I would like to respond to online comments and the recent Another View column referencing my letter about the Appalachian Trail and Baxter State Park.

First, I purposely arrived after the 6:30 a.m. deadline because I think it is a ridiculous rule. I wanted to simply pick up my son and go home.

Next, rudeness is rudeness. The ranger at the cabin who ignored us knew nothing about my transgression, but he did know that our group included AT hikers.

Back to the rules. The column explained how the newer system eliminated the need to arrive at 4 a.m. I guess I should count my blessings. Another ridiculous rule requires people to camp out at the gate in January to reserve a camp site.

My point was and is this: All of these rules seem to be established to ensure only a certain kind of person will visit the park — the term elitist comes to mind — people who meet the specific target audience that the park is willing to accept.

I offered many ideas to the park in my email a few years back, and I am sure others have as well. Simple things such as Internet camping registration and day passes that allow people to arrive any time during that day are ideas that do not threaten the preservation of the park.

The fact that the park refuses to consider them goes back to my aforementioned hypothesis — the park only wants a certain kind of visitors who demonstrate their dedication by suffering through the ridiculous rules that really have little to do with park preservation.

For those who don’t mind the rules, good for them, but I find it sad that a lot of other Mainers have been dissuaded from visiting the park because of them.

Keith Taylor


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