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View Full Version : Baxter thru-hiker passes at 1500 on August 15th.



TJ aka Teej
08-15-2017, 09:03
1500 issued, with over two months to go.

peakbagger
08-15-2017, 09:11
Wow! I would be curious on the breakdown SOBOs/ NOBOS and section hikers. Curious if some folks are getting one just for a souvenir? Based on the clumps of thru hikers in Gorham at Walmart there are a lot of folks on the trail.

Jeff
08-15-2017, 09:19
Lots and lots of thruhikers passing thru Vermont as well. Probably right at peak of our NOBO busy season August 15.

BillyGr
08-15-2017, 09:50
Someone with great prediction abilities, or should that be AUGUST 15th in the title? ;)

TJ aka Teej
08-15-2017, 10:03
Someone with great prediction abilities, or should that be AUGUST 15th in the title? ;)
Ayup. Typos aka Teej.

rickb
08-16-2017, 06:48
When the Park established their annual 3150 hiker quota, they referenced 2137 long distance hikers having climbed Katahdin in 2015.

The expectaion of many was that the 3150 would not be reached this year.

From the trend you are seeing, is it likely that thru hikers arriving at the Park border in October -- or even late September -- will exceed the quota?

TJ aka Teej
08-16-2017, 09:13
From the trend you are seeing, is it likely that thru hikers arriving at the Park border in October -- or even late September -- will exceed the quota?
I don't know. It could be that the crowd is hitting Maine and New Hampshire earlier, and not that the crowd is larger. My daughter and her croo yoyo the 100 each year, and she reports that every shelter and campsite was pretty much full - but as you know, this time of year those folks aren't all thrus.

PennyPincher
08-16-2017, 09:34
I have a couple Trail friends that started April 12 in GA and one just finished the Whites and the other will be in NH end of this month. Both had time off, one due to Lyme and the other for a wedding and a festival. These are both young guys (mid 20s) if that's any indication for you.


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peakbagger
08-16-2017, 09:39
I don't know either but expect that some signage and blue paint could be needed soon to redirect folks over the old state road to the road to the Togue Pond gate. Its also potentially puts more pedestrian traffic on the park road between Togue Pond and KSC which given its width is going to have some potential for really close calls.

rickb
08-16-2017, 12:29
I don't know. It could be that the crowd is hitting Maine and New Hampshire earlier, and not that the crowd is larger. My daughter and her croo yoyo the 100 each year, and she reports that every shelter and campsite was pretty much full - but as you know, this time of year those folks aren't all thrus.
Good point.

It would be interesting to compare the BSP hiker pass numbers with those of the Ferry.

I recall that in BSP's original announcement they promised to post a daily total of the number of Hiker Passes issued on their Facebook Page and Website.

I understand how that could have proven too time consuming to implement, but is there some periodic posting of the count that is available to the public? At the ATC center in Monson, perhaps?

rickb
08-16-2017, 12:32
I don't know either but expect that some signage and blue paint could be needed soon to redirect folks over the old state road to the road to the Togue Pond gate. Its also potentially puts more pedestrian traffic on the park road between Togue Pond and KSC which given its width is going to have some potential for really close calls.

Why? Because it is easier to hitch to Millinocket from the Gate?

To my understanding thrus can still hike in as far as Katahdin Stream CG without a permit in hand, correct?

peakbagger
08-16-2017, 13:44
I don't think they have really worked out the details (or at least published them) but my understanding is if and when the limit is reached, thru hikers will be treated as regular visitors and will have to register and enter the park at the Togue Pond gate like any other visitor (I suppose the Matagamon Gate is also an option) They do state the Birches will be closed at that point and thru hikers will be treated as regular guests which means they need reservations in the park for an overnight. Currently thruhikers enter the park at Abol Bridge on the honor system and need to register at the KSC ranger station as that is the most reliably staffed and a logical choke point.

I dont know how it would exactly work unless an employee of some organization is stationed at Abol Bridge to screen hikers as this section of the AT is also popular day hike route. There also is an additional trail to Abol Pond located at this trailhead.

Pure speculation on my part is that tripping the permit limit will probably open up some additional dialog between ATC, MATC, NPS and BSP. Note the permit system does not differentiate between folks who started their hike in Monson versus Springer. Prior speculation by myself and others is that there are probably many folks who are claiming to be thru hikers when they really just want a way into the park without reservations at the end of the HMW. I have met several non thruhikers that hiked into the park with a friend who was thruhiking and stayed at the Birches effectively taking up space that another thru hiker could have occupied.

Based on my limited understanding of the PCT permit system, getting a PCT permit for a start date at the border also establishes the hiker as a long distance hiker (in excess of 500 miles) and thus eligible for a thru hiker permit through the John Muir trail. Anyone else needs to win the lottery and get a regular permit for a specific block of time. Given that ATC has a voluntary permit in place already for the AT it would not be much of a stretch to me to link special thru hikers access to BSP to valid AT permit holders. In theory section hikers are more able to plan a trip into the park but it would get interesting for flip floppers although issuing them for a Harper Ferry start would generally mean the hiker by the time they get to Abol bridge would qualify as long distance hiker. Of course the system can be gamed, someone could sign up at Springer and then fly north to Bangor and get a ride to Abol Bridge to use their freshly minted pass.

Mags
08-16-2017, 16:09
Ayup. Typos aka Teej.

Corrected thread title

moldy
08-16-2017, 16:33
I wonder where the OP got that number. I asked the AFC last week and they said they had no idea. Is someone going to post that thing somewhere so hikers make a plan B when it gets close to 3150?

Starchild
08-16-2017, 17:02
Wondering about the prospect for a permit free thru hike is still possible. I know it is technically doable to get from Abol to K and out in a day. Smokies can and have be done in a continuous stretch without sleeping, and one can stop in the middle. Shenandoah however seems to require support.

TJ aka Teej
08-16-2017, 19:29
Corrected thread title
Thanky, sir.

TJ aka Teej
08-16-2017, 19:31
I wonder where the OP got that number.
Baxter State Park Facebook Post. (https://www.facebook.com/baxterstatepark/photos/a.1493539677532346.1073741828.1493524694200511/2009160862636889/?type=3&theater)

TJ aka Teej
08-16-2017, 19:45
I understand how that could have proven too time consuming to implement, but is there some periodic posting of the count that is available to the public? At the ATC center in Monson, perhaps?
The ranger at KSC is straight out most days. I'd hate to the one to add yet another chore.
They do tally up the numbers, and submit detailed daily reports. I'd guess that number would need to come from HQ, like the FB post that prompted this post.

Slo-go'en
08-16-2017, 20:42
Passes are issued in Monson right? So 1500 have made it that far for sure.

There's been a steady stream of hikers through Gorham for a while now, so I can see how that could be. I was on top of Mt Success recently around noon and it didn't take long to start having NOBO and SOBO hikers go by.

We've actually have had reasonably decent weather this summer but it has rained frequently enough to keep the trail soggy. If the weather stays mild and reasonably storm free for the fall, lots of people will finish.

TJ aka Teej
08-17-2017, 12:20
Passes are issued in Monson right?
Monson is ATC, they don't issue Baxter's ATer cards, the 1500 number is from BSP.

Engine
08-19-2017, 05:46
Just FYI regarding the breakdown. Caboose and I submitted yesterday and we were number 394 & 395 for Nobo summit permits.

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TJ aka Teej
08-19-2017, 09:27
Just FYI regarding the breakdown. Caboose and I submitted yesterday and we were number 394 & 395 for Nobo summit permits.
Congrats to you both, and thanks for the info!

TJ aka Teej
08-24-2017, 15:00
Baxter totals via Ole Man at the AT Lodge:

For the inquiring minds who want to know how many hikers have come through KSC.
As of 8/21, Nobo's 433+, SoBo's 538+, section N 326, S 121, FFers,N 75, S 131, total 1623 .
It will be interesting to see the final results for the season.

BILLK
08-24-2017, 17:45
Just wondering....do the folks at Amicalola complain about dealing with AT thru hikers as much as the Baxter State Park folks?....jus sayin....

Engine
08-24-2017, 17:58
Just wondering....do the folks at Amicalola complain about dealing with AT thru hikers as much as the Baxter State Park folks?....jus sayin....The folks at Baxter were very welcoming and accommodating. Nothing like the negative reputation that's been shared here and elsewhere.

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Emerson Bigills
08-24-2017, 20:39
My experience at BSP with the Rangers was phenomenal. I signed up for the Birches just after Abol Bridge and a little later ran into a BSP ranger that asked if I was a thru and proceeded to let me know the details of the Birches program. He was very cordial, informative and congratulated me on my hike. He also advised that due to rising water, I should consider taking the blue blaze bypass trail. Good call.

When I went to the ranger station at KSC, they were very helpful, giving me my permit and answering all my questions, including whether trekking poles made sense on the final climb. When I mentioned after summitting I wish I could go down the Abol Trail instead of re-tracing the Hunt Trail, they volunteered to take my backpack from the Katahdin Stream Campground (I was using their daypacks and leaving my pack at the ranger station) to Abol Campground and have it there for me when I got back down from the summit. The Ranger was also very kind in his congratulations for completing the trail.

Having spent some time in BSP and given the entire situation a lot of thought, I don't see the BSP folks as quite the villains in this tussle as I once did. I think those guys are pushing the ATC to do something about the growing thru-hiker numbers and have just gotten frustrated with the lack of progress by the ATC. I'm not throwing the ATC under the bus, but I can easily see BSP's position. That park does a lot of things for thru-hikers and treated me like a VIP. Nothing but high praise from me for BSP.

TJ aka Teej
08-28-2017, 16:57
From Baxter State Park, on 8/28/17:
"AT Hiker Permit Card update: we are now north of 1,750 permit cards issued."

KDogg
08-28-2017, 20:14
I had great experiences with the staff at BSP and Amicalola. They were very welcoming, encouraging and the BSP folks were very helpful with the logistics of summiting and getting off the AT.