Spring 2016 newsletter
Permit cards will be required for the first time this year for most thru-hikers entering Baxter State Park in Maine. Read about it in the latest edition of The Long Distance Hiker newsletter.


















The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

An off-trail family of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail working

to preserve, protect and promote the long-distance hiking community.

 Whats New

Baltimore Jack"Baltimore Jack" Tarlin has died

Word has been received May 4 of the death of Jack Tarlin, aka "Baltimore Jack," in Franklin, N.C. No details are available but there is a growing collection of thoughts and reminiscences on whiteblaze and the ALDHA Facebook page. Check there for news and info on services, etc. A scheduled work trip at the Pearisburg Hostel originally scheduled for May 7 has been postponed until after Trail Days. Jack was a passionate, outspoken trail figure whose workshops at ALDHA Gatherings were usually filled to capacity. His advice and wisdom from multiple end-to-end hikes of the A.T. were always happily, freely and enthusiastically passed on to the dreamers. We'll post more info later and have a story about Jack for the summer edition of the The Long Distance Hiker.


Smoky wildfire plagues Hot Springs


In April a wildfire broke out on the outskirts of Hot Springs right in the middle of the thru-hiking season. Scores of hikers were directed to get off the trail and wait in town while crews battled the blaze. The photo at left was taken by 1994 thru-hiker Mowgli who was visiting Hot Springs at the time of the fire and was one of the first in town to spot the smoke rising over the near horizon. A shift in the direction of the wind miraculously steered the flames away from town just when it looked most ominous for Hot Springs.


Spring brings another 44-pager

Find the latest information about this fall's Gathering, upcoming work trips, Trail Days events, hiking permits for Baxter State Park, the A.T. Museum Hall of Fame and other ALDHA-related activities in the spring edition of The Long Distance Hiker, located on the Newsletter page. And don't forget, the deadline for submitting stuff for our summer newsletter is coming up fast. It's May 15. We prefer that you email your stuff to newsletter@aldha.org in simple text, not PDFs, Word documents or other software. Just an email will do. Thanks!


Lots to read this winter

A 44-page winter newsletter has just been plopped down on your digital desk. Find the link, as well as a full description of the contents, on our Newsletter page. And don't forget, the deadline for submitting stuff for our spring newsletter is coming up fast. It's March 15. We prefer that you email your stuff to newsletter@aldha.org. Thanks.


Click for a better viewMeet ALDHA's newest member

We have a new trailer for storing and hauling all of our merchandise as well as exhibits, the Trail Days tent and other stuff. Hence it's been dubbed Sherpa. The trailer is making its debut at the Southern Ruck and will appear at most future trail festivals and, of course, at the Gathering. The full story about the new trailer will appear in the winter edition of the newsletter.


Latest newsletter now online

Go to the Newsletter page for the new edition of the ALDHA newsletter. The black and white print version, at 12 pages, is at the printers. Uploaded now online is the E-edition, which is 28 pages long.


Check out the tentative Gathering schedule

Go to the Gathering page to check out a PDF of the program grid for this year's Gathering. The page also includes a photo of the late Ed Sidote, to whom the 34th Gathering is being dedicated.


Summer newsletter is out

Go to the newsletter page to check out the full-color PDF of our summer newsletter.

The lead story has details about the upcoming Gathering, which will be here soon, Oct. 9-11, with Columbus Day falling on Monday the 12th.


Spring newsletter is in your hands

Print subscribers should have gotten their spring newsletter in the mail, and now everyone can read the E-edition, which is 4 times the size of the print version. Go to the newsletter page to check out the 36-page full-color PDF of our spring newsletter.

Included in this issue are the following:
-- A story about the shelter that ALDHA plans to build in Waynesboro, Va., this year.
-- The announcement of who our featured speaker will be at this year's Gathering.
-- News on outreach activities that kept some of us busy over the winter.
-- A followup to the Baxter Park story we ran in the winter issue.
-- News about the ATC's new voluntary pre-registration for thru-hikers.
-- A beautifully written piece by "Son of Billy Goat" about an adventure with his dad.
-- A feature on a man who is overcoming personal hurdles to lead kids on an end-to-end hike of the A.T.
-- A story and photos on the Northern Ruck.
-- The testimonial to Raven from last fall's Gathering, plus lyrics to his signature song.
-- A new feature called "Catching Up" where we revisit past speakers like Justin Lichter.
-- A review of the biography on Earl Shaffer.
-- And a few fun things including a look at what Monopoly would be like A.T.-style.


The winter E-edition of The Long Distance Hiker

Go to the newsletter page to check out the 28-page full-color PDF of our winter newsletter.

The cover story is totally different from the print version. It's a story about the debate over the future of Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin as home to the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.


Afterglow of a Gathering

Visit the Gathering page for a brief recap of the weekend as well as the high-resolution group photo taken by "Crooked Sticks" H. Dean Clark. You can download the image from your computer or smartphone.

Then stay tuned for the winter newsletter, where we'll present a full report on our 33rd annual Gathering, complete with pictures, stories and your comments.


Click for a better viewAutumn newsletter heralds the fall Gathering

Visit the Newsletter web page to open and/or download a copy of the fall newsletter, posted on the day that autumn officially began (at 10:29 p.m. Eastern time Sept. 22). It contains the latest information on the Gathering including updates on meal tickets, programs and tenting. There is even a handy list of things to remember to bring with you, like a camp chair to enjoy the view of the Greylock Reservation from our tentsite.

And speaking of the Gathering, be sure to check back on the Gathering page for the Ride Board, which will be uploaded this week. The Gathering is 3 weeks away, so if you need a ride (or a rider), take advantage of the Ride Board and save money and gas. (Update: The page was activated as of Sept. 23.)

Check out the AT Hiker App

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the new AT Hiker App, a complete guide to the Appalachian Trail created by thru-hiker and ALDHA member Ryan Linn. Information from ALDHA's A.T. Thru-hikers' Companion has been incorporated throughout the app.

Ryan debuted the app in 2013 and he is back out on the A.T. right now gathering more data, more photos and more ideas to keep this the No. 1 A.T. app. See a few screen grabs and read about some of the many features of the app on the AT Hiker App page of this website.


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Upcoming Events

ALDHA will once again be set up on the midway with a large tent to welcome this year's class of thru-hikers as well as everyone else in town. Besides the ALDHA Store and traveling display, we'll also have tables set up for the A.T. Museum selling tickets to the annual A.T. Hall of Fame Banquet and for the Friends of Baxter Park to help explain to hikers a major change in how they finish at Mount Katahdin this year: permit cards.

Trail Days will be May 13-15 in Damascus, Va. The annual ALDHA Hiker Reception will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 13, in Rock School. The Friends of Baxter Park will explain the new permit card for thru-hikers right after the Friday reception, at 1 p.m. in Rock School. The Hard Core work trip will be Sunday-Monday, May 15-16, and ALDHA will be included on the work crew T-shirt this year.

We could really use your help at the Hiker Reception, so if you can pitch in, email trailangelmary@aol.com


The annual banquet induction ceremony for the A.T. Hall of Fame will be Friday night, June 3, at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pa. (It's practically right on the trail.) The inductees this year are Horace Kephart, Arch Nichols, Maurice Forrester and our very own Larry Luxenberg. (You can read about Larry in the spring issue of the newsletter.) For tickets or other information, visit www.atmuseum.org