Report from the Zone of Totality

Snow cover is getting thin due to sun’s angle at this time of year.
Great crowd, everybody having a good time.
Almost there…
Great day on the summit.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust was fortunate enough to get a great first-hand report from the recent eclipse zone of totality, which passed directly over the A.T. region of Maine on April 8th. Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Maine Regional Manager, Leah Beck, was stationed on Saddleback Mountain to assist the Saddleback resort in managing visitors for the day. Leah writes:

We ended up seeing between 300-400 people post up in alpine between the Saddleback side trail and the summit.  A small handful ventured over to the Horn as well.  Folks were extremely receptive to our messaging and I’m happy to report that I feel our presence made a big difference in protecting the alpine zone. Saddleback was super helpful throughout the day, they provided us with radios, ski rentals, lift passes, and a few support staff. 
To summarize our crowd control strategy: laminated temporary signs (attached) were placed sporadically from the entrance to the side trail up to just before the summit.  One volunteer posted up in the first vulnerable location where visitors would be prone to wander and directed them to stay on the tread surface, rock, or deep snow.  Two other volunteers were at the next pinch point (the side trail intersection with the A.T.) showing folks that they could rock hop to spread out if need be.  It seemed to work out! People were even yelling at their kids to “stay off the plants!”. Right after totality people were eager to get back down and ski, but no one rushed and a long but fast moving line formed on the tread surface.  
We would like to extend our great thanks to Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Saddleback, all the volunteers from the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and to Leah Beck for making sure the resource was protected and people got to have this great experience!