Appalachian Trail record breaker summonsed on Katahdin

The man who set a new record for speed traversing the Appalachian Trail, Scott Jurek, was issued three summonses by rangers on Mt. Katahdin. After completing his 46-day run, state park rangers issued him summonses for public drinking, littering and hiking with an oversize group. Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail and lays inside the boundary of Baxter State Park, which is managed as back country.

The Appalachian Trail is a National Park and federally regulated. The trail extends into the park by agreement of two agencies, with Baxter maintaining its right to manage its park as wilderness. Down through the years, pressure from through hikers, particularly the ultra-marathon community has created problems for Baxter State Park personnel. “They represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort,” Park Director Jensen Bissell said.

Park personnel was troubled by the size of Jurek’s group and the commercial nature of the activity. The Baxter State Park Authority notes that it is considering the pressure brought to the park by the AT. A statement says consideration is being given to ending the relationship between the AT and Baxter State Park.

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