AT Hikers Encouraged Not to Summit Katahdin During Labor Day Weekend to Honor Penobscot Nation Pilgrimage
Editor’s note 8/28: The title previously stated that Katahdin would be closed on Labor Day weekend, which was incorrect. We sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Long-distance AT hikers are encouraged to avoid planning their summit date for Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-3) during the Penobscot Nation’s annual spiritual pilgrimage and traditional ceremonies. Fewer campsites are available, and the park is unusually congested during this time. The Monson Appalachian Trail Visitor Center recently alerted thru-hikers via social about the special circumstances:
Members of the Penobscot Nation will be participating in the Katahdin 100, a spiritual pilgrimage from Indian Island in the Penobscot River north of Bangor to Katahdin. The Penobscots view Katahdin as being sacred and holy, as the mountain was part of their territory before the AT came into existence. Katahdin Stream Campground—the Appalachian Trail route to summit Katahdin—will be closed for overnight guests Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, to honor the Penobscots as they conduct their traditional ceremonies.
Thru-hikers are asked to plan their summit date around this event, and either summit Katahdin before Sept. 1 or after the 3rd. The Birches, a satellite of Katahdin Stream Campground reserved for long-distance northbound hikers, will remain open for 12 hikers per night. The surrounding area will be highly congested at this time, making it difficult for drivers coming to pick up hikers and for the ones seeking rides out of the park.
All parties involved are thanking hikers in advance for their consideration.
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