Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods, inspired Larry Litten of Hanover, N.H. to begin hiking the A.T. Although he was an experienced hiker, Larry was not very familiar with the Trail running through his own town. Hiking the A.T. led Larry to volunteering, and his efforts have benefited both A.T. hikers and his local community.
Already a volunteer maintainer for the Dartmouth Outing Club, where he has the best section of the Trail in New Hampshire (it ends at a local brew pub), Larry’s recent efforts are impacting both hikers and the town of Hanover. Inspired by the services provided to hikers he saw while on a recent trip to France, Larry founded the Hanover Friends of the A.T. and, armed with advice gleaned from hikers, the group set out to transform Hanover into a hiker-friendly town. Hanover now offers hikers hot showers, laundry facilities, email access and tips for resupplying and taking advantage of the services Hanover offers. The group has reblazed the route through town.
Larry is working with his committee to educate the town about hikers, particularly thru-hikers, who may look rather shaggy by the time they reach Hanover. Led by Larry, the Hanover Friends of the A.T. started an education campaign, by giving presentations at the local library.
Hanover has a “National Treasure running through our town,” says Larry, and thanks to his efforts, more people are beginning to appreciate the Appalachian Trail. He has found it is “so rewarding to see people get involved and be rewarded by getting engaged.” Thanks to Larry and his group for their efforts!