Franklin Countys First News

Photo challenge for 50th anniversary of the National Trails System

RANGELEY - Did you know that, in 1968, President Johnson signed the National Scenic Trails Act, and that we now have 11 National Scenic Trails; 19 National Historic Trails; and over 1,200 National Recreation Trails, including 21 National Water Trails? We, in Rangeley are fortunate to have one of those trails nearby, as it wends its way from Georgia all the way to Mount Katahdin—the Appalachian Trail (AT). Many AT thru-hikers visit our town to resupply, and this year the Rangeley Trail Town Festival committee has a special photo challenge for them.

AT thru-hikers start either in Georgia during the winter/early spring and head north (NOBO, or “north-bound”); or, they start in the spring/early summer at Katahdin and head south (SOBO). These hikers depend on the services Rangeley offers: hiker hostels like the Hiker Hut and the new Fieldstone Cottages and Bunkhouse, motels and Bed and Breakfasts, restaurants, the IGA, laundromats, and businesses that offer hiking supplies. Our businesses have made Rangeley a very popular “Trail Town.”

In 2011, Rangeley was designated an official Appalachian Trail Conservancy Trail Town. We help spread the word to hikers that they are welcome here, that we see them as an important addition to our community, and that we will provide services to help them on their way. We have celebrated their importance each year since 2011 with the Rangeley Trail Town Festival, held on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

This year, the Festival committee has been working to bring hiking organizations, craftspeople, food vendors, and award-winning Maine musicians to make this an exciting celebration. Author Jeffrey Ryan will also be here to share the story of two very different men whose constant arguments and persistent dedication led to the founding of the AT: Blazing Ahead: Benton Mackaye, Myron Avery, and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail.

To celebrate this 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, the Festival committee challenges AT hikers to take a photo of themselves on one of the peaks along the AT in Maine and to email it, along with the name of the peak and the name / trail name of the hiker, to All photos will be displayed at the Rangeley Trail Town Festival, Saturday, September 1. The goal is to represent each of the 43 peaks and other significant features along Maine’s Appalachian Trail. Please see http://xx for a list of the peaks that are part of this 50th Anniversary Photo Challenge.

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