Windpower, Hiking and Environmentalism


Enjoying nature with an eye to the future: Hikers, environmentalists and wind farm developers share many concerns, most notably the preservation of our environment for the enjoyment of both current and future generations. As energy demand increases, there’s a need to seek alternative and renewable sources of power that generate electricity in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. Because it is clean and utilizes a free and an inexhaustible fuel, wind power is an attractive renewable option that provides efficient power with little impact on the environment.

Hikers and Wind Turbines: Since mountain ridgelines provide steady winds and often include hiking trails, hikers and wind turbines are frequent companions. A few years ago, the proposed Redington Mountain Wind Farm in the mountains of western Maine was denied permits primarily due to visual impact. Because the proposed site is located close to the Appalachian Trail, there were some vocal opponents from various trail affiliates. However, contrary to what these groups and others may say, wind turbines and hiking trails need not be mutually exclusive. The hiking community is generally supportive of wind farms like the one proposed on Redington Mountain. In fact, many have stated that proximity to the large wind turbines actually enhances their hiking experience by lending an extra point of interest along a trip. Read our full article about hiker support for wind power projects. Because of it is a 4000 footer, Redington has been visited by many peak-baggers. Click here for some printer-friendly information on hiking Redington Pond Range

Letters of Support from Appalachian Trail Hikers: Numerous individual hikers of the Appalachian Trail have publicly shown their support for wind power—and for proposed predecessor of the Sugarloaf Community Wind Farm, Redington Wind Farm—by writing letters to the editor of several trails clubs’ publications.


Want more information on wind energy and the environment?
  • Wind Energy and Climate Change
    This fact sheet put out by the American Wind Energy Association describes how wind energy is already helping to fight global warming.
  • Wind Energy and Wildlife
    This AWEA fact sheet describes how wind power is one of the sources of electricity production that is most compatible with both humans and wildlife.
  • The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative
    An organization set up to study how to minimize wind turbines' impact on bat populations.
  • "The Fierce Urgency of Now"
    Well known environmentalist and author, Bill Mckibben, argues that alough there are some impacts of windpower, the option of not adopting more renewable energy is too dangerous.



Latest news

April 15, 2009

The future is today

January 14, 2009

Annexation process underway with selectmen’s approval

December 2008

Announcement from Town of Carrabassett Valley Board of Selectmen (PDF)

September 21, 2008

Lifted by the wind and other sources of power

February 16, 2008

Maine steps forward into the wind