MATC Questions and Answers

 

Frame logs are fitted for the new Baldpate Lean-to.

MATC members fit a milled log into the frame of the new Baldpate Lean-to.

 

 

What is the MATC?

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) is an all volunteer, nonprofit corporation that was organized on June 18, 1935, to assume responsibility for the management, maintenance and protection of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Maine. Except for its limited role in Baxter State Park, the MATC is responsible for all Trail and Trail structure design, construction, and maintenance, for monitoring activities in the AT corridor, and for basic public information and education regarding the Trail in Maine. The MATC is not a hiking or outing club. It exists solely for the protection and perpetuation of the AT. The MATC is not affiliated with nor is it a part of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). The MATC and the AMC are two separate organizations, although both are involved with protection and maintenance of the AT. This article provides a great profile of the Club and summary of its activities.

What is the Appalachian Trail?

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) is a continuous, marked footpath extending through 14 states for more than 2,170 miles, from Katahdin — a massive granite monolith in the central Maine forest — to Springer Mountain in Georgia. It provides a meaningful sojourn on foot along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains through the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant mountain lands of the eastern Atlantic states. It is maintained and protected by dozens of volunteer groups, whose members exhibit a passion and commitment toward enhancing and preserving the Appalachian Trail.

Does MATC maintain all of Maine’s AT?

No. MATC maintains the AT from Katahdin to Maine Highway 26 in Grafton Notch (267 miles) and over 60 miles of related side trails as well as over 40 campsites. The 14 miles of the AT between Grafton Notch and the Maine-New Hampshire state line, located primarily on the Mahoosuc Trail, are maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).

What does maintaining an AT section involve? 

Trail maintainers are expected to remove footpath obstructions, such as blowdowns, ingrowth, and other vegetation from the pathway, maintain paint blazes, repair rock cairns, clear and repair waterbars, install signs, and remove trash and illegal fire rings from undesignated campsites. Prompt reporting of work done is an IMPORTANT part of all MATC maintainers assignments. Trail/campsite maintainers agree to inspect their sections as early each spring after snowmelt as possible, and to report Trail conditions and plans for the season’s work promptly to the District Overseer. A minimum of two trips, preferably 3 (spring, summer and fall) to a section is required by all maintainers. Campsite maintainers are expected to periodically check for contamination of the water supply, trees that threaten a facility, and any other potential hazards that should be remedied, clean up around campsites, clean out and rebuild the approved fire place, remove all trash, inspect and clean ou!
t structures, and maintain a hiker register at sites with shelters. Any special work projects must be reviewed with the District Overseer.

What is corridor monitoring and how can I learn more about it?

Corridor monitoring involves assessing and responding to conditions beyond the immediate trail, all the way out to the boundary line of the corridor tract, in which lies the Appalachian Trail footpath. It includes assessing activities that may be occurring just outside the corridor, or activities that may be intruding across the boundary line into the interior of the corridor.



I’ll be backpacking Maine’s AT this year. Is it safe to wade across the Kennebec River?

No. The Kennebec River is the most formidable unbridged crossing along the entire 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail. The Kennebec is approximately 70 yards wide with a swift, powerful current under the best of circumstances. However, as a result of releases of water from hydro facilities upstream, the depth and current of the river surge quickly and unpredictably. You cannot cross faster than the water level rises.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO
FORD THE RIVER

The MATC and the Appalachian Trail Conference provide a
FREE scheduled Ferry Service across the Kennebec River at the A.T. crossing.

Learn More about the Kennebec River Ferry Service

 



How do I become a member of MATC?

The MATC’s annual dues are: Individual – $15; Family – $20; Organization – $25; Life Member – $500. Any donations to MATC are tax deductible. To join MATC, print out the form on the How To Join MATC page and mail it and the dues to: Maine Appalachian Trail Club, PO Box 283, Augusta, ME 04332-0283. The MATC invites you to join in support of the Appalachian Trail in this unique volunteer tradition.

Who do I contact for more information about MATC and the AT in Maine?

Contact MATC’s Corresponding Secretary

Can anyone go out on an MATC worktrip?

Yes. One doesn’t have to be a member of the MATC to join club members or its trail crew — The Maine Trail Crew on worktrips. See the Project Schedule for a list of this season’s trail worktrips. There is a host to contact for each worktrip to answer your questions about getting involved with an MATC worktrip (what to wear and bring, where to meet, etc.).