You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


A town that steps up on the Appalachian Trail

Monson’s ‘angels’ are a sight for sore hikers

MONSON, Maine — For thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, there is a phenomenon known as “trail magic.” As a rule of serendipity, it arrives when it is most needed, when the hikers are beat, downtrodden, lonely, hungry. When the weight of their pack and the miles ahead of them are crushing their will. That’s when trail magic happens.

Maybe they turn a corner in a remote section of woods and find a cooler, just sitting there on the path, filled with Coca-Cola and beer and sweets and fresh fruit. It is a sign of respect from a stranger, a nod of appreciation for this grand thing the hikers are attempting to accomplish — to walk the entire 2,184-mile trail from Georgia to Maine in one year. Trail magic regularly reduces hardened woodsmen to tears.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week