Bog Bridge in Southern Maine
I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to the Maine Appalachian Club (MATC) for the outstanding work they do maintaining the 267 miles of Appalachian Trail under their stewardship.
Last month, we had a spell of heavy rain and high winds in Maine, and I was very impressed to see MATC trail maintenance crews out cutting up blow downs and clearing hazardous debris from the trail within a day or two of the weather event. The dedication and coordination required for this kind of response says a lot about the priorities of the people who live near the trail and their love for what it stands for.
Stone Staircase in the 100 Mile Wilderness
Unless you have an eye for it, it is easy to underestimate the amount of work required to maintain a hiking trail. The sheer logistics of the effort, which is largely manual, can be simply overwhelming. Building privies, shelters, stone steps, bog bridges, bridges, and water bars is backbreaking work, particularly in the backcountry where motorized transport and power tools are often not available, or banned under Wilderness regulations.
Three Log Bridge near Kennebec Ferry
Instead, long lasting trail structures have to be crafted from local materials, by hand, using rudimentary tools. It's really a monumental undertaking spanning decades and generations of volunteers.
Anyway – hat's off to you MATC, and thanks!