July 28, 2013

Maine trailblazer expert puts his best foot ever forward

David Field put Maine's 281 miles of the Appalachian Trail where they belong – in the woods.

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Maine Appalachian Trail Club President David Field can take his rightful place alongside the late Myron Avery in the hiking annals for the decades of work he’s done in rerouting the Pine Tree State’s branch of the 2,200-mile path that connects 14 states.

Photos by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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At a spry 72, David Field can point to a long list of lifetime achievements in enhancing the Appalachian Trail – and he’s still pondering new paths that can connect more of the state’s mountain peaks.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


WHAT: David Field's presentation, "Finding the Trail: The History of the Appalachian Trail in Maine"

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24

WHERE: Buchanan Alumni House, University of Maine

LEARN MORE: Go to www.matc.org

"Remember all that land was in private ownership. So Dave had to communicate with landowners and obtain their agreement to reroute the trail. But most of the forestry professionals had him at one time as an instructor," Kenway said with a chuckle. "That was extremely helpful. In fact, I believe it facilitated his work."

Hiking two weeks ago above the farm fields near his childhood home in Madrid, Field recounted a trail-building and forestry career that spanned nearly six decades. At 72, he is still as nimble and comfortable as he bushwhacks, designs and flags a trail as he was when he hiked here in his 20s.

As he guided along the spur trail he designed this year, a sentimental footpath that he hopes will run along the old berry-picking trail his great grandparents hiked, he hiked with satisfaction.

"My ancestors lived in the next town over. They moved up from Falmouth in the 1820s," Field said as he hiked just over the ridge line from Saddleback Mountain.

Field hopes this new route will soon be a "blue trail" along the AT, a nice spur trail to offer adventure and magnificent views for hikers from Maine and beyond. At 72, he's still dreaming of trails that can be built across Maine's peaks.

"This is a new trail and that's a neat thing. It will be one of the most rewarding day hikes in the state," Field said.

Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:


Twitter: Flemingpph

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Additional Photos

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It’s an impressive vista that’s to be appreciated on the back side of Saddleback Mountain, where trails that David Field blazed now take hikers well into the highlands instead of along the roads.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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With Saddleback to the left and Reeds Mill to the right, hikers can’t go wrong since David Field began overseeing the relocation program of Maine’s 281 miles of the Appalachian Trail.


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