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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at

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Posted: March 24, 2017

Here’s your chance to contribute to the Maine Mountain Guide

Written by: Carey Kish
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

First published in 1961, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Mountain Guide has been a trusted resource and trail companion for countless hikers seeking outdoor fun and good exercise on Maine’s magnificent mountains, from Aroostook to Acadia, Down East to the Mahoosucs.

It may be hard to believe, but the current 10th edition of this venerable guide is already 5 years old and due for revision.

This hiker happily continues to serve as editor of the Maine Mountain Guide, and as such I’ve got my work cut out for me. In 2011, I had less than a year to finish the task. This time I have considerably more time to complete the huge undertaking, with a late September deadline. Last summer and fall I spent considerable time in the field revisiting existing trails, and exploring new paths and peaks, but there’s plenty more to do.

With more than 450 mountains and over 1,000 miles of trails in Maine, there’s simply no way to revise and expand the Maine Mountain Guide every few years without lots of help. That was certainly the case with the 10th edition, where two full pages in the acknowledgments are devoted to the names and affiliations of helpers from all over Maine who assisted in so many ways large and small. If your name is among them, well, thank you again.

As I gear up for the final push to complete the 11th edition of the Maine Mountain Guide, I hereby respectfully request the help of all of you in Maine’s hiking community in the field checking the trails and reviewing sections of text.

Thanks to the incredible efforts of public agencies, private groups and dedicated individuals who continue to preserve lands and build trails around Maine, carrying on the wave of conservation that has swept the state over the past several decades, there are ever more trails to search out and describe.

I’ve already identified at least 35 “new” mountains and some 75 new trails that need to be included in the next guide, and I’m sure there are quite a few more that I haven’t heard about yet. Many trail projects are works in progress, like those on AMC lands around Moosehead Lake and in the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land in the 100-Mile Wilderness, just to note two.

If you are aware of any new trails, please let me know. I am trying my best to personally hike these additions so as to maintain a consistent voice throughout the guide.

For existing trails in the guide, choose one or two or maybe 10 near you, or perhaps a few further afield that you’d like to visit. Let me know your selections and when you expect to visit them. If you need suggestions, I have plenty for you.

For each of the hikes I’d like you to carefully review the driving directions and double- check them en route to the hike, noting any changes in mileage, directions, landmarks and signage.

At the trail head, note signage, kiosks, maps available and such. And note where the trail departs from the parking lot.

On the trail, it’s much the same. Make note of anything that’s different from the text, new or changed: rerouted trails, new signs, new landmarks, views, new side trails or trail junctions, or any details that may have been omitted in the existing text.

Also, feel free to add color detail if such is lacking. The guide is meant to be pretty cut and dried for sure, but if there’s information that should be noted, please do so.

If you would like to play a role in the current Maine Mountain Guide effort, please contact me: email, call 838-9669 or message me on Facebook. Do note that I am in the middle of a 1,100-mile end-to-end hike of the Florida Trail. I expect to complete this journey and return to Maine soon. So if you don’t hear from me right away, that’s why. But I will indeed be in touch. Thank you.


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