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Safety on Trail + Maine '97 - Where?

>> Would you
> >mind answering the following questions?   My husband, 16-year old  
> daughter
> >and friends are going to hike the AT starting possibly at Harper's Ferry
> >in WV. We have seen newspaper/tv reports regarding muggings, rapes,
> >murders, etc.  Is this trail safe?  Who could I call regarding this?

No place is safe in this world it seems, however, I would say you're 
probably a lot safer on the A.T. than most other places, especially if 
you're in a group.  Also, some of the tragic incidents may possibly have 
been prevented in my opinion if the victims had been more wary and less 
willing to try to be kind and helpful to people who showed signs that 
something was "off" with them - and had immediately left the vicinity of 
the people in question.

You could call up the ATC and talk to Jean Cashin.  The number - I think 
- is: 304-535-6331. (If that's wrong, you can get it from information.)

Basically the ATC always recommends that people not hike alone.  But - I 
think - mostly for reasons having to do with the potential for injury 
from falls rather than from humans - as you're far more likely to have 
problems as a result of a slight mis-step than just about anything else - 
and it would certainly be nice to have another person or 2 along who 
could help you out..

Also - Re: Maine - Mark - could you tell us where in Maine the Conference 
is going to be held?


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