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Thread: Pay to Hike

  1. #1
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    Default Pay to Hike

    I understand that the IAT shelters in Canada require a usage fee... Anyone know what the cost of thru-hiking it would turn out to be? (for esitmated shelter use alone)
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

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    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    I believe shelter use is required on parts of the IAT in Newfoundland and Quebec (mainly inside established parks similar to the US GSMNP) I've emailed someone from the IAT's equivilent to the ATC and asked them to join us so that accurate and up-to-date info will be available regarding this trail and its associated services.

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    The Ice Age Trail (in Wisconsin) rules state that you must either stay in shelters or tent at shelter areas, and either way you have to pay. The website was very insistent that all users had to reserve and pay; however, using the reservation system was a nightmare. The one upside was that when we made better time than we'd anticipated (it's an easy trail) they let us transfer our reservation from one site to another, even though the website says that's not allowed. A 4-night hike cost me $60.

    Jane in CT

  5. #5

    Default Toll Trails

    Pay to backpack? People actually participate in such a program? Let's herd the non-paying anti-shelterists in a straight line with no deviation allowed and like Ed Abbey said, we'll all have fun in the woods but in a clockwise direction ONLY.

    You'd think in a place so far north that the park officials would let people fend for themselves without interference from the Nanny State. I guess a backpacker sleeping somewhere without authorization will awaken the litigious sleeping giant that is Park Policy so beware all future hikers! You'd better bone up on the statute and footnoted legalese before even laying out your gear. Meanwhile the millioneth noisy jet passes overhead and the IAT is socked in an all-day acid rain. Wait! There's an unauthorized hiker who hasn't paid his fee sneeking thru an adjacent clearcut trying to access the Ice Age Trail!

    Back to reality: gsingjane, could you spell out their reasons for charging? What was your experience? Would you do it again?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsingjane View Post
    The Ice Age Trail (in Wisconsin) rules state that you must either stay in shelters or tent at shelter areas, and either way you have to pay.... A 4-night hike cost me $60.

    Jane in CT
    $60 for you alone? In Glacier, it's $5 per person, per night in the backcountry. I don't mind paying, it's an awesome park.

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    LOL.. BTW, I think this is supposed to be the International Appalachian Trail forum, not the Ice Age Trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    $60 for you alone? In Glacier, it's $5 per person, per night in the backcountry. I don't mind paying, it's an awesome park.
    Imagine if the AT charged 5 dollars a night? It'd cost $750 just for a thru-hike permit. I thought Glacier belonged to all of us, so why do we have to pay to use it? How much does it cost to drive the Going to the Sun road thru the park? What's the name of that road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Pay to backpack? People actually participate in such a program? Let's herd the non-paying anti-shelterists in a straight line with no deviation allowed and like Ed Abbey said, we'll all have fun in the woods but in a clockwise direction ONLY.
    Snowmobilers pay a fortune in registration fees for their sport, as do hunters. In fact, hikers are about the only group that expects to government to set aside land for their use and have trails but expect the general fund to pay for it.

    To me, use fees make sense.

    But that, I'm sure, is a minority opinion.
    Frosty

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Imagine if the AT charged 5 dollars a night? It'd cost $750 just for a thru-hike permit. I thought Glacier belonged to all of us, so why do we have to pay to use it? How much does it cost to drive the Going to the Sun road thru the park? What's the name of that road?
    Going Into the Sun Road! I think it costs $25 per car. If all the AT was like Glacier, it would be worth the $750...

    You're going to pay one way or another. Either through taxes or fees. There's infrastructure in NP's, paid trail crews, plowing etc...The AT is a bargin thanks largely to the volunteerism.

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    IAT shelters cost $20.00 per person per night, $10.00 for camping and lean-tos. Also reservations must be made. OR you can buy a "passport" which gives you access to all the sherlters etc and I don't "think" they require reservations.
    I have been trying to do some pre-planning to thru hike the IAT in 2009 information is hard to come by.
    WalkingStick"75"

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    Canada ought to allow U.S. citizens to use their parks for free just to be nice, eh.

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    Registered User Dakota Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    ...If all the AT was like Glacier, it would be worth the $750...
    Or more! The trouble with fees/registration when hiking, is finding the place, or the proper time, to pay them.

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    I wrote to the Contact email for the IAT about your question:
    Hi Renee,
    To answer the question about shelters on the IAT, I believe there are some in Quebec, but there currently aren't any in New Brunswick or Newfoundland. Newfoundland's IAT is still under development. There are plans to build shelters, but we're not there yet.

    If the questions don't come too fast and furious, I can answer questions about the IAT in Newfoundland.

    A contact person for Quebec is Eric Chouinard ([email protected]).
    For Maine, and the IAT overall, contact Dick Anderson ([email protected]).
    As for New Brunswick, I don't have contact info at the moment.

    Paul Wylezol ([email protected])

    Chairperson
    IATNL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    To me, use fees make sense.
    Me too... To a degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingStick75 View Post
    IAT shelters cost $20.00 per person per night, $10.00 for camping and lean-tos.
    But that is just plain rape.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingStick75 View Post
    OR you can buy a "passport" which gives you access to all the sherlters
    Any idea of how much they cost?
    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    I wrote to the Contact email for the IAT about your question:
    Greatly appreciated!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

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    I have been lookng for the passport costs and can't seam to fnd it right now but I think it was around $200.00 bucks. The benifit of the passport is that you don't need reservations. I was shocked at this too after all the trips on the AT and no fees, well thats not really true. Motels, Green Mountians, Whtie Mountians, a whole bunch of hostels and my membership with the ATC.
    So on second thought I really don't mind paying a little to support areas to hike. The IATC only charged me $10.00 for my membership which I gladly paid to support the trail.
    WalkingStick"75"

  17. #17

    Default Parking fees

    For day hikers and section hikers in New Hampshire, many of parking areas at the trail heads in the White Mountain National Forest have a fee for parking. One can pay by the day or purchase weekly or season permits (or if one is an old codger like me) obtain a "Golden Age Passport" which entitles the bearer to park for free.

    Many of us who would rather "live free" (remember the state motto), don't like for the NFS to charge for what we think is ours.
    Bob & Brad
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    A bit off topic, but some info about the ice age trail

    "One of the virtues of the Ice Age Trail is its involvement with the diverse communities along its route. It was designed to connect communities, not avoid them. In fact, approximately 57% of Wisconsin residents live within 20 miles of the Trail. The Ice Age Trail was also designed very specifically to preserve and protect Wisconsinís cultural and glacial heritage."

    Knowing the above, it makes sense (for private property/ community relations reasons) for haing designated camping sites with fees on the ice age trail.

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    At first, when I saw your post, I thought, okay, another IAT post and someone else whining about fees.

    You posted some facts I find quite interesting and I'm glad you did. Thank you.

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    It is hard to say about the fees, I do understand the idea behind them (that you pay one way or the other) and as a backpacker, or just a citizen in general, I'm not childish enough to expect to get something for nothing. The issue about the IAT (and this is the WI one) is that the state has outsourced the function to a company called ReserveAmerica, which makes reservations all over the country for different parks and campgrounds, and they do not have the proper information to actually do backpacking reservations. I cannot tell you how many phone calls and emails it took to get the whole thing straightened out, and then as it was it didn't really work out well. The system is set up for car campers and doesn't accommodate backpackers really at all... their database didn't have the shelters in it, so I had to work backwards from the maps and sort of a trial and error process with existing car sites. We had to readjust our trip plans again and again, because I would make the first couple of reservations, then find out the next place was booked, and then we'd have to start all over again (the customer service rep was about ready to hunt me down and shoot me by the end of it).

    The other thing about the "pay for stay" system is that you get totally locked in to doing a certain number of miles, and only a certain number of miles, a day. You have a reservation at "North Unit Shelter #3" for Thursday night, and if you don't wind up making it, or overshoot it, then what do you do? The IAT turned out to be a really easy trail compared to the AT, and we made 15-20 miles a day easily (we're not that good of hikers, really), so we "wasted" our last night's reservation by just moving on and away from the IAT altogether.

    Finally, and I'm hopeful this isn't true of the whole IAT, the shelters were absolute PITS. Disgusting, dank, dark cinderblock huts with dirt floors, one of which was stuffed with used toilet paper when we got there. For the price we had thought things would be pretty deluxe, and it sure was disheartening to see how degraded they were. Since we weren't staying in them anyway I know it shouldn't have mattered, but honestly they looked like where "America's Most Wanted" would be set in the near future, if not that very night.

    Especially if you are tenting, it seems to me it would make tremendously more sense to just pay a set user fee per day and then just stay where you wind up, just like you do on the AT. We also saw virtually no other backpackers during our entire trip, so if the aim is to apportion scarce space, perhaps that isn't so much of a problem as is thought.

    Would I do it again Tipi? Hmmm, hard to say. I have to say, we really, really appreciated the ease of use of the AT when we came back to it. In general, the IAT is very cool and interesting, and it certainly was an experience to plan and execute a hike on a trail that has an entirely different paradigm. But in general, there's really got to be a better way.

    Jane in CT

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