On August 18, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will gather in Carrabassett Valley, Maine to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian trail. The day will feature an afternoon ceremony to mark the occasion, preceded by group hikes to a plaque on Sugarloaf Mountain that marks the precise location of the completion of the trail.
The original A.T. took more than 15 years to build and the last two-mile stretch was completed by a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crew seventy-five years ago this coming August. Most people don’t realize that this last section of trail was completed in Maine and within the town of Carrabassett Valley on the backside of Sugarloaf Mountain. The historic plaque is located on a section of trail that is difficult to access. With the arrangement of a shuttle bus and the Sugarloaf Superquad chairlift, hikers can reach this remote section with a moderate 8 or 4-mile hike where all hikers can sign a special 75th Anniversary register.
An estimated 2 to 3 million people visit the A.T. every year. Hikers from across the globe are drawn to the Trail for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people, strengthen old friendships or to experience a simpler life. “Not only does this anniversary celebrate the completion of the Trail, it also celebrates the unique collaboration and determination of countless individuals, private organizations, and state and federal agencies in their efforts to complete this long-distance hiking trail from Maine to Georgia” said Mark Wenger, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and a planned guest speaker at the ceremony. About 2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the estimated 2,180 miles of the Trail each year, with only one out of four completing the entire journey. Many of these thru-hikers will be passing through Maine in August.
Multiple hikes will be offered, at varying levels of difficulty on August 18. There will be an 8-mile all-day hike from Lone Mtn. to the top of Sugarloaf which will transit the entire last two miles of completed trail going past the plaque (involves a bus shuttle departing at 7:45 AM and chairlift down the Mtn. in the afternoon), as well as shorter 4-mile afternoon hikes to the plaque that are assisted by a chairlift at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort ski area.
The day will finish off with a ceremony & social gathering at the Rack BBQ, a local restaurant. Highlights include guest speakers, trail displays, raffles, food and music.
Online registration and more information for the events are available at www.matc.org or contacting [email protected]
The 75th Anniversary events are organized by the Town of Carrabassett Valley, the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club,