Hike In Harmony

ALDHA - Hike in HarmonyFor more than 20 years now, the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association has led the way on hiker behavior on the trail.

Hiker services are always just one bad bunch of backpackers away from being boarded up for good, denying their services and other conveniences to all future hikers forever. The so-called Endangered Services Campaign seeks to spur peer pressure among thru-hikers to get everyone on the same page. Because that‘s all there is out there on the trail—other hikers to monitor and mend the negative actions of the few. And it works in trail towns, too, where hikers still have to share the same basic services: hostels, hotels, laundromats, restaurants. If you see something, say something, DO something.

Recently we‘ve seen other damage caused by a handful of inconsiderate hikers, those who think they can pull one over on park authorities by pretending their dog is a service animal. Wow, that's like a non–veteran pretending to be a war hero by wearing fake medals or telling people he served in combat, or someone stealing the hard-won efforts of the handicapped just so he can cheat the system and park closer to a store, or get his dog to go with him up to the summit of Katahdin. Being stupid like that doesn't qualify you for handicapped status. There‘s no excuse for it.

The result of such lame acts? You could be the one who causes Mount Katahdin to be closed to the Appalachian Trail for eternity. Yes, it‘s that serious.
If you and your like-minded long-distance hikers don't speak up, no one else will, and by then it will be too late.

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