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Stephen Longley, 56; ferried Appalachian Trail hikers across Maine river

SOLON, Maine — Stephen Longley, known by Appalachian Trail hikers as ‘‘The Ferryman’’ and son of a former Maine governor, has died at his home in Solon. He was 56.

From 1987 to 2007, Mr. Longley operated the Appalachian Trail Conference’s Kennebec River Ferry Service where the trail crosses the Kennebec River in Caratunk. During that time, Mr. Longley, known for his red canoe, transported more than 19,000 hikers safely across the river. He was featured in numerous articles and documentaries.

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A registered Maine Guide and Wilderness First Responder, Mr. Longley often said he was inspired by his father, James Longley, who was Maine’s independent governor from 1974 to 1978.

Mr. Longley died Saturday. He leaves a brother, and three sisters, including former Maine representative James Longley Jr., and former state senator ­Susan Longley.