Be Considerate of Other Visitors

The AT is one of the only options for a long distance backcountry hiking trip in Maine. This almost guarantees the sharing of campsites and summits with others. Being aware that our actions, and interactions, effect others is part of leaving no trace.

 

Awesome view from the AT in MaineThe AT in Maine is a place for solitude and inspiration. You will most likely see others on your sojourn, so solitude will not be absolute, but there are things we can do to foster the peaceful serenity we seek. If this is not your intent, perhaps you may consider another location for your adventure.

 

  • Overnight group size should be limited to 10. Few sites on the trail are designed to hold more than this.
  • Day use group size is limited to 25.
  • Be conscious of voice levels and their effect on others.
  • Spread out trail congestion: Hike in parties of 2 & 3. This minimizes the overwhelming “group factor” and allows for smoother flow on trails.
  • Give other hikers and groups their space.
  • Summits and viewpoints are gathering spots. Leave durable surface for other hikers.
  • Be conscientious of where you put your pack during a trail break. One pack in the middle of the trail is annoying, 2 an inconvenience, 8 or more an obstacle!
  • Keep campsites and kitchens contained (i.e. personal items) so campsite neighbors aren’t tripping over your stuff, lost in a sea of smelly gear.
  • Be aware of your noise levels after the sun sets. 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR GROUPS

Large groups traveling on the AT have a greater demand on the resource at one time.
Campsite use, water, tent space, privy use, etc….
For these reasons there are some considerations to take into account….

  • As a group, fair or not, your attention to detail and trail etiquette is scrutinized more than a single party. It makes sense looking at the ratio. If the backcountry etiquette of your group is poor, there are 10 people compounding the impact in one visit as opposed to 1 or 2. curiosity, have a Groups hold a valuable place in sharing backcountry skills. If groups are performing LNT skills, others with less experience and some curiosity have an opportunity to learn them.
  • A trip on the AT has different significance for everyone. Many hikers go for the beauty, solitude and peacefulness. Groups automatically bring with them, and are designed with, a social component. Not everyone welcomes this. Try to enjoy your experience with out jeopardizing others.
  • Remember: 10 voices are much louder than two. Sound carries further in the woods with out background noise to wash it out. Be aware of your noise levels, especially after sunset.
  • Shelters are generally the central community space of a site, and designed to sleep 6-8 people. Be aware of this community area and come prepared with your own shelter.

 
“Individually each of us is relatively benign, but collectively, we have a huge impact.”