News Flash

Town of Hanover News Flash

Posted on: March 28, 2023

Dartmouth Outing Club Appalachian Trail Restrictions

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The Dartmouth Outing Club (Appalachian Trial maintainer)  has asked that the following informaiton be distibuted regarding trail use:  

Appalachian Trail Restrictions

The Lyme Police Department has been struggling with cars parking in/near the Smarts Mountain A.T. trailhead on Dorchester Rd for the past 3 weekends. On one recent Saturday there were as many as 30 cars up there, most of which were parked in the road. Obviously, not a good situation.

With spring creeping in and a change of scenery sorely needed lots of folks want to get out of the house and have a hike. Unfortunately, spring - and particularly this spring - is a tough time for hiking trails. Trails and un-paved parking lots need time to dry out. Dorchester Rd could use a little more time as well.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy has strongly requested that hikers stay off the A.T. until further notice and a full closure order is being considered at Depts. of Interior and Agriculture. The main reason for this request is to avoid any type of congregation at popular day hike destinations like Smarts Mountain, Mount Cube and Holts Ledge. All A.T. overnight sites (shelters, privies) are currently closed from Georgia to Maine. In addition, all volunteer and trail crew activity has been suspended until further notice, which means there's nobody out there attending to blowdowns and trail clearing and there will be nobody dispatched to attend to trouble spots on the A.T. or side trails early this season, potentially not until next season. 

If you can't resist the (understandable) urge to hit your favorite local hikes, please consider having alternative plans at the ready if you arrive to a full parking lot. At least at the Smarts trailhead, cars parked in the road will be ticketed and, given the problem in the last few weeks, we can count on regular patrols. As we all know - especially the folks that live up there - cars parked anywhere along Dorchester Rd. can create a pretty hazardous traffic situation. Individual decisions influence the collective effort.

Here's hoping we can all enjoy our local bounty worry-free again very soon.

Matthew Stevens
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Conservation Resources Manager - VT & NH
PO Box 171
Lyme, NH 03768
Phone: 603-795-9188

Sandra Marron, President and CEO of the Appalachian Trial Conservancy has shared the following announcement regarding the status of the Appalachian Trial which is now closed for use:

Crises often lead to moments of clarity, where we begin to better understand the things that mean the most to us. Having stayed away from the Appalachian Trail for weeks or months, many of us have only felt our love for the A.T. grow and become stronger. But, how do you manage and protect the Trail and its community — let alone benefit from the Trail’s many values — from far away?

The ATC has found itself answering this question and adapting to a new reality in innovative ways. To remain safe, our offices and visitor centers are temporarily closed, and we have issued guidance asking everyone to stay away from the Trail. But, while away, we are advocating on behalf of the Trail and its gateway communities, convening virtually with our volunteers and partners to ensure our mission critical programs remain strong, and we are staying on top of the latest scientific guidance and local updates to ensure, when the time comes, we can return to the Trail safely.

We are also taking perspective from our Trail community. One of the most common questions asked is: what can we do to help? Here are a couple of ways:

  1. Help protect the Trail: 
    • By staying home, you are not only helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, you are also helping protect the Appalachian Trail. Continued visitor use, while staff and volunteer Trail maintainers are unable to access the A.T., only harms the A.T.
  2. Connect to the outdoors: 
    • We recognize connecting to the outdoors is critical at this moment. If going outside, we advise following guidance from American Trails – most importantly, please stay local, stay informed, and stay safe.

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