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 Article on Overuse of AT 
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:23 pm
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 Article on Overuse of AT
Interesting article. What do u think? Makes me wonder about how many cars I'm going to see on the franconia parkway this labor day weekend.

http://www.outsideonline.com/2011851/ca ... walk-woods


Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:04 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
Easyish solution. Go hike somewhere else. Every trailhead to a 4k is going to be busy no matter the weekend. There are plenty of other trails out there that go to great places that aren't 4ks. Plenty of ranges that could use some hiking that probably even closer to your home. Anyone hiking a 4k is in no position complain about crowds. You can also get to the trail head super early or super late if you must hike the same trails. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset. That's why we have all this nice gear. Instead of looking at your headlamp or rain gear as something to use in a bad position. Just embrace it and use it on purpose. You will get a completely different experience using the same trails.

About people littering. I'm not about to scold people on the trail. I'll just pick up the non biological trash. You can't fix stupid.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:36 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
I think NH should reroute RT93/3 to 112/116 and gate Franconia State Park. :twisted:

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:40 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
thegibba wrote:
I'll just pick up the non biological trash. You can't fix stupid.


On Lafayette yesterday, ALL trash we saw was biological... and I"m talking just a couple feet from the trail. Disgusting.

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:06 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
Whoop, I was on part of the AT yesterday. Guilty!

(Not the littering or the "biological waste" mind you, just using the trail.)


Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:30 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
iagreewithjamie wrote:
thegibba wrote:
I'll just pick up the non biological trash. You can't fix stupid.


On Lafayette yesterday, ALL trash we saw was biological... and I"m talking just a couple feet from the trail. Disgusting.


If say 1% of hikers (just making up a number) do that stuff and you hike where there are 2000 hikers a weekend and many who rehike the same place over and over, you're going to see a lot more of it than if you had gone to the Baldfaces. We saw none of it there when we went in July, but I know you had your reasons for going to this hike. Once you make it to the Baldfaces you may not feel the need to return to the Franconia Ridge any time soon.

As for the article, why does it not surprise me that the people with the biggest problem with this seem to be those running Baxter State Park, where someone having a summit beer or opening a bottle of Champagne and taking their bottle out with them is still the end of the world. And are they really trying to say people smoking a joint didn't happen in the 60s and 70s. Hell, many states have decriminalized it entirely. I have said before they have a lot of rules and are pretty strict there, which is how they choose to manage the park and keep it wild, and to a point it works, but some of their complaints are just rediculous IMO. Limiting the number of hikers per day per trail is a good thing I guess if you want a wild untrammeled area. Worrying about someone cracking open a beer to celebrate getting to the summit is a waste of time if you ask me as long as they take their trash with them. No different than having Candy bar or powerade if you take the junk with you.

For day hiking I agree with Gibba. If you don't want to see the over use and trails over run with people go somewhere other than a certain 48 mountains in NH (and the equivalent elsewhere) and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Pretty simple. Why people feel the need to keep going back to the same places and overusing and loving them to death when there is SO much other great hiking in the northeast is beyond me.

For the AT however that's just not possible. You only have a handful of 2000 mile continuous options in the country. It's a shame that there are probably just a few people ruining it for the rest of us but that's often the way it goes in all aspects of life. The AT isn't an official wilderness to my knowledge so nobody should really expect it to be. Complaining about the growth since the 1920s in use is dumb too. The population of the country has tripled since then so what do they expect to happen to the use of this trail and all the other popular trails. It is obvious to hose of us who have been at it for decades that hiking is getting more popular and that's just reality. If overuse is a huge problem I guess a lottery and permit system like many other spots would be the way to go. To hike Half Dome you need to get a permit. To raft the Grand Canyon you have to get a permit. To hike the PCT it sounds like you need a permit. Mt. Whitney, yep, permit. And there's lots of others. If the AT has reached a saturation point and truly is being ruined that is probably the way to go. If they just want to bitch that a trail that used roadways, parkways, the busiest of busy National Parks and forest is not longer what a few people envision and romanticized it to be get over themselves and deal with reality. It is what it is. It belongs to everyone. Having a 2000 mile pristine wilderness like trail would do none of us any good if we can't use it, just like having it be trashed and ruined environmentally and scenically would also be bad. There's a happy medium in there somewhere, one where most will be happy and the extremes on either end of the argument probably will not be and will complain the loudest and make you think it's worse than it is because it's not the way they want it. So be it. The section in NH is probably one of the busiest and most spectacular on the whole trail. We've all seen it. Would anyone say it's totally ruined from overuse and an open air drug market?

As for disrespect and all that from the new generations. Yeah, I see it, but I'm almost 40 so I think everyone starts to feel like the grumpy old man and I can't believe the things kids do these days blah blah blah. Doesn't every generation seem to see it at a certain age and think that, not realizing that they were once those people?


Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:39 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
Granite Guy wrote:
As for disrespect and all that from the new generations. Yeah, I see it, but I'm almost 40 so I think everyone starts to feel like the grumpy old man and I can't believe the things kids do these days blah blah blah. Doesn't every generation seem to see it at a certain age and think that, not realizing that they were once those people?

I see it and I'm not terribly far removed from the "new" generation that draws a lot of ire. Heck, my generation is a good chunk of the problem too!

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:39 am
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
I won't debate the positive's and negative's on this issue but I will say that in 20 years we will probably still be saying how much of an issue this is. It won't change no matter how many people approve or disapprove.

Greg

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:49 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
I won't debate the positive's and negative's on this issue but I will say that in 20 years we will probably still be saying how much of an issue this is. It won't change no matter how many people approve or disapprove.

Greg

Your probably very right and it will just be busier. :(


Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:24 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
As much as the permit system may seem like the nuclear option it seems to work whenever they implement it. Either that or make regulations and actually enforce them somehow. From what I hear the Kancamangus highway back in the 60s and 70s was overrun with illegal camping and thr trails and woods close to the highway just looked like campgrounds. Not sure when the quarter mile rule came into effect or enforcement started but something cleaned the place up nicely. That, and the views are getting overgrown. How about some roadside clear cutting??!! :D


Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:48 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
I won't debate the positive's and negative's on this issue but I will say that in 20 years we will probably still be saying how much of an issue this is. It won't change no matter how many people approve or disapprove.

Greg


And these damned kids can get off my lawn!

I wonder how you would police a permit only trail with a zillion access points. Rangers walking up and down it? "Papers please!"


The wrappers and stuff I can see. I'm certainly no angel. I'm sure while grabbing something out of my pocket something else will have popped out also. The amount of toilet paper I have seen in the past year is ridiculous. Perhaps I didn't notice it before for one reason or another. There have been a few peaks (bond most notably) where you can just walk about and with little effort, find the bathroom. I find it odd that people wouldn't at least walk off into the brush a bit and drop trou. I wouldn't want someone to just come by and see my rear end hanging out. This past spring I came across a lady who had no modesty taking a pee trailside. I'm not much better bring a guy. But at least a quick turn and no one sees anything.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:10 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
thegibba wrote:
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
I won't debate the positive's and negative's on this issue but I will say that in 20 years we will probably still be saying how much of an issue this is. It won't change no matter how many people approve or disapprove.

Greg


And these damned kids can get off my lawn!

I wonder how you would police a permit only trail with a zillion access points. Rangers walking up and down it? "Papers please!"


Probably just police the over-used/abused areas like they do in the Whites. Then fine them and hope they pay, or even give a real name for that matter. Certainly would be tough to haul someone off a mountain in cuffs. But I can tell you for a fact if you (or your friends) camp illegally or even just keep a messy backcountry site in the Whites (and more so I hear in the Daks but nothing firsthand there) and they find you they will indeed fine you for it.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:33 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
thegibba wrote:
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
I won't debate the positive's and negative's on this issue but I will say that in 20 years we will probably still be saying how much of an issue this is. It won't change no matter how many people approve or disapprove.

Greg


And these damned kids can get off my lawn!

I wonder how you would police a permit only trail with a zillion access points. Rangers walking up and down it? "Papers please!"


The wrappers and stuff I can see. I'm certainly no angel. I'm sure while grabbing something out of my pocket something else will have popped out also. The amount of toilet paper I have seen in the past year is ridiculous. Perhaps I didn't notice it before for one reason or another. There have been a few peaks (bond most notably) where you can just walk about and with little effort, find the bathroom. I find it odd that people wouldn't at least walk off into the brush a bit and drop trou. I wouldn't want someone to just come by and see my rear end hanging out. This past spring I came across a lady who had no modesty taking a pee trailside. I'm not much better bring a guy. But at least a quick turn and no one sees anything.


Exactly! And curse you and your little dog too...........

I think it was said exactly. It was put out to do its purpose: get people outside. Its done that but done it tenfold. So once the snowball gets rolling how do you stop it? There aren't any easy answers.

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:34 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
Granite Guy wrote:
If you don't want to see the over use and trails over run with people go somewhere other than a certain 48 mountains in NH ... Why people feel the need to keep going back to the same places and overusing and loving them to death when there is SO much other great hiking in the northeast is beyond me.


What's ironic about this, wasn't the whole idea of the 48 to ease the overuse on Washington, Lafayette, etc and encourage the use of lesser-known trails like Cabot etc? Seems like the only thing that was accomplished is they ended up with 48 crowded trails instead of 4 or 5 lol.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:00 pm
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 Re: Article on Overuse of AT
wp_hiker2 wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
If you don't want to see the over use and trails over run with people go somewhere other than a certain 48 mountains in NH ... Why people feel the need to keep going back to the same places and overusing and loving them to death when there is SO much other great hiking in the northeast is beyond me.


What's ironic about this, wasn't the whole idea of the 48 to ease the overuse on Washington, Lafayette, etc and encourage the use of lesser-known trails like Cabot etc? Seems like the only thing that was accomplished is they ended up with 48 crowded trails instead of 4 or 5 lol.


+1 on that one for sure! Although you see this same thing with the ATVERS up north. They have overrun the towns. Although the towns love the revenue they bring, I hate to see what it has done to the woods with the erosion and scaring the wildlife off with the god awful noise they make. We are a destructive species for sure.


Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:45 am
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