The sharp rise in the number people using the Appalachian Trail is causing headaches for officials, who say they're dealing with more problems along the more than 2,000-mile footpath than ever.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says more than 830 people completed the 2,189-mile hike last year, up from just 182 in 1990. At Maine's Baxter State Park, home to the final summit of Mount Katahdin, the number of registered long-distance hikers grew from 359 in 1991 to more than 2,000 in 2014.
Baxter officials say thru-hikers are openly using drugs and drinking alcohol, camping where they aren't supposed to and trying to pass their pets off as service dogs. Jensen Bissell, director of the park, says the trail may need to end somewhere besides Katahdin if something doesn't change soon.
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