Iconic Places: Trekking the Appalachian Trail

SHELBURNE — Thru-hiker Carey Kish will share his experience on his 189-day trek along the Appalachian Trail in 2015 at a joint gathering with Shelburne Trails Club and Mahoosuc Land Trust for a speaker series event on Wednesday, May 3, at the Shelburne Town Hall starting at 7 p.m.

In mid-summer through late-fall each year, hundreds of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers pass through the Shelburne-Gorham-Randolph area on their way to Mount Katahdin in Maine or to Springer Mountain in Georgia. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy reports that in 2016, some 979 hikers reported completing their 2,189-mile thru-hike. The majority, 605 of those hikers, began their hike in Georgia while 99 of the finishers started their hike in Maine. The remaining 275 finishers were section hikers who just completed their hike over many years of section hikes or the flip-flop thru-hikers who varied their hike by section that year due to convenience, weather, or to reach Katahdin before the climb was closed to hikers in mid-October. Another 1,000-plus hikers began the trail that year, but for various reasons abandoned their thru-hike.

Locals see those hikers along U.S. Route 2 and in the shops of Gorham as they resupply, enjoy hiker lodging and restaurant meals, and other services before continuing on their trail journey. If you haven’t interacted with any of those hikers and heard their individual tales of life on the trail, or have and would like to hear more, Kish's presentation is for you. 

Kish, a veteran hiker and author, has thru-hiked the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine twice, first in 1977 and again in 2015. His last trek started on March 18, in 2015 on Springer Mountain and ended on Katahdin on Oct. 4 that year. Kish will show images of the mountain scenery and talk about the camaraderie of fellow hikers, fun trail towns, trail angels, scary wildlife encounters and the highs and lows of hiking for six months. He also will talk about how much the trail has changed since he first hiked it 38 years ago in 1977 as an 18-year-old fresh out of Bangor High School.

Kish is an outdoors and travel writer, photographer, registered Maine guide and former president and founding member of the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club. He is the author of “AMC’s Best Day Hikes along the Maine Coast” and the editor of the “AMC Maine Mountain Guide.” He is the longtime hiking and camping columnist for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and writes the outdoor adventure blog “Maineiac Outdoors” at Mainetoday.com. His writing and photos have appeared in numerous other publications, and he is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, New England Outdoor Writers Association, North American Snowsports Journalists Association and New England Travel Writers Network. Carey lives on Mt. Desert Island.

This event is part of the Land Trust's 2017 speaker series, "Iconic Places" and STC’s annual “Speaker Series”.

Carey on McAfee Knob Virginia June 2015Carey Kish on McAfee Knob Virginia June 2015. (COURTESY PHOTO)