2012-08-22 / Front Page

Hundreds celebrate Appalachian Trail’s 75th

By BJ Bangs Irregular Staff Writer


Carrabassett Town Manager David Cota (left) presents the event signs which were located up by the plaque to Appalachian Trail Conservatory Executive Director Mark Wenger. (BJ Bangs photo) Carrabassett Town Manager David Cota (left) presents the event signs which were located up by the plaque to Appalachian Trail Conservatory Executive Director Mark Wenger. (BJ Bangs photo) CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Hundreds turned out to hike and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian Trail Saturday, Aug. 18, an event that culminated with a toast of sparkling cider, something that has become a tradition for trail hikers.

The 2,175-mile trail begins at the top of Mount Katahdin and ends at Springer Mountain in Georgia. The final segment was completed 75 years ago this month at Sugarloaf.

Many chose to hit the trails, taking the SuperQuad and then hiking to the summit, taking the side trail to the Appalachian Trail to view the plaque between Spaulding and Sugarloaf Mountain marking the location of the trail’s completion by the Civilian Conservation Corps 75 years ago this month.

Others participated in the more challenging eight-mile hike from East Madrid, trekking six miles from Lone Mountain to Sugarloaf.

A celebration barbecue wrapped up the day at the Rack with representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Trail, the Maine Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Land Trust and the Appalachian Conservancy on hand. Participants were invited to sign the special 75th anniversary register and add their name to Appalachian Trail history. David Field, who has an extensive knowledge of the trail’s history, shared a brief overview of that history, and asked how many had attended the 50th anniversary at the Outdoor Center.

Field pointed out that after two years of planning the route, the CCC officially adopted the project in 1935 and it took them two years to complete the trail.

Those present were asked to sign the official registry for the event, and State Sen. Tom Saviello presented a legislative sentiment which was officially entered into the registry.

Carrabassett Valley Town manager David Cota presented the official event sign located by the plaque on Aug. 24 to Appalachian Trail Conservancy Executive Director Mark Wenger. Then Wenger honored Appalachian Trail volunteer Chris Doiran for his 1,000 hours of service.

After the official ceremony ended, people were on hand to share stories about their experiences along the trail.

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