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  1. #1

    Exclamation Kennebec Ferry final numbers for 2016.

    From Greg Caruso and MATC:

    • Southbound through hikers: 420
    • Northbound through hikers: 1,194
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading south when they
    crossed the river: 150
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading north when they
    crossed the river: 113
    • Southbound section hikers: 356
    • Northbound section hikers: 405
    • Day use hikers: 2
    • Total hikers using the Ferry Service during the
    2016 season: 2,640
    • We also took 33 dogs across the river this season.
    • Confirmed Forders/Swimmers: 10
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Im posting the 2015 for comparison for anyone thats interested in trends

    +18.5% increase in NOBO
    +36.8 % increase SOBO

    +74% for flip floppers in 2016 as 2015
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-04-2017 at 22:49.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Kennebec Ferry 2015 Final Report

    Fletcher Mountain Outfitters
    I am happy to report that the 2015 Ferry season has come to a close without injury or incident of any kind related to the Ferry Service. However, there were several incidents at the Kennebec this year, which I will touch on below.
    We had a record number of hikers this year.
    The final numbers for the season break down as follows:

    • Southbound through hikers, 307
    • Northbound through hikers, 1,007
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading south when they crossed the River, 83
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading north when they crossed the River, 68
    • Southbound section hikers, 331
    • Northbound section hikers, 360
    • Day use hikers, 25
    • Total hikers using the Ferry Service during the 2015 season, 2,181
    • We also took 35 dogs across the River this season.
    • Confirmed Forders/Swimmers, 43
    • Confirmed hikers who crossed with private boaters, instead of waiting for the Ferry service, at least 20

    According to my conversations with hikers, shuttle providers, and my own observations, we also had a large number [somewhere between several dozen and several hundred] of North bound hikers who hitch hiked or shuttled completely around the Kennebec district this year.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    From Greg Caruso and MATC:

    • Southbound through hikers: 420
    • Northbound through hikers: 1,194
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading south when they
    crossed the river: 150
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading north when they
    crossed the river: 113
    • Southbound section hikers: 356
    • Northbound section hikers: 405
    • Day use hikers: 2
    • Total hikers using the Ferry Service during the
    2016 season: 2,640
    • We also took 33 dogs across the river this season.
    • Confirmed Forders/Swimmers: 10
    I finished my 3rd Thru hike in 2016. Summit Oct 24th. I know of at least 11 people who ford the kennebec between Oct 14 - Oct 19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Im posting the 2015 for comparison for anyone thats interested in trends

    +18.5% increase in NOBO
    +35% increase SOBO

    -45% for flip floppers in 2016 as 2015
    You are calculating this as the change in 2016 from 2015? You may want to check your calculations if so. NOBO should be negative, it decreased and both categories of flip floppers increased, so it has to positive for their sum.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    You are calculating this as the change in 2016 from 2015? You may want to check your calculations if so. NOBO should be negative, it decreased and both categories of flip floppers increased, so it has to positive for their sum.
    my calculations are only for thru hikers roughly estimated. Nobo is nobo, not nobo +nobo flipflop, etc.

    yeah, the flippers was supposed to be a + sign ..changed it. Also really wrong...go figure. clicking desktop calculator gave bad #, it doesnt register #s all time, especially 2.

    point is....astounding increases in yoy #s , particularly nobo completers, even though we have been told in 2015 that many were indeed yellow blazing the whole way.

    Overall..about 28% increase in people identifying themselves as thruhikers..... How sustainable is this? How long at 18% per year till BSP cracks?
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-04-2017 at 23:11.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Thanks for fixing. I was surprised when the flip floppers were negative at first. While scrolling back and forth between the posts I got the values backwards myself for the NOBO only. Sorry if that confused you, it was correct the first time.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    How sustainable is this? How long at 18% per year till BSP cracks?
    the bump from the movie is likely a shorter life than the book + the German invasion has faded

    I would certainly take an even money wager against another 18% increase

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    the bump from the movie is likely a shorter life than the book + the German invasion has faded

    I would certainly take an even money wager against another 18% increase

    what movie? the now nearly 2 year old major flop that no one under the age of 65 who wasnt already interested in the AT has ever bothered to see? when will we finally stop bringing this up and attributing rising hiking numbers to it?

    the rise that has occurred the past couple years isnt because of some movie no one went to see.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by StichBurly View Post
    I know of at least 11 people who ford the kennebec between Oct 14 - Oct 19
    After the Ferry ended service. Hard for them to tally up folks they don't see.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    I wonder what accounts for the drop in day use hikers. 2015 = 25, 2016 = 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Northbound section hikers: 405
    YAY!!!!!! I was one of those!!!!! Have been reading about, hearing about, visiting (once, for 2004 WB Hiker Feed in Caratunk/Two Rivers), and thinking about since beginning section hiking in 2003.

    Finally made it and experienced it myself. Of course, with the fall drought, it was pretty tame.

    Last edited by Rain Man; 01-16-2017 at 14:51.
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    The figure for NOBO thru-hikers raises a question for me. Given that the overwhelming majority of NOBOs who cross the river will complete their hike, the commonly advertised 20-25% success rate would mean the 1,194 NOBOs crossing the river equates to a starting number of between 4,700 and 6,000 hikers for the year.

    I thought the generally accepted number of starts was around 2,500 the last couple of years?

    Either the success rate was much higher than the historical average, or the reported number of starts I saw were grossly under reported.
    Last edited by Engine; 01-16-2017 at 16:22.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    The figure for NOBO thru-hikers raises a question for me. Given that the overwhelming majority of NOBOs who cross the river will complete their hike, the commonly advertised 20-25% success rate woukld mean the 1,194 NOBOs crossing the river equates to a starting number of between 4,700 and 6,000 hikers for the year.

    I thought the generally accepted number of starts was around 2,500 the last couple of years?

    Either the success rate was much higher than the historical average, or the reported number of starts I saw were grossly under reported.
    In 2015 the ATC had 1927 voluntary thru hike registrations
    In 2016 the ATC had 3067 voluntary thru hike registrations

    A 60% increase. Mostly due to the newness of registration process I think.

    But given the fact that not even close to everyone registers, or has even heard of it, the #s of starters are clearly higher than the 2500 you throw out above.
    If I had to guess, Id guess half of thru hikers registered last yr (WAG).Which wouldnt make the ferry numbers too far off.
    I think completion rates are climbing as well due to yellow blazing, lighter gear, and social media connecting people.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-16-2017 at 16:22.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    2017 numbers

    Southbound through hikers: 428
    • Northbound through hikers: 1,302
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading south when they crossed the river: 142
    • Flip Flop through hikers, heading north when they crossed the river: 133
    • Southbound section hikers: 181
    • Northbound section hikers: 265
    • Southbound organized groups: 122
    • Northbound organized groups: 170
    • Day use hikers: 69
    • Dogs: 48

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    fyi i believe the organized groups were from the conference, this section was one of the organized hikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Overall..about 28% increase in people identifying themselves as thruhikers..... How sustainable is this? How long at 18% per year till BSP cracks?
    Do you know if the thru hikers climb Katahdin during the busiest part of the season, or the slowest?

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    Understanding that it is really not fair to ask someone else for data that can be found online, I employed my own Google Fu and found some interesting numbers.

    I think they are actually very encouraging:

    061A1ECA-151D-4229-A138-68DE3B125E1F.jpeg

    WRT Crowds on Katahdin, the problem months seem to be July and especially August. While the number of thru hikers crossing the Kennebeck is high, looks like the SOBOs are not pushing the limits of the mountain much, and just so long as Thru Hikers end their trip after Labor Day, they do not seem to be maxing out capacity either.

    Perhaps that is cause for hope.

    In any event, comparing the numbers from the Ferry to those shown on this chart (from a BPS Annual Report) puts things in a numerical perspective that is sometimes lost.

    Of course confirmation bias being what it is, I am sure other conclusions than mine could be drawn as well.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Understanding that it is really not fair to ask someone else for data that can be found online, I employed my own Google Fu and found some interesting numbers.

    I think they are actually very encouraging:

    061A1ECA-151D-4229-A138-68DE3B125E1F.jpeg

    WRT Crowds on Katahdin, the problem months seem to be July and especially August. While the number of thru hikers crossing the Kennebeck is high, looks like the SOBOs are not pushing the limits of the mountain much, and just so long as Thru Hikers end their trip after Labor Day, they do not seem to be maxing out capacity either.

    Perhaps that is cause for hope.

    In any event, comparing the numbers from the Ferry to those shown on this chart (from a BPS Annual Report) puts things in a numerical perspective that is sometimes lost.

    Of course confirmation bias being what it is, I am sure other conclusions than mine could be drawn as well.
    this sidebar discussion to the Kennebec ferry numbers is all well and good but Baxter has already capped the number of special "long distance hiker" permits at 3150. Any increase in "long distance hikers" above the Baxter limit will have to enter the park the same ways and pay the same fees and follow the same rules for reservations all the less privileged guests entering the park have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    this sidebar discussion to the Kennebec ferry numbers is all well and good but Baxter has already capped the number of special "long distance hiker" permits at 3150. Any increase in "long distance hikers" above the Baxter limit will have to enter the park the same ways and pay the same fees and follow the same rules for reservations all the less privileged guests entering the park have to.
    Oct might not be problem, but you wont find many openings in ksc in july to mid sept if dont make well in advance. Showing up at gate wont work well. When numbers max...people will figure it out . Theyll flip to bsp earlier, or sobo, or whatever.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-14-2018 at 23:13.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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