The Father Tom Campsite near the town garage opened earlier this year, more than a year after the idea was first broached to offer a replacement for St. Mary's Church, which had long hosted hikers. It's named for the church's former pastor, the Rev. Thomas Begley.
Named after the former pastor of St. Mary's Church, the Rev. Thomas Begley, the site will serve through-hikers of the Appalachian Trail and give them a place to regroup for a night or two while charging electronics, replenishing their water supply, and getting rid of refuse
The site is designed to give hikers a short one- or two-night respite and a place to charge their phones and get clean water. Hikers have been welcome to use an area at St. Mary's Church but will now be redirected very slightly down Church Street.
The school site had several issues, not the least of which was safety as some residents and officials were concerned about the imminent move of the Youth Center to the school building. The new site is located near the intersection of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and the Appalachian Trail.