AT long distance hiker will need to provide their
name and trail name. The card will be be dated at the time of issue and again at Katahdin Stream
Campground in Baxter State Park at the time of the AT hiker’s completion of their Katahdin climb.
Northbound Thru, Section and Flip-Flop AT hikers entering through the Togue Pond or Matagamon
Gates will be required to show their card to the Gatehouse Attendant. An AT Long Distance
Hiker Permit Card will also be required for AT long distance hikers staying at The Birches facility at Katahdin Stream
Campground. The number of AT Long Distance Hiker Permit Cards that have been issued will be posted daily on the
Park’s Facebook page and website (www.baxterstateparkauthority.com).
The Park will maintain a list of the AT long distance hikers who were issued a completion date on their
card. This list will be published on the Park website at the close of the summer hiking season each year.
AT Hiker Long Distance Hiker Permit Cards will be available at a number of locations including:
●Park Headquarters in Millinocket
●The Appalachian Trail Lodge in Millinocket
●Directly from the BSP/AT Steward at Abol Bridge
●Katahdin Stream Campground in Baxter State Park
(quoted from link)

Deacon
03-10-2016, 09:12
Ok, then how does the system help Baxter manage hikers, and what is the penalty for not having the required card?

Puddlefish
03-10-2016, 11:42
They just want to protect the fragile alpine zone. It will have zero impact on the way responsible hikers behave in the park. Maybe, just maybe the irresponsible people who are attempting to stealth camp and are convinced that their camp doesn't stink will think twice, having given out their name.

squeezebox
03-10-2016, 12:13
Having hikers sign in is the 1st step in managing hiker behavior and population. Maybe that will be enough.

Another Kevin
03-10-2016, 12:36
This looks to be almost exactly the system that NYSDEC uses in Eastern High Peaks in the Adirondacks (except that NY's permit cards are available right in the register boxes, you don't have to talk to a person to get one). As far as I can tell, the cards serve mostly to document the magnitude of the overuse problem, which helps with getting funding for trail hardening and law enforcement. It also means that there's a permit system in place in case they need to start turning people away in the future, and it really does seem to make some people more law-abiding when they have to sign a form agreeing to follow the rules. Needing to stop for a permit also puts the hiker in a position to see announcements. At one spot, I once saw a request that anyone ascending a particular mountain pick up a rock below the tree line and bring it up to a pile beside the trail farther up, where the maintainers would be laying them out as trail edge markers. The summit rocks were smooth and slabby and there wasn't much for the maintainers to work with, otherwise.

Charging for the permits and/or limiting their number are always on the radar, but DEC always seems to find a way to kick that particular can down the road.

For what it's worth, I understand that most of the administrative violations in Eastern High Peaks (no permit, camping at a prohibited site, having overnight gear and no bear canister, and so on) are about $300 tickets. I'd guess that Maine would be about the same.

rickb
03-10-2016, 14:19
Having hikers sign in is the 1st step in managing hiker behavior and population. Maybe that will be enough.

Not sure I understand the reason why hikers coming through the main gate in a vehicle are subject to the special registration.

Tipi Walter
03-10-2016, 14:36
Thanks for the pdf link. After reading the stuff, I'd just change my hike and go southbound. No "AT Long Distance Hiker Permit Card" needed. (Or ATZDHPC---sounds like "AuntieZoidHePCat).

I guess if I was that backpacker in the pdf picture below the mountain ridge (Katahdin??), I'd just set up camp there in the rocks for 4 days and be permit-free and enjoy the view and then turn around and call it a day. Or would I be illegal at this spot w/o a permit?

TJ aka Teej
03-10-2016, 15:34
I once saw a request that anyone ascending a particular mountain pick up a rock below the tree line and bring it up to a pile beside the trail farther up, where the maintainers would be laying them out as trail edge markers.
We did that our first time up Mt. Marcy. There were discarded rocks all along the first mile of trail!

TJ aka Teej
03-10-2016, 15:38
After reading the stuff, I'd just change my hike and go southbound.
--
I guess if I was that backpacker in the pdf picture below the mountain ridge (Katahdin??), I'd just set up camp there in the rocks for 4 days and be permit-free and enjoy the view and then turn around and call it a day. Or would I be illegal at this spot w/o a permit?
Southbounders already register and make advance reservations.
That's a BSP trail runner just past the gateway. No camping up there.

TJ aka Teej
03-10-2016, 15:40
Not sure I understand the reason why hikers coming through the main gate in a vehicle are subject to the special registration.
I imagine they'll be asked, like all other visitors, where they're going, if they're camping, and how long they're staying.

egilbe
03-10-2016, 16:01
Southbounders already register and make advance reservations.
That's a BSP trail runner just past the gateway. No camping up there.

I don't remember cairns on the Tablelands last Summer :confused:

Slo-go'en
03-10-2016, 17:02
Permits should only be available in Monson which would prove that you are indeed a thru hiker who made it through the 100 mile "approach" trail.

squeezebox
03-10-2016, 17:49
Or a Monson stamp, reciept or something for proof. Maybe this will be good enough for now?

peakbagger
03-10-2016, 19:11
When I read the announcement, I note they no longer refer to "distance hikers". Previously thru hikers were lumped into the category of distance hikers which inevitably included folks who were doing all or part of the 100 miles wilderness. Its still appears to be an honor system the same as SNP and GSMNP but I expect its an attempt to collect more data. It still doesn't make any changes to the number of spots at the Birches.

TJ aka Teej
03-15-2016, 18:03
Outdoors writer Robert Sutherland: http://appalachiantrail.com/20160311/baxter-state-parks-appalachian-trail-hiker-permit-card/

This isn’t a backlash from Baxter. They are stewards of a wilderness and they’re willing to share it with us … as guests in their home. This will all work out, if we play nice, not run with scissors and try to get along with others.

Sarcasm the elf
03-15-2016, 18:12
Outdoors writer Robert Sutherland: http://appalachiantrail.com/20160311/baxter-state-parks-appalachian-trail-hiker-permit-card/

Random question, do you know exactly who owns/runs the Appalachiantrail.com domain? I'm just curious.

Mags
03-15-2016, 20:27
Random question, do you know exactly who owns/runs the Appalachiantrail.com domain? I'm just curious.

Registrant Name: STEPHEN BURGE...according to WHOIS records.

Sarcasm the elf
03-15-2016, 20:38
Registrant Name: STEPHEN BURGE...according to WHOIS records.

Hmmm, googled his name and it looks like you're correct, he discusses the launch on this old blog post.

http://steveburge.com/blog/alledia-news/appalachiantrailcom-launched-on-joomla/

WingedMonkey
03-15-2016, 21:22
It's gonna be rich when the same obnoxious "hikers" that don't want to sign wavers at Kennebec crossing tell a park ranger they don't want to sign in for a permit.

rickb
03-15-2016, 21:30
It's gonna be rich when the same obnoxious "hikers" that don't want to sign wavers at Kennebec crossing tell a park ranger they don't want to sign in for a permit.

Recall that the individual who reported that some hikers did not want to sign wavers also said that all hikers did.

If an Uber driver required you to sign a waiver before getting in, would you readily agree?

A permit for entry into a park is a different animal.

DavidNH
03-17-2016, 09:09
http://northeastexplorer.com/wordpress/?p=3501




I think this has been in the cards for some time. Can't say that I disagree with this decision by park staff.


DavidNH

peakbagger
03-17-2016, 09:26
This is the subject to at least two posts currently

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/117469-Official-Baxter-Park-2016-AT-hiker-registation-announcement

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/117312-Baxter-State-Park-to-start-requiring-registration-of-NoBo-hikers

DavidNH
03-17-2016, 09:31
I wasn't aware. But I appreciate the links. Thank Youl

Mags
03-17-2016, 12:57
Merged all three threads together: The official announcement is here for reference
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/pdf/hiking/ATHikerRegistrationCardAnnounce_Final.pdf