Appalachian Trail Histories


Yankee Ingenuity and Small Town Businesses

"Pie lady," Sydney Pratt, gets a lot of customers from hikers on the Appalachian Trail, Monson, Maine

Sydney Pratt, "The Pie Lady," gets a lot of business from Appalachian Trail hikers passing through Monson, Maine.


Small, rural communities must adapt to take full advantage of whatever revenue streams are available to them to survive. Monson is no exception. The vast majority of businesses in Monson, Maine, exist to serve the hundreds of AT hikers who trudge through the town each year.

There are vacation rentals, places like Lakeshore House, which provides lodging and food to paying customers, and Shaw’s Lodging, a bed and breakfast for hikers. Also in town are restaurants such as The Maine Ingredient and Spring Creek Bar-B-Q.

In 2016, a newly-expanded, full-time Appalachian Trail Visitor Center opened in Monson. It is specially dedicated to helping hikers prepare for the unique challenges and environment of the One-Hundred Mile Wilderness standing between them and the northernmost end of the Appalachian Trail.

Staffed seven days a week between June and October, the center also was designed to educate hikers and provide information about local hiking opportunities, as well as support tourism in the local Piscataquis County.

Monson’s status as a favorite destination for Appalachian Trail hikers was a key factor for Lucas Butler when he was deciding whether to accept the job as the local town manager.

“The Appalachian Trail is the town’s biggest asset,” Butler told the Bangor Daily News. “So I’m going to do what I can to help bring new business to the community.”