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Thread: 2017 numbers?

  1. #1
    Registered User meat803's Avatar
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    Default 2017 numbers?

    Any input as to how crowded the trail will be this year? I'm considering doing another thru but not if is is going to be the gaggle that it was last year. Has the Hollywood hysteria died down yet?
    2014 Foothills, 2015 AT GA-ME, 2016 LT SOBO
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    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    There is a graph put out by the ATC, I got the link on WB... Will link it here if I can find it again.

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    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    Like magic!
    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home...tration-charts

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    Registered User meat803's Avatar
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    Yeah I found that but would need to know comparable numbers on this day a year ago to compare. Does anyone remember?

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    2016 numbers are on the same page, scroll to the bottom.

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    Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meat803 View Post
    Any input as to how crowded the trail will be this year? I'm considering doing another thru but not if is is going to be the gaggle that it was last year. Has the Hollywood hysteria died down yet?
    No, and I wouldn't expect it to soon, if ever. Once the numbers climb, it's kind of self perpetuating. If you look at the chart for 2017 registrations so far, March 1st and 15th are already in the red from both the Approach Trail and Springer. There are already around 50 hikers starting their hikes on both of those days alone, and you can expect MANY more to register yet. It's going to be a banner year...or not, depending on your view.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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    There was no Hollywood hysteria. No stampede to hike the trail. We had the usual number of hikers last year and will have the usual numbers this year. If the US population goes up 1% then the number of hikers will also go up. There is no real science in the numbers, no accurate count has ever been done and may not be possible. ATC estimates for past numbers was high. The only real data in the past was "sign in at the start of the approach trail", "drop in's at Harpers Ferry" and"sign in at Baxter" This data is poor at best, not everybody does the approach trail, not everyone drops by the ATC and not everyone is truthful. The high estimates were part of the "trail promotion" effort by the ATC. Now the data is being used as part of the effort to reduce crowding conditions on the Southern end during March and April. Are the numbers going up, probably. What influences this increase,... who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    There was no Hollywood hysteria. No stampede to hike the trail. We had the usual number of hikers last year and will have the usual numbers this year. If the US population goes up 1% then the number of hikers will also go up. There is no real science in the numbers, no accurate count has ever been done and may not be possible. ATC estimates for past numbers was high. The only real data in the past was "sign in at the start of the approach trail", "drop in's at Harpers Ferry" and"sign in at Baxter" This data is poor at best, not everybody does the approach trail, not everyone drops by the ATC and not everyone is truthful. The high estimates were part of the "trail promotion" effort by the ATC. Now the data is being used as part of the effort to reduce crowding conditions on the Southern end during March and April. Are the numbers going up, probably. What influences this increase,... who knows?
    Kennebec ferry thru hiker totals showed 18.5% increase in nobo reaching that point last year, and startling increases in SOBO and flipflops as well. 36.8% increase in SOBO, and 74% increase in flipfloppers. Which show the ATC efforts to promote alternatives are somewhat working to dissuade a few from the nobo herd.

    It is not correct to say the "usual" numbers, as they were clearly much higher across the board.

    In total, there were 28% more hikers at Kennebec identifying themselves as thru hikers.

    28%.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-07-2017 at 18:39.
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    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Not sure about the numbers game, but I started on April 19th, 2015 headed North from the falls. My "number" was 1286. In the 43 days I hiked and ultimately ended my attempt just past Daleville on the parkway. Passed a few groups but nothing crazy where I couldn't have any solitude where i spent the night or insane crowds along the way. The biggest (and best) impact I had on my hike was the amount of trash/poo/etc... For the most part, the trail was very clean, shelters were exactly what I expected (maybe a little better), and while some privy's were close to full it wasn't the horror stories I've heard about. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about numbers unless you're starting on one of the high volume days, but people will thin out as they go.
    - Trail name: Thumper

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Kennebec ferry thru hiker totals showed 18.5% increase in nobo reaching that point last year, and startling increases in SOBO and flipflops as well. 36.8% increase in SOBO, and 74% increase in flipfloppers. Which show the ATC efforts to promote alternatives are somewhat working to dissuade a few from the nobo herd.

    It is not correct to say the "usual" numbers, as they were clearly much higher across the board.

    In total, there were 28% more hikers at Kennebec identifying themselves as thru hikers.

    28%.

    Exactly, the ATC has expressly noted the dramatic increase and is taking an active interest in trying to reduce the impact of the increased numbers.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Exactly, the ATC has expressly noted the dramatic increase and is taking an active interest in trying to reduce the impact of the increased numbers.
    Please tell!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    Please tell!
    Spend a few minutes on their website...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Spend a few minutes on their website...
    I have.
    I must have missed required regristration for hopeful thru hikers.

    Fact is, the ATC does not have a backbone to save your beloved trail from over use.

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    Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    I have.
    I must have missed required regristration for hopeful thru hikers.

    Fact is, the ATC does not have a backbone to save your beloved trail from over use.
    Never said anything about required registration...I said they are taking an active interest. Can you refute that? No? Thought not...

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Never said anything about required registration...I said they are taking an active interest. Can you refute that? No? Thought not...

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    active interest? As in ignoring the issue of over use?
    much like the Catholic Church covering up the abuse of their youth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    active interest? As in ignoring the issue of over use?
    much like the Catholic Church covering up the abuse of their youth.
    You have every right to your opinion.

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  17. #17

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    What's with the ridiculous animosity towards the ATC?

    Anyway, the active interest I've seen recently is the promotion of alternative thru hikes of the AT, like creative flip-flops, to spread out folks and ease the crowding. Good for the ATC!

  18. #18

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    I think the ATC is working to mute the increasing number of NOBO's that leave in Mar and Apr. The voluntary registration is a great idea, but sadly one only needs to look at the number of hikers that still sign up for the 1st and the 15th of those months, when there are adjacent days with far fewer planned starts.

    As Muddy stated, clearly the ATC's promotion of Flip/Flops has been successful, but too many hikers are still doing exactly what they want. I think a compulsory registration has to be somewhere in the future, as too many in the hiker community do not want to police themselves. There are ways to drive compliance of a controlled permit system, even with the thousands of points of ingress and egress on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    What's with the ridiculous animosity towards the ATC?

    Anyway, the active interest I've seen recently is the promotion of alternative thru hikes of the AT, like creative flip-flops, to spread out folks and ease the crowding. Good for the ATC!
    Thank you CR for stating what my lack of patience wouldn't allow me to.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    I started April 1st in 2016. I was hiker 32 that day started at 2 pm. Not sure where they all went NEVER seen more than 15 to 20 at a shelter. Either way if your worried about too many people either start earlier or do a SOBO OR FLIP FLOP. Me. I don't care about to many people by Franklin it will be thinned way out, if not sooner.

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