On May 2-3, the International Appalachian Trail held a 25th Anniversary Meeting at Shin Pond Village in Northern Maine.
The meeting was attended by IAT North America representatives from Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec and Newfoundland, as well as long-distance hikers Nimblewill Nomad (M.J. “Eb” Eberhart), Mother Nature’s Son (John Calhoun) and Ed Talone.
The event began with an evening gathering over refreshements, with IAT Founder Dick Anderson introducing renowned long-distance hiker Nimblewill Nomad and recapping some of his IAT adventures.
Nimblewill was the first hiker to walk the entire length of the Appalachians, from Alabama to Belle Isle, Newfoundland.
He discussed his book ‘Ten Million Steps’ and told hiking stories from his many years hiking the Appalachians.
After an evening of stories and camaraderie, followed by a dark skies star-gazing finale provided by IAT Geologist Bob Marvinney and his telescope, participants packed it in for the night and began the day-long annual meeting bright and early on Friday morning.
IAT Co-Chair Don Hudson from Maine opened the meeting by welcoming participants and giving a summary of the day’s agenda. He later gave a 25 year review of the IAT and where things stand in Maine today.
Don’s introduction was followed by Paul Johnson, retired fishery biologist with Maine’s Inland Fish and Wildlife Department who gave a presentation on the waters and fisheries in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
IAT Cartographer Bill Duffy next discussed the possibility of applying Guthook Guides’ smart phone hiking guides to the International Appalachian Trail. The easy to use mapping features would provide a valuable tool for trail users.
Tim Hudson, superintendent of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, gave an update on the new monument
followed by new Baxter State Park Director Eben Sypitkowski who discussed the future of the park established by 28 donations of land from park donor Percival P. Baxter between 1931 and 1962.
Kala Rush of Friends of Katahdin, Woods and Waters gave a presentation entitled The Katahdin Learning Project project, which “is a place-based learning initiative … with the intent of getting students and the broader community outside and connected to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.”
Guest presentations were followed by IAT updates from Poul Jorgensen of New Brunswick, Paul Wylezol of Newfoundland, and Eric Chouinard of Quebec
then conversation and dinner around the fireplace at nearby Mount Chase Lodge.
As always, the IAT gathering passed too quickly, but was filled with a festive atmosphere of new stories amid old friends!