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Thread: Appalachia Parking Area - The New Lafayette Place?

  1. #16
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    In my opinion the increase in hiker traffic was not an issue until about 2010, even then not to bad.
    Which coincides with the creation of Instagram. #IHikedBeforeInstagramMadeItCool *sigh*

    I’m with you sierra, I did the loop up there a couple years back on a Friday. My Uncle wanted to hike it so I said, “what the hell.” Far from the experience I wish to have while outdoors. Don’t want to know what a Saturday looks like.
    Last edited by TDawg; 08-27-2018 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #17
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    It's not just limited to those 2 areas. Saw more cars Saturday along 302 in the area of the Avalon, Webster/Jackson, Crawford Path trail heads than I personally have ever seen there.
    Joe

  3. #18
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I've only been seriously hiking since 2012 so my experience is limited but I never had trouble parking at Appalachia until recently, say the past 1-2 years. The only time I have generally had issues was foliage season. I can only begin to imagine what that will look like this year considering the volume of traffic right now. I wish I was able to hike mid-week. I have a friend who normally hikes WED or THU and her pictures always have a noticeable lack of people. She doesn't seem to think it is as crazy up there as I do being a SAT/SUN hiker.
    I think this touches on an important point. Whenever someone starts hiking, to them everything seems normal. It's only when others join after them that they see any issues with the increased volume that they themselves we're just a part of. It's really an allegory for xenophobia: all these new hikers coming in and stealing our parking spots! Except in both cases it's not a zero-sum game, which is why I welcome anyone and everyone to hike!
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  4. #19
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    What Appalachia could use is a bathroom. Too many people visit that lot to ignore.

    I've never found parking on the road to be a problem as RT 2 has plenty of sight and shoulder through there. Once Madison Hut closes, the lot opens up.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  5. #20
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I think this touches on an important point. Whenever someone starts hiking, to them everything seems normal. It's only when others join after them that they see any issues with the increased volume that they themselves we're just a part of. It's really an allegory for xenophobia: all these new hikers coming in and stealing our parking spots! Except in both cases it's not a zero-sum game, which is why I welcome anyone and everyone to hike!
    I really don't get your point here. Yes I am obviously one of the cars each Saturday at Appalachia. But in 2012 I'd be 1 of say 40 cars on a SAT AM (my "normal" if you want to describe it that way), then 1 of 45 a year later, 1 of 56, 1 of 72 and 1 of 90 cars now. For the same time on the same day of the week at the same time of the year the amount of cars in the lot has grown substantially. There are clearly many more cars parked at trail heads now compared to when I first started hiking. Whether or not my "sample" reflects the latest blip in a long up trend, a reversal of a decade long decline, etc I have no idea. All I know is that it has grown dramatically in the last 6 years and I see the impact on trail conditions.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  6. #21
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    It's not just limited to those 2 areas. Saw more cars Saturday along 302 in the area of the Avalon, Webster/Jackson, Crawford Path trail heads than I personally have ever seen there.
    Yes it is pretty much everywhere. I have never seen this many cars in all the years I have been going to NH.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #22
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I really don't get your point here. Yes I am obviously one of the cars each Saturday at Appalachia. But in 2012 I'd be 1 of say 40 cars on a SAT AM (my "normal" if you want to describe it that way), then 1 of 45 a year later, 1 of 56, 1 of 72 and 1 of 90 cars now. For the same time on the same day of the week at the same time of the year the amount of cars in the lot has grown substantially. There are clearly many more cars parked at trail heads now compared to when I first started hiking. Whether or not my "sample" reflects the latest blip in a long up trend, a reversal of a decade long decline, etc I have no idea. All I know is that it has grown dramatically in the last 6 years and I see the impact on trail conditions.
    For not getting my point, you described it well, just go backwards in time. I started hiking seriously in 2001. So, I was car 1 of 30. To everyone before me, I was adding to the volume. To me, 30 cars was 'normal'. For everyone after me, they are driving up the volume.
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  8. #23
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    What Appalachia could use is a bathroom. Too many people visit that lot to ignore.

    I've never found parking on the road to be a problem as RT 2 has plenty of sight and shoulder through there. Once Madison Hut closes, the lot opens up.
    On a related note. They trucked in a bathroom to the Osceola trailhead. Not a bad building, although it was out of TP, I had to go catch a rabbit.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    As for the future of hiking, I'm hoping that this wave of new hikers leads to a wave of new volunteers and trail maintainers.
    I say we have rigorous training for a hiking license. Those who fail the training or choose not to undergo it can still hike all they want, but we open up unbadged-hiker hunting. Bag limits and other details would obviously have to be worked out.

  10. #25
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I think this touches on an important point. Whenever someone starts hiking, to them everything seems normal. It's only when others join after them that they see any issues with the increased volume that they themselves we're just a part of. It's really an allegory for xenophobia: all these new hikers coming in and stealing our parking spots! Except in both cases it's not a zero-sum game, which is why I welcome anyone and everyone to hike!
    This is clear, obvious and correct. Same exact situation in the Adirondacks, where I started hiking in 1984.

    The division here in the ADK High Peaks is starting to clarify between two general camps:

    1. More hiking is good. It's good for the physical and mental health of the hikers (especially families with kids), it's good for the economy, and it's good for the resource, in that it helps develop a constituency of people who care about the trails and other facilities. (This is the camp I am in.)

    2. More hiking is bad. I want my solitude, even on Saturday on the most popular trails, the way it used to be. These hikers cause erosion and SAR events. I've got mine, and I want regulatory action to chase all these new people away.

    Now these read like extreme, end of the spectrum portrayals. But I have friends here who fall solidly into all the aspects of either camp 1 or camp 2, and actually express these positions just as I've written them.

    Naturally this is causing a lot of trouble here in the High Peaks, and it will continue to cause trouble until it settles out. My biggest worry is that it will take a terrible event to break this logjam. The event I am worried about is someone getting killed by traffic because of inadequate safe parking being provided for the number of vehicles that are coming. As I said on another thread though, it's just like when everyone in a village knows that a certain intersection needs a traffic light, but it doesn't get installed until someone gets killed. Sometimes common sense has to be paid for with a life.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    I say we have rigorous training for a hiking license. Those who fail the training or choose not to undergo it can still hike all they want, but we open up unbadged-hiker hunting. Bag limits and other details would obviously have to be worked out.
    Sounds good to me. We have a tourist trapping season here in Maine. We use Lobster for bait.

  12. #27
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    The parking situation is just as bad in the Berkshires. Real bad, and the trails are very crowded. And there's no views. No reason to hike around here at all.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    I say we have rigorous training for a hiking license. Those who fail the training or choose not to undergo it can still hike all they want, but we open up unbadged-hiker hunting. Bag limits and other details would obviously have to be worked out.
    Only a matter of time. Population growth coupled with the fact that .gov will see another licensing revenue stream.

  14. #29
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    The big secret is drive an extra 1 hour. Trailheads generally have plenty of room and far fewer people. I rarely see crowds north of RT 2 except Cabot and Waumbeck . Evans Notch area is fairly quiet except for the Baldface Circle loop. The Baldface Circle loop is unusual in that most folks hike it Clockwise so even if its busy day, most folks are heading the same direction so you don't see the crowds.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Tim Horn's Avatar
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    If you don't want to hike with others go where they ain't. The most people I have seen on a hike this year has been 8 in one day but I am certainly like Peakbagger in that I am willing to drive more to get my nature hike in.

    When I was schlepping the Presi and Pemi area it was 1999 - 2000. Even then to avoid the crowds we would arrive on Friday night late and hike in and set up a quick camp in order to get a legit parking spot and a jump on the crowds in the morning. That way we only ran into folks after a nice mornings hike. Yes there are a lot more hikers today but really only in a few high impact areas.
    When you get completely bugged by the crowding go to Baxter and hike the Travellers or any of the secondary mountains. Everyone goes to Katahdin while one of the best hikes you can do in NE (travelers loop) is seeing 5 or 6 people a day. Like they say, hike your own hike. If you want solitude you can find it. Just not in the Presi's.

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