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Thread: Any bad towns?

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    Registered User mdj05f's Avatar
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    Default Any bad towns?

    A customer at my brother's vitamin store who was experienced with the AT mentioned a few towns that in fact DO NOT appreciate AT thru-hikers and do not treat them well at all. Of course my brother can't remember the towns he named. Are there any that come to anyone's mind?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Kent, Connecticut has that reputation.

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    Ditto on Kent. The "outfitter" is an ice cream and t-shirt shop with some Coghlans equipment for sale over in a corner. Trying to get one of their employees to help find the bounce box I had sent there was like pulling teeth. It's better for your sanity and for the town's rarefied air if you're in and out of there as quick as possible.
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  4. #4

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    Most of the towns in the southern AT are hiker friendly but the farther north you go the worst they get, the absolute worst town i esperienced on my 2006 thru is Pawquawg NY( that name could be spelled wrong), i made it a point to stay away from that one during my 2012 thru.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    Most of the towns in the southern AT are hiker friendly but the farther north you go the worst they get, the absolute worst town i esperienced on my 2006 thru is Pawquawg NY( that name could be spelled wrong), i made it a point to stay away from that one during my 2012 thru.
    Probably Pawling NY. I grew up about ten miles south in Brewster.

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    Registered User mdj05f's Avatar
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    thanks everyone! very helpful!

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    No such thing as a "bad town". I think the respect you get is equal to the respect you give. Nothing wrong with Kent, had a great supper with about 10 other thrus at a large restaurant, and a great breakfast with one other thru at a small restaurant the next morning.

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    Of course we wouldn't show any disrespect to any of the towns we are guests in...but some people see some smelly backpackerse heading their way and aren't very happy about it. I can imagine not everyone along the trail welcomes hikers with open arms, understandably. Don't want to wander where we aren't welcome.

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    I'll step to the defense of the outfitter in Kent. He provided me a very last minute, long distance shuttle last year. He provided excellent service, including a stop at the store for free coffee and pastry. In the several hours I spent with him, he lamented the fact that his Outfitting shop had become an Ice Cream Parlor. He said it was find a viable money maker or go out of business entirely. He blamed it on the bad economy overall and the prevalence of online ordering as two of the contributors. The ice cream business allows him to continue to offer any hiker services. He's actually a very nice guy who invested in a VERY expensive area and is doing the best he can.

    It is, first and foremost, a business. It has to be for him.
    Last edited by Lyle; 02-18-2013 at 16:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    I'll step to the defense of the outfitter in Kent. He provided me a very last minute, long distance shuttle last year. He provided excellent service, including a stop at the store for free coffee and pastry. In the several hours I spent with him, he lamented the fact that his Outfitting shop had become an Ice Cream Parlor. He said it was find a viable money maker or go out of business entirely. He blamed it on the bad economy overall and the prevalence of online ordering as two of the contributors. The ice cream business allows him to continue to offer any hiker services. He's actually a very nice guy who invested in a VERY expensive area and is doing the best he can.

    It is, first and foremost, a business. It has to be for him.
    Good point. I can't fault him for running whatever business he needs to in order to get by. I guess I was more surprised that Kent had a reputation for having "all hiker services," per Baltimore Jack's resupply guide, and that it had its own map page and everything in AWOL's book. It was a remarkably underwhelming place from a hiker's standpoint.
    "Hahk your own hahk." - Ron Haven

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    Most of the towns in the southern AT are hiker friendly but the farther north you go the worst they get, the absolute worst town i esperienced on my 2006 thru is Pawquawg NY..., i made it a point to stay away from that one during my 2012 thru.
    With your logic the worst town wouldn't be the fictional town of Pawquawg, NY but Monson or Millinocket, Maine.

    mdj05f, I'd be leery of advice of this nature, as any two people can have a completely opposite experience. Pawling lets hikers camp in the town park, they can't be all bad.

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    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    I had a good time in Kent, had an even better time in Salisbury, I had been told all of CT would suck but wasn't true for me. Varies for everybody I'm sure but the only town I didn't feel very welcome in was Damascus. Even then nobody did me wrong, was just not a very friendly vibe, given the way hikers act like they own that town I can see why. Go to any town you want and act like a guest it'll work out alright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    No such thing as a "bad town". I think the respect you get is equal to the respect you give. Nothing wrong with Kent, had a great supper with about 10 other thrus at a large restaurant, and a great breakfast with one other thru at a small restaurant the next morning.
    i agree. never had a bad experience in a town. it's past hikers that have caused some residents and businesses to dislike hikers. some hikers are just plain rude and disrespectful

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf;
    some hikers are just plain rude and disrespectful
    Rude and disrespectful is always a bad idea, for anyone, anywhere.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Rude and disrespectful is always a bad idea, for anyone, anywhere.
    happens a LOT in Damascus

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    I stopped in a lot of towns and I never had a bad experience that was bad enough for me to think it was a "bad town".

    People are people every where you go. Generally, you teach people how to treat you.

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    The only place I didn't really get much of a welcoming feeling was Boiling Springs. While sitting on the porch of the ATC office a couple of locals stopped by to tell us where we MAY be welcome for lunch, and where to definitely avoid. I just walked on through. A few of the others I was with went to a Pizza/Beer place and had an ok time. None of us stayed the night. Nothing really happened except the warnings.

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    A lot of how you are received is how you are perceived. Come into a business stinking of "hiker funk" and you may not receive an 'open arm invitation'. Taking the time to clean up a little before you hit the town can make a big difference. I always had 'trail clothes' and 'town clothes'. Stop outside and take a sponge bath and put on some clothes that don't reek. Even though I hike, therefore I stink, I would not want to be sitting in a restaurant trying to eat my breakfast next to some grubby hiker you can smell six tables away.

    I grew up in NW Connecticut, and yes Kent can be "snobbish". But if you are a store employee who would you rather wait on - the family that is clean that just drove up in a Lexus or some grubby hiker whose body odor wants to make you puke? If you are the unlucky employee who got stuck waiting on the hiker you are going to try damn hard to get it over quickly.

    And like every other situation in life if you treat others as you would like to be treated all should go well. I never had a hassle or problem while hiking.
    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

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  19. #19

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    I wouldn't say towns, but definately had to do with time of year. Walking into a super market in late November and December, looking like a hiker, I get more stares than I thought possible. I think it was the uncertainty of them not knowing whether I was homeless (it was the beard), or 'just how nutty is this guy' that he is still hiking during holiday season. I found it more amusing than bothersome... I'm still polite and friendly, and that's what truly matters in such situations.

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    Default Thats my hometown!

    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG:1420119
    Most of the towns in the southern AT are hiker friendly but the farther north you go the worst they get, the absolute worst town i esperienced on my 2006 thru is Pawquawg NY( that name could be spelled wrong), i made it a point to stay away from that one during my 2012 thru.
    Its poughquag ny, what was bad about it?

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