Appalachian Trail Histories


Mt. Katahdin and The Appalachian Trail

In 1931, Mt. Katahdin, along with the surrounding land and summits, became a state park in the state of Maine.  Myron Avery recounts that Baxter State Park and one of its peaks became named after its donor, the previous Governor Percival B. Baxter who owned the land. The park's region, consisting of 90,000 acres, was officially administered by the State Park Commission in March 1934. The Baxter State Park Commission involved the current Governor of Maine, Forest Commissioners, Commissioners for Inland Game and Fisheries as well as residents from nearby towns. At the time, all forms of hunting were prohibited as to encourage visitors to learn and view natural habitats in the State Park. Myron Avery also worked with the State Park Commissioners to identify and mark trails that could be used by both hikers and tourists who wished to hike surrounding summits, such as Mt. Katahdin. 

As Baxter State Park grew popular with visitors, Myron Avery and the Appalachian Mountain Club began creating accessible trails and campsites for those who were hiking the Appalachian Trail. With help from the A. M. C (Appalachian Mountain Club) Myron Avery wrote up the A. M. C. Katahdin Guide which contained descriptions of trails, campsites, and directions for reaching Mt. Katahdin's summit. In this guide, are 12 different trails, each with a summary containing directions and approximate distances measured by Avery and members of the A. M. C. There are also brief descriptions about the trail histories which would provoke interest among members of the Appalachian Trail Clubs as well as tourists. Furthermore, he includes references to campsites that would accommodate hikers and campers as they made their way towards or from Mt. Katahdin. His creation of maps, guidebooks,  and references to other sources considerably assisted future and current hikers. This information would prove to be valuable as hikers continued to travel through the Appalachian Trail from the mid 20th century up to the current 21st century. 

The image was taken from Myron Avery's scrapbook in which three male hikers walked the distance to Mt. Katahdin through a variety of natural landscapes and trails built by members of the Appalachian Trail.