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  1. #1

    Default 2017 Kennebec Ferrry Service year-end report

    The Ferry Operator has posted his year-end report at www.matc.org/for-hikers/kennebec-river-ferry. Please page down beyond the 2018 schedule to see the 2017 report. Constructive commentary is always welcomed. Offline comments may be sent to Kennebec@matc.org.
    -craig Dickstein, Kennebec Ferry Overseer

  2. #2

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    Thanks, Craig.
    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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    It's interesting to have this one point of the trail where there is an accurate accounting of all hiker (thru, section, day, NOBO, SOBO, flip flop, etc...). I'm a little surprised that there are so many more thru hikers than section hikers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    It's interesting to have this one point of the trail where there is an accurate accounting of all hiker (thru, section, day, NOBO, SOBO, flip flop, etc...). I'm a little surprised that there are so many more thru hikers than section hikers.
    the answer perhaps lies in the unanswerable question of how many people at any given moment are engaged in a "serious" section hike attempt.

    whatever that number is, only some small percentage of them will need to cross the kennebec in any given year.

    the interesting stat to me every time this data is released are the day hikers. to me the lowness of this number is why those who support just building a bridge across no matter the cost aren't seeing things clearly.

    sure, were a bridge to be built there and a count of dayhikers was then taken, it might increase some. but at the end of the day i think the evidence shows that aside from when the bubble of nobos (and maybe sobos) comes through there are just very very few people who have any interest in crossing the river as part of a hike.

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    so a good guess from that would be 2500 finished in 2017 ?

  6. #6

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    The 2017 year-end report has been replaced with the 2018 report on the MATC website. Attached here is a copy of the 2017 report.
    -Craig Dickstein, MATC Kennebec Ferry Overseer, kennebec@matc.org
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

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    40 or so 2018 SoBos quit before getting to the Kennebec Ferry. 420 signed out at Katahdin Stream, 381 signed in at the Kennebec.
    Teej

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

  8. #8

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    That's not bad IMO. Only a 10% loss after about two weeks of decent terrain.

  9. #9

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    I don't have a dog in the fight but I'd say that if You build a bridge beyond the services of the 'canoe' then you will attract additional hikers, bikers, snowmobillers etc.. You will also pickup winter traffic perhaps on the way to the Grand Falls Hut.
    Let me go

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    40 or so 2018 SoBos quit before getting to the Kennebec Ferry. 420 signed out at Katahdin Stream, 381 signed in at the Kennebec.
    Or they yellow blazed a bit...same thing basically
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 10-30-2018 at 17:42.

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    1,213 northbounders crossed the ferry and on Oct 17th I was #1,280 registering nobo at Baxter.

    someone filling in for the ranger when I got there and signed up told me they usually have 2,000 nobos by this point , does this sound right?

  12. #12
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    That's about right. Probably with all the rain and weather problems down South, many just quit,

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    I've been hearing there was a bigger drop out rate but I was surprised to see that big of a difference. There were no more then 50 people that signed up and summited after me, probably much less. According to those numbers that's about 1/3 less then average finishing which I've always heard is less then 25% of those who start.

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    In regards to the lowness of the number of day hikers using the ferry -

    I can only speak for myself, but I've never day hiked southbound from Caratunk, with the main cause being that I didn't want to burden the ferry. I've probably day hiked from every other road accessible trail head in Maine going both directions. Of course, I used the ferry for thru and section hikes. I think the day hiker numbers would go up if a bridge was built, at least by 1. But I don't even know if a bridge is feasible.

    Upon re reading my post - I'm not at all saying that day hikers shouldn't use the ferry because they are a burden. Only that I havent because I'm lucky enough to be able to get to any trail head, mostly any time I want, and so the ferry guy can save a few of his calories for the masses of long distance walkers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by putts View Post
    In regards to the lowness of the number of day hikers using the ferry -

    I can only speak for myself, but I've never day hiked southbound from Caratunk, with the main cause being that I didn't want to burden the ferry. I've probably day hiked from every other road accessible trail head in Maine going both directions. Of course, I used the ferry for thru and section hikes. I think the day hiker numbers would go up if a bridge was built, at least by 1. But I don't even know if a bridge is feasible.

    Upon re reading my post - I'm not at all saying that day hikers shouldn't use the ferry because they are a burden. Only that I havent because I'm lucky enough to be able to get to any trail head, mostly any time I want, and so the ferry guy can save a few of his calories for the masses of long distance walkers.
    dont live in the area and have only hiked thru once but my take on why there arent many day hikers goes like this-

    1- if someone wants to day hike on a certain side of the river they can just park somewhere on that side. its hard to imagine a day hike that requires crossing the river and continuing an appreciable distance on either side, and then presumably crossing back again. this is generally true of most big river crossings. i live 40 mins from the bear mountain bridge and an hour from the crossing of the Delaware river. while i hike frequently in both areas i never plan hikes that requires me crossing the river back and forth. theres just no reason to do it.
    2- here my memory may really be faulty, but i do believe it is quite a few miles AT south of the river before you encounter something that can be described as a likely popular day hike destination.

    3- as others observe, dealing with the ferry is obviously perhaps more trouble than a day hiker may want to take on.

    now #3 said, i still think #1 and #2 mean that building a bridge will not cause a sudden uptick in day hikers. well, aside from people who want to walk on the new bridge at first. i still think it would ultimately be a big expensive bridge that is used one time each by 2500 or so people a year.

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    A bridge crossing the Kennebec would have to be huge. Probably cost several million dollars and there is still no guarantee it won't wash out in the Spring floods.

  17. #17

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    This is the first year I can remember where there is tangible proof of fewer thru-hikers in Maine. There were 1302 NOBOs at the Kennebec in 2017 versus 1213 in 2018; 426 SOBOs in 2017 versus 381 in 2018; 275 flip-floppers in 2017 and 265 in 2018. Yes, it's possible that attrition was higher for NOBOs this year but that doesn't explain why SOBOs were also down in about the same proportion.
    Last edited by map man; 10-31-2018 at 18:35.
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    A bridge crossing the Kennebec would have to be huge. Probably cost several million dollars and there is still no guarantee it won't wash out in the Spring floods.
    The James River Footbridge is probably the closest approximation. That was built on top of a set abandoned abutments of a railroad bridge It also didn't need to deal with ice flows.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    A bridge crossing the Kennebec would have to be huge. Probably cost several million dollars and there is still no guarantee it won't wash out in the Spring floods.
    not that a bridge should be built but is Chinese can build a 34 mile sea bridge one would have to believe a bridge could be built over the Kennebec.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    not that a bridge should be built but is Chinese can build a 34 mile sea bridge one would have to believe a bridge could be built over the Kennebec.


    building a bridge is the easy part...

    getting funding to build such bridge would be the tougher part......

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