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Get Up and Go: Maine IAT Virtual Hike

Daveson Perez tells about the new #MaineIATVirtualHike geared towards encouraging folks to get up and go out on the trails.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 8:55 PM EDT
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Mars Hill, Maine (WAGM) - (Elain Hendrickson:): “The IAT gives us a chance to get out, enjoy nature.”

Elaine Hendrickson is the secretary of the Maine IAT or Maine International Appalachian Trail.

Each year, as the snow from winter melts and the trails begin to open up, she already has a list of group summer hiking activities for members of the hiking body to take part in.

The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled those events this year, but Hendrickson and her team wouldn't take no for an answer.

If they couldn't meet up in person, they would do so virtually. And thus, the Maine IAT Virtual Hike was born.

(Elaine Hendrickson): "People can hike either in their neighborhood or they can actually hike, since the Maine section of the IAT is here in Northern Maine...so people can actually go out on the trail and hike as well."

The Maine portion of the IAT is 138.4 miles long and stretches from the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to the US-Canadian border in Fort Fairfield.

It cuts through 7 Aroostook County towns, but the hikers don't need to be from Northern Maine to participate in the virtual hike.

By using the hashtag Maine IAT Virtual Hike, participants in this hiking challenge are able to keep tabs on the progress of others on the website.

(EH): "For me being an administrator of the site has been really fun meeting new people. We have people who have signed on from california, from rhode island from utah just all over the country. We'd like to see some canadians. Some of our canadian friends join on and maybe some of them in Europe if they were interested in joining our hike."

As COVID-19 restrictions on hiking have slowly begun to loosen, some hikers have already hiked certain sections of the Maine IAT.

However, they won't have the chance to hike the remaining 17-hundred plus miles to the end of the FULL IAT for a little while longer.

(EH): “As things have gradually opened up there are a few people who are doing the Maine section of the IAT but as you know the borders are closed so it’s not possible to go through the fort fairfield border station and continue the hike into new brunswick and Quebec and Newfoundland.

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