Maine Minute: The birth of a major hiking trail

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 9:03 AM EDT
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It's time to take a Maine Minute, this time about hiking, a favorite past-time of many Mainers.

One man from Lubec worked to carve out a trail that not only spans states but also decades.

"The person most credited with designing and constructing the entire Appalachian Trail is Myron Avery."

A lawyer and lover of Mount Katahdin, Avery was often referred to as a bully.

"He might have been a hard guy to deal with because when you have a vision that is so consuming that you want other people to share it with you and they share it with you sufficiently, they become as zealous as you are."

The idea of the trail came about in 1921.

Over a decade, through a World War, Avery helps complete the mission of the Appalachian Trail.

"You see it in the pictures. He's out there walking it out. He's seeing where the next stop is and how far you can go and recognizing the beauty, the natural beauty and the challenge of the Appalachian Trail. Myron Avery. He's the one whose vision takes the whole cause of this idea of a trail, a wilderness trial that people can walk from Georgia to Maine and turn it into reality. It's amazing."

Roughly 22 hundred miles long...over 2 million people hike some part of the Appalachian Trail each year.

281 miles of which are in Maine starting at Mount Katahdin.

Myron Avery once wrote, "It beckons not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man."

Avery died at 52 after suffering a heart attack.

After his death, a mountaintop on the Appalachian Trail in Maine was renamed "Avery Peak" in his honor...leaving a legacy that will last centuries.