View Full Version : The year 2050 on the AT

05-12-2003, 07:12
Based on the decreasing number of thru-hikers in recent years and the increasing number of Trail Angels, by the year 2050 there should be a Trail Angel about every mile , but only 1 hiker to feed. I can just imagine that one hiker with no pack waddling all the way to Maine and getting stuffed with donuts and coke every 1/2 hour...:)

05-12-2003, 07:30
Sounds good. Make that coke caffeine-free, please!

05-12-2003, 08:53
Extrapolation of trends is always dangerous. The number of thruhikers has only been decreasing since 2000. Part of my job is predicting stratospheric ozone in 2050. The good thing about such long-frame predictions is that no one will remember the prediction by the time 2050 arrives. :D To adequately model the trend in thruhiker numbers, you need need to account for the feedback effects between hikers and trail angels. If there are more trail angels per hiker, thruhiking the trail will be easier and more people will want to do it. If there are fewer trail angels, fewer thruhikers will be successful and fewer will want to do it. That's a positive feedback effect. There will also be some core group of thruhikers who could care less about trail angels and will hike their own hike regardless.

[Those of you who aren't scientists can ignore my obscure ramblings.]

05-12-2003, 10:12
Sounds like great SciFi material:
"In the year 2050 hikers always leave Springer on December 1 in their hiking shorts so they can cross the great Pennsylvania Deserts before the summer makes them unpassable"... 8-)

Tramper Al
05-12-2003, 10:51
I just realized that by the Year 2050, based on recent trends, I will weigh over 500 pounds and will own 47 solo canoes!
Where did I go wrong?

05-12-2003, 14:29
More likely than crossing Great Pennsylvania Desert is that by 2050 population growth in the North East and the Atlanta Region willl mean the trail will be a narrow alley passing between manicured backyards. ....that is if its allowed to go through gated communities at all...

Blue Jay
05-12-2003, 14:40
At least you won't have to worry about bears, they'll all be extinct. You'll have to keep your food in special crackhead proof containers.

05-13-2003, 21:27
thats a rather depressing prospect, especially to somone like me who will only be 64 in 2050 and still quite able to hike the trail, well i hope so anyway. and i hope that it will still be there for me to hike. but thats what groups like this are here for, to ensure its survival.

05-15-2003, 12:22
I believe in 2050 the AT will be celebrated as a great success story. It will continue to provide a footpath for those who seek fellowship with the wilderness. It will inspire it's users to preserve and protect the natural resources local to their communities. It will help the growing populations of the North East and Atlanta retain some connection to the past history of their land. No doubt the pressures of development will continue to alter the landscape and some battles will have been lost, yet the trail will still be there and its medicine will be even more important than it ever was before.

05-15-2003, 17:22
2050??? That is beyond me. I will hike the AT in 2004 and will be glad for the experience. Then I will consider the extensions of the AT in Canada and perhaps that extension in the South that i have heard of which goes to Arkansas. The possibilities are mind boggling.

05-15-2003, 19:10
I think by the time 2050 rolls around we will have pack weights in the 0 -10 lb range, NYC hotdog vendors every few miles, trailside bars and restaurants and WINGFOOT's ghost will be a pain in the ass all along the trail!!!

05-16-2003, 07:28
Yup. You can either carry the 4 ounce tents or the heated 12 ouncers!