June 4, 2021
Trailway News: Thank You, Laurie
Today, please join us in saying “Happy Trails!” (but not goodbye) to Laurie Potteiger, who is retiring from her role as Information Services Manager after 33 years with the ATC.
To try and sum up Laurie’s contributions to the Appalachian Trail and the Conservancy would take volumes, not paragraphs. For many, she was the face that greeted them at the ATC Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry and introduced them to the importance of conserving the A.T. footpath and its surrounding lands. For thousands of hikers, she has been an expert resource for trip planning, sustainable hiking practices, and Leave No Trace principles. For all of us, she is the embodiment of “practice what you preach,” serving as a volunteer A.T. maintainer for decades and being a liaison to dozens of communities, partners, and enthusiast groups — all to help celebrate and protect the Trail we all love.
From all of us at the ATC: thank you, Laurie, for your devotion, your expertise, and your friendship throughout the years. We’ll see you down the Trail soon.
Read more about Laurie’s career at the ATC in our latest blog post, where she reflects on the changes, challenges, and beauty she found while working to conserve the Appalachian Trail experience.
Lead photo by Janet “Fancy Free” Abbott
A.T. Camping Closure in Tennessee Due to Bear Activity
Due to reported aggressive bear activity, the U.S. Forest Service has closed camping on the A.T. between Double Springs Shelter (NOBO mile 452) and the Backbone Rock Trail (NOBO mile 465) in northeast Tennessee until further notice. Visitors are reminded to never feed or approach wildlife. Help keep bears wild by properly storing your food — a bear canister continues to be the most secure portable way to keep your food, the bears, and you safe.
Learn more about how to minimize bear encounters or report a bear encounter at appalachiantrail.org/bears.
Celebrate Our Trails
National Trails Day is Tomorrow!
Join us on the Trail tomorrow in celebration of National Trails Day! Whether you already have a hike planned or need the perfect excuse to get outdoors, here are some easy ways to celebrate trails and green spaces:
- Go for a hike on the A.T. (or another trail near you)!
- Find a volunteer opportunity to give back to the Trail: visit appalachiantrail.org/waystovolunteer.
- Share why the outdoors are important to you on social media — make sure to tag #NationalTrailsDay, @AmericanHiking, and @AppalachianTrail!
Kennebec River Ferry Resumes Operations for 2021
The Kennebec River Ferry in Maine has resumed operations for the 2021 season! Running through September this year, this free ferry service transports hikers across the most formidable unbridged water crossing on the A.T. — and is the official route of the Trail.
Hikers are strongly advised against attempting to cross the Kennebec River on their own. Even at the lowest water levels, slippery rocks and strong currents make fording the Kennebec dangerous. As a result of water releases from multiple hydro facilities on the river, the depth and current of the river surge quickly and unpredictably. You cannot cross faster than the water level rises!
For the full 2021 Kennebec River Ferry schedule and more tips on river and stream crossings on the A.T., visit appalachiantrail.org/water-crossings.
The Role of the A.T. in Worldwide Conservation
Join us next Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. EDT for a special program with author Tony Hiss and conservationist John Griffin. During this live discussion, we’ll explore how conserving lands like the A.T. play an important role in the future of our planet!
Register now to receive a direct link to the live stream and submit two questions to be considered for the Q&A session at the end of the program.
Photo by Josh Tullock
In Other News…
Become an Expert in A.T. History
Discover the original building of the A.T., early relocations, and more in Thomas R. Johnson’s book, From Dream to Reality: History of the Appalachian Trail, available for purchase now from our partners at Mountaineers Books.
Photo by Andrew Veal