New Information on the History of Maine’s Appalachian Trail

Myron Avery on Borestone Mountain pointing to Mt. Katahdin, the terminus of the AT in Maine
Myron Avery on Borestone Mountain pointing to Mt. Katahdin, the terminus of the AT in Maine
Posted March 21, 2012, at 9:01 a.m.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 7:29 p.m. to 7:29 p.m.

Location: Fields Pond Maine Audubon, 216 Fields Pond Rd, Holden, Maine

For more information: John Mullens; 207-361-1210; amcmaine.org

One of the striking things about David B. Field’s new book on the history of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Maine, Along Maine’s Appalachian Trail, is the photos. They exhibit the rugged landscape of Maine and trail development in action, and bring to life the passion of those who did the work. The supporting prose expands and surrounds the images, detailing the remarkable accomplishment of individuals working together. Field, a retired University of Maine professor of Forest Resources, will show photos and discuss the AT in Maine on Thursday, March 29 at 7pm at Maine Audubon’s Fields Pond Center in Holden.

Field’s longtime involvement with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) provides the basis for his book. In addition to maintaining six miles of the AT for 54 years, Field had access to the files of old photos and documents collected by trail maintainers in Maine going way back in the trail’s history. And it is those photos with the accompanying narrative that bring to life the AT in Maine, its beginning, and its history.

Field’s research on the trail didn’t stop when the book was published 6 months ago. More recently, Field traveled to Deer Isle, Maine, to visit Myron Avery’s granddaughter and gain access to more than 100 additional photos that document Avery’s role in the development of the AT from Maine to Georgia.

Many in Maine confuse the MATC, the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club), and Maine Audubon, and with good reason. Created by Maine native and AT enthusiast Myron Avery in 1935, the MATC is an all-volunteer non-profit organization responsible for managing, maintaining, and protecting the AT in Maine. Volunteers remove blow-downs, dig out water bars, build and rebuild shelters, relocate the trail itself, monitor its boundary for encroachments, and do whatever is necessary to create a safe, secure, and protected trail.

The nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and stewardship of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. AMC has 100,000 members in 12 chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C. Staff and volunteers maintain 1,500 miles of trails, run the New Hampshire lodges and the huts system, and operate three wilderness lodges in Maine outside of Greenville.

Maine Audubon works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation and action. At the core of Maine Audubon’s work are projects that engage people of all backgrounds to participate and help collect data and advocate for environmental improvements.

The AMC Maine Chapter and Maine Audubon are working together to sponsor David Field’s talk based on his MATC research.

Field will highlight the early history of the AT in Maine and these newly discovered photos in his talk and have books to sell and autograph on Thursday, March 29 at 7pm at Maine Audubon’s Fields Pond Center, 216 Fields Pond Rd, Holden, ME 04429, about 15 minutes south of Bangor. The program is free and open to the public. See driving directions at www.maineaudubon.org. For more information email AMC Education Chair John Mullens at education@amcmaine.org or Audubon Naturalist Holly Twining at htwining@maineaudubon.org .