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  1. #81

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    This is what happens when everyone thinks the AT is the only good LD hiking trail. No one could have though that many people utilizing a foot path could have endured forever..I mean my god what do they think that is..public land or something?

    I'm hoping this doesn't drive an increase of usage over to the BMT, I like the extreme rarity of people there.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by penny b View Post
    Can you pre purchase all permits ahead of time or only when you get there ? Cause I thinking IF I did the thru hike and couldnt finish it cause I was past the limit I would be MAD
    never mind i read more and answered own question

  3. #83
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    If you want to hike South, reserve a campsite or cabin around the day you want to hike Katahdin, enjoy the Park for the time you are there and climb Katahdin at your convenience. Walk to the border at Abol bridge and keep on going South to The HMW. Its not difficult. Last year, my gf and I did exactly that. Three of us drove in. One drove out and two walked out. The ranger at the kiosk was pretty puzzled since we didnt fit into his neat little box. Maybe we were the ones that triggered the sobo permits?

  4. #84
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    "If all available cards have been issued, AT hikers may still complete their hike by entering the Park through the Togue Pond Gate following the same process as other dayuse or camping visitors."

    Anyone know or could provide a link for the process for day use visitors? What's the limit for day use visitors? Does it matter if you don't need a parking space? Could one camp outside the park and just day hike Baxter and avoid this issue? I know everyone says just follow the rules but I've read 5 pages on whiteblaze and searched Baxter's website for information and it's not obvious to me. I'm all for following the rules but "they" sure make it difficult sometimes to figure out. Thanks in advance!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 34/48
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  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    If you want to hike South, reserve a campsite or cabin around the day you want to hike Katahdin, enjoy the Park for the time you are there and climb Katahdin at your convenience. Walk to the border at Abol bridge and keep on going South to The HMW. Its not difficult. Last year, my gf and I did exactly that. Three of us drove in. One drove out and two walked out. The ranger at the kiosk was pretty puzzled since we didnt fit into his neat little box. Maybe we were the ones that triggered the sobo permits?
    They do get a confused look if you aren't doing a standard itinerary I've noticed Did a loop heading north to south through the park, exiting at KLE and heading north on the IAT a couple of years ago. Walked up to Matagamon gate because I left my scoot back at the camps which confused the poor lady to start. Then I asked her what the procedure I should follow to exit at KLE and really knocked her for a loop. She had no clue so I told her I'd stuff my window card in the box at the trailhead when I left BSP territory. Probably still there today because I don't think they ever empty that box.
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    Ole Man gonna need to hire more help with shuttles and the AT Lodge will be packed with NOBOs in a holding pattern waiting for the summit appointment.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  7. #87
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jred321 View Post
    The smell is usually a giveaway

    I agree!

  8. #88
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    No surprise. The AT can not endure under the unlimited use model as it is promoted by the ATC.

  9. #89
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    "If all available cards have been issued, AT hikers may still complete their hike by entering the Park through the Togue Pond Gate following the same process as other dayuse or camping visitors."

    Anyone know or could provide a link for the process for day use visitors? What's the limit for day use visitors? Does it matter if you don't need a parking space? Could one camp outside the park and just day hike Baxter and avoid this issue? I know everyone says just follow the rules but I've read 5 pages on whiteblaze and searched Baxter's website for information and it's not obvious to me. I'm all for following the rules but "they" sure make it difficult sometimes to figure out. Thanks in advance!
    Anyone hiking Katahdin is supposed to have a day use permit (even if you don't have a car). You must exit the park the same date of the permit. To day hike in to the park, and back out...is not something most people choose to do. Katahdin is not just a quick scamper for most people.

    Here is the link to the Baxter State Park Reservations page: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/reservation/

    For more information on the AT within Baxter, please look under the "Hiking" header, then "Hiking Info" sub-header.

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    If you want to hike South, reserve a campsite or cabin around the day you want to hike Katahdin, enjoy the Park for the time you are there and climb Katahdin at your convenience. Walk to the border at Abol bridge and keep on going South to The HMW. Its not difficult. Last year, my gf and I did exactly that. Three of us drove in. One drove out and two walked out. The ranger at the kiosk was pretty puzzled since we didnt fit into his neat little box. Maybe we were the ones that triggered the sobo permits?
    We did something similar in 2001.
    Had a friend drop us off, (Maine native) went in to Chimney pond, climbed Katahdin, then hiked out from there on the AT, and camped at Abol.
    Would we need a permit to do it like this from these new rules? (none of us camped in the park)
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  11. #91

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    When I tried hiking SOBO in 2012, I didn't have a reservation for the campground as it was full when I wanted a spot. So I had the hostel drop me off in the morning so I could summit Katahdin and then pick me up in the late afternoon. They brought me back the next morning so I could start hiking south. I don't see the new rules really changing the ability of someone to do the same.

  12. #92
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    Anyone hiking Katahdin is supposed to have a day use permit (even if you don't have a car). You must exit the park the same date of the permit. To day hike in to the park, and back out...is not something most people choose to do. Katahdin is not just a quick scamper for most people.

    Here is the link to the Baxter State Park Reservations page: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/reservation/

    For more information on the AT within Baxter, please look under the "Hiking" header, then "Hiking Info" sub-header.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    When I tried hiking SOBO in 2012, I didn't have a reservation for the campground as it was full when I wanted a spot. So I had the hostel drop me off in the morning so I could summit Katahdin and then pick me up in the late afternoon. They brought me back the next morning so I could start hiking south. I don't see the new rules really changing the ability of someone to do the same.
    See this is exactly my point. Rules should be clear and they are not. If I was hiking in Baxter this year I would call to seek clarification. If anyone has called and can share what they were told that would be great.

    I appreciate your reply Water Rat and I checked out the link and the Baxter website but I don't see anything on the Baxter website that supports this sentence: "Anyone hiking Katahdin is supposed to have a day use permit (even if you don't have a car)" So I think I agree with Miner. But like I said it's not clear to me.
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  13. #93
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    A few questions:

    1. If a NOBO hiker arrives at Abol Bridge after the permits run out, will he be allowed to enter the park and walk to Katahdin Stream -- and exit there via shuttle? Presumably to return through the maine gate as a day-use hiker in the next day or two?

    2. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to walk into the Park from Abol Bridge and climb Katahdin the next day even if the permits have run out?

    3. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to enter the Park from the main gate, and walk out of the park via the AT?

  14. #94
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    A few questions:

    1. If a NOBO hiker arrives at Abol Bridge after the permits run out, will he be allowed to enter the park and walk to Katahdin Stream -- and exit there via shuttle? Presumably to return through the maine gate as a day-use hiker in the next day or two?

    2. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to walk into the Park from Abol Bridge and climb Katahdin the next day even if the permits have run out?

    3. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to enter the Park from the main gate, and walk out of the park via the AT?
    Your questions echo mine. The explanation provided by BSP is generalized and vague on details such as this. I expect they haven't even considered the minutiae yet.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huli View Post
    I am SoBo this year. When I spoke with the ranger they said I do need to make a reservation.
    Yes, to camp you need a reservation.
    Teej

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

  16. #96

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    I realize to some folks facts probably ruin a good story but let review options for thruhikers if and when the permits quotas are exceeded.

    Let start out with getting some correct (as of today) information out there as there have been some misstatements prior in the thread

    BSP does not require permits to climb katahdin as a day user. If a hiker enters the park from one of the two entrance gates and climbs the mountain in one day there currently is no limit on how many people can climb the mountain on any given day. That said, the park does indirectly manage the use of the three trailheads that access the summit by controlling parking at these trailheads. There really are not a lot of options if a summit hiker wants to climb katahdin other than these three lots although I will mention a couple later on. For AT thruhikers, the primary lot of interest is Katahdin Stream Campground (KSC) as the AT goes right through it. A less attractive alternative is Abol Campground which is 2 miles east of KSC . The final lot is Roaring Brook on the east side of the mountain. Unless someone is car supported or wants to spend a lot of time hitching on the park road network Roaring Brook is not a great option for AT hikers except for those who want an extended stay in the park or are car supported. Do note that the park does not allow overflow parking near the trailheads, given the width of the road it is dangerous. The park owns at least one parking “boot” to immobilize a vehicle and they have the right to have the vehicle towed.

    There are two ways of getting a legal parking spot at the three trailheads. If you have reservations anywhere in the park you have the right to get up early in the morning before the park gates are open and park in the lots. Your overnight campsite reservation acts as a day use pass. This means if you have car support and don’t mind a very early morning drive on narrow curvy dark and dusty roads you can expand your campsite selections to a couple of less popular outlying campgrounds. This applies to the entire park but practically due to the condition of the roads it means that a site a Nesowadnehunk is a possible option for an overnight stay (albeit with a 1 hour drive in the AM) and the three KSC group campsites (actually located 2 miles west of KSC) . Daicey and Kidney Pond Cabins are conceivably also available but due to the popularity and cost, it is highly unlikely that a thruhiker would get a spot. The cabins hold from 4 to 8 folks so a group may get real lucky. The other option to get into the three parking lots is to reserve and purchase a Day Use Parking Reservation (DUPR) in advance. This guarantees you a spot on a given day at given parking lot. If there are slots open that were not reserved in advance they can be bought at the gate in the AM. Generally with the exception of popular weekends, all the slots are not filled. Therefore during the week this is highly probable but not guaranteed that those in line at the gate will get one. Roaring Brook is very popular for dayhikers and tends to sell out first with KSC a close second and Abol third. For out of state vehicles, there is a cost for the DUPR of $5 and an additional entrance fee of $15 for the vehicle.

    There is occasional discussion about day hiking the mountain from outside the park. With the proposed new permit system that appears to be no longer an option from Abol Bridge once the permit limit is reached but the devil is in the details. Practically with the exception of a very strong athlete few if any have the stamina to do it. The most logical approach is via the Abol Stream Trail onto the Park road to Abol Campground and then up Abol trail to the summit and back. This is the most direct route but definitely a blue blaze around quite a nice stretch of the AT. Adding in the AT route adds several miles to this effort.

    So lets assume the worst case, every campsite is full in the park and the DUPRs are sold out. There is still an option with car support (or about 14 miles of road walk) . There is no restriction on those who don’t need to park at the three trailheads, it is perfectly legit to be dropped off at any lot and day hike up the mountain. As the parking areas are quite congested the hiker will need to make arrangements with their ride to pick them up at an agreed upon time as they can’t just park and wait. The AT Lodge does run shuttles to Millinocket from KSC but they are quite popular and can’t guarantee a ride back. This option also can be extended somewhat in that there are day use parking areas with a couple of miles of KSC, one about a mile west on the park road at a trailhead to the Daicey Pond area and another day use lot at Daicey Pond. These add mileage to a hike but they do not require a DUPR.

    Folks forget that there are the rules and then there are the policies associated with enforcing the rules. I expect the park will develop a policy to enforce the rules once its become real when permits run out.

    There is at least one other usage restriction which can be applied to thru hikers and that is group size limitation. The maximum size of hiking groups shall be 12 persons. Affiliated groups on the same trail separated by less than one mile shall be considered one group. I will let those with legal resources fight the definition of an affiliated group versus an assemblage of individuals who happen to be hiking in close proximity at the same pace. This rule reportedly has been applied to large groups of thru hikers who elect to hike together to the summit but usually is applied to other groups.

    I have seen references to illegal (stealth) camping. Folks have been busted and banned from the park for illegal camping in the past and I expect they will be in the future. The walk from Daicey to Abol is a pleasant one and I expect that a park employee could sweep it quite readily. The park does post an employee at the AT turnstile on occasion and someone not familiar with the area is unlikely to figure out how to skip it so its going to be very obvious to the employee if someone is trying to sneak into the park.

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    A few questions:

    1. If a NOBO hiker arrives at Abol Bridge after the permits run out, will he be allowed to enter the park and walk to Katahdin Stream -- and exit there via shuttle? Presumably to return through the maine gate as a day-use hiker in the next day or two?

    2. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to walk into the Park from Abol Bridge and climb Katahdin the next day even if the permits have run out?

    3. If a NOBO thru hiker has secured reservations for a lean-to at Katahdin Stream, will he be allowed to enter the Park from the main gate, and walk out of the park via the AT?

    Wouldn't hazard a guess on the first question, but the common sense answer to the other two would be yes. Despite your personal designation as a thru hiker, if you have a reservation you are technically a BSP camper. That means the rules that allow folks with KSC reservations to climb should apply. As for your third question, I'm not sure why a NOBO would want to walk out via the AT, but there are no rules preventing campers from walking out of the park. I know that as I've done it myself more than once.

    The thru hiker rules seem to be designed to control the traffic not controlled via the reservation process. Anyone with a reservation, even a thru hiker, should already be accounted for under the standard camper regulations.
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  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    Anyone hiking Katahdin is supposed to have a day use permit
    This is news to me. What does the permit look like?
    Teej

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

  19. #99
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Your questions echo mine. The explanation provided by BSP is generalized and vague on details such as this. I expect they haven't even considered the minutiae yet.
    One thing that strikes me as very odd is why BSP would look to cap SOBOs and Flip-Floppers with a specific quota.

    Right now, don't those two kinds of BSP visitors already need to comply with the existing Park rules and entry requirements?

    Just like everyone else.

    Wouldn't SOBOs and Flip-Floppers still need to do so under this new scheme?

    Could this plan be because a higher percentage of SOBOs and Flip Floppers come from out of state?

    Or because a concentration of these kinds of hikers is assumed to have a greater adverse impact on the mountain ecology than other visitors who walk the exact same path?

    Or perhaps because this subset of Park users is motivated to visit for reasons that are not as closely aligned with the BSP mission and values as the preferred visitor?

    Any way you look at it, it seems to me that the Park's new position with respect to SOBOs and Flip-Floppers is not consistent with their stated objective.

    Or am I missing something?

  20. #100
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    This is news to me. What does the permit look like?
    It's just the yellow piece of paper. I was told to be sure to carry it with me while hiking. I didn't question it as it makes sense that BSP would want to know who was who and where they were coming from. I should think it would also help them to narrow down the people causing issues within the park.

    Last season was the first season I was told I needed this...and it was verified by 2 different rangers.

    Perhaps the person who told me was seasonal and did not know...and then they asked two others who didn't know? *shrug* I asked ahead and am more than happy to support the park. It was $5.00 and a small price to pay to wander in for a day of hiking. I also used their privy, so I was happy to financially pay my share for the use.

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