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Thread: Valley Sees Record Crowds - and Problems

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Valley Sees Record Crowds - and Problems

    Here's a Conway Sun article about the problems overcrowding is causing at popular rec spots.

    The locals report the never experiencing anything like it before.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

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    The Conway area has been in for quite a bit of press for various "awards" for best daytrip destination and best 4 season town in various on line articles. The local restaurants have long lines as they try to comply with the seating restrictions and distancing requirements in place.

    The number of cars at Appalachia this past Saturday was impressive given that Madison Hut is closed. Normally there are 30 or 40 cars tied to hut guests that add to the volume. Those may not be here but day trippers and backpackers are more than making up for it. I saw far more backpackers on the ridge than there would be capacity in the few legal tent sites.

    The other observation is the FS must have given up enforcing camping along the north end of Jefferson Notch road. Previously there were a few single sites and the gravel pit that were signed for camping. A few years ago the state did some major road work and built multiple run off ditches at corners and low spots to redirect water off to the side of the road, these have now become default camping spots where the vehicles park in the new ditch and set up tents in the ditch. Probably not a great place if it rains. This has probably increased the number of spots fourfold.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    The hiker lots this Summer have cars like I have never seen before. I hiked out of Lincoln Woods SUN and even at 5:15 AM the actual lot was at least 80% full and there were cars on both sides of the Kanc up and down for 1/2 a mile right after the no parking zone ended. Two weeks ago passing Appalachia at 6AM cars were already a mile down the road and the Great Gulf lot was actually almost full around 6:20 AM (Granted it was Seek The Peak weekend but still). I was very surprised both weekends though to see not a single tent at any of the official and unofficial tent spots anywhere I went. Even the "Bluff" site in the Great Gulf only had 1 tent at 7 PM when we were heading out. I assume everyone is hiking in to camp and/or hang out on rivers with the heat? When I was finishing the last mile of Lincoln Woods SUN around 11 AM there was a sea of humanity flowing up the trail. Couldn't get out of there fast enough.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    The hiker lots this Summer have cars like I have never seen before. I hiked out of Lincoln Woods SUN and even at 5:15 AM the actual lot was at least 80% full and there were cars on both sides of the Kanc up and down for 1/2 a mile right after the no parking zone ended. Two weeks ago passing Appalachia at 6AM cars were already a mile down the road and the Great Gulf lot was actually almost full around 6:20 AM (Granted it was Seek The Peak weekend but still). I was very surprised both weekends though to see not a single tent at any of the official and unofficial tent spots anywhere I went. Even the "Bluff" site in the Great Gulf only had 1 tent at 7 PM when we were heading out. I assume everyone is hiking in to camp and/or hang out on rivers with the heat? When I was finishing the last mile of Lincoln Woods SUN around 11 AM there was a sea of humanity flowing up the trail. Couldn't get out of there fast enough.
    I have spent most of my summer hiking things out of Lincoln Woods on the East Side, for the very reason you assume: camping and fishing on rivers. Mid week, weekend, it doesn't matter. The lot has been full by 7am even on Thursdays and Fridays. It's a cluster-f in the woods back there. I've never seen so many campers. While Franconia Brook tentsite doesn't have a caretaker this year, I have seen a ranger hiking in to the site every Sunday on my way out. I can't imagine the crap he has to put up with. Every spot between the lot and the tentsite with the potential to have a tent set up has been occupied, legal or not. It's been a shock coming out to see cars at least a mile down the road and people following me to my parking spot. Last trip I had spent 7 days back there so I was in no rush to finish my beer and leave once I got back to the truck and I had people lined up for my spot for over a half hour. I can't imagine what the other side of the river or campsites on the Pemi loop have been like. I wonder how much of it has to do with VT and ME still restricting travel from MA. NH is my only option for dispersed camping currently.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Here's a Conway Sun article about the problems overcrowding is causing at popular rec spots.

    The locals report the never experiencing anything like it before.
    It's the situation the Virus has caused. Many not working. Money still being poured onto the non workers and business as well. Not only is my business booming from extra money saved from limited spending like eating out,travel or going to movies,etc. Nothing is open so go to the woods and NH it's open for the taking is the cry. Safe as well.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    I've always avoided the Conway area like the plague/virus but this makes it sound even worse!
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Not sure what this reflects, but it seems like a lot of rescues to me. https://nhfishgame.com/
    Joe

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    Yikes, I suspect that they limit the reports of ATV rescues to only the notable ones as other media indicates far more ATV rescues than the ones reported on the website

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    I've always avoided the Conway area like the plague/virus but this makes it sound even worse!
    Yea not to mention having to deal with the locals. Besides the bugs are always really bad too. https://tenor.com/bayPF.gif
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    I drove up to Lincoln from the Pembroke area and back tonight.

    At 900PM on this Thursday night, the lot was 60-70 percent full. There were cars parked sporadically on west bound side up to the sign for Hancock. They are collecting fees. Plenty of steady traffic in town..

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