Trail Angels Terry “Scout” Adams and Dan “Birdman” Rovnak Are Feeding the AT

In a cabin in the Maine woods, two men cook up "the best trail magic" of the entire Appalachian Trail.
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In a cabin in the Maine woods, two men cook up "the best trail magic" of the entire Appalachian Trail.
Birdman (left) and Scout (along with Chasky) took a rare break on October 11, 2016. Photo by Mark Fleming

Birdman (left) and Scout (along with Chasky) took a rare break on October 11, 2016. Photo by Mark Fleming

“Trail magic” announces the crude sign on the AT, 11 miles from Monson, Maine. Follow the arrow, as hundreds of thru-hikers do each year, and a quarter mile away you’ll find a hunting cabin that’s been repurposed as a hiker haven. Scout and Birdman have been serving hot, home-cooked meals and icy beer here since 2013 as a way to honor Scout’s late son “Yogi Bear” (AT ’92). “He was a free spirit and loved hiking and spreading trail magic,” Scout says. “I live for helping out the hikers and look forward to it all year. We meet some of the greatest people in the world.” You only need to hear from a few thru-hikers to know that the sentiment is returned.

“They are so open to anyone, anytime. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, they are out there selflessly for the sole purpose of helping hikers and bonding with them.”
–Claudia “Little Rhino” Carberry (AT ’16)

“Everyone I passed gushed about these guys. For 65 miles, the thought of food and drink drove me. Every tough day was doable because I knew hot food and cold beer were just 50, then 40, then 28 miles away. . . I’m convinced that I will find no better trail angels.”
–Steve “Huckleberry Finch” Bacon (AT ’15)

“We came to a sign advertising trail magic and decided to check it out. Boy, were we glad we did. . . It was probably the best trail magic of the whole trail. They were selfless souls.”
–Geoff “Ass Captain” Weathersby (AT ’15)

By the Numbers

Trail Angels: 2

Age of Scout: 70

Age of Birdman: 50

Hikers served per season: 500

Weeks served every year: 13, off and on from June to October

Boxes of Betty Crocker's Buttermilk pancake mix: 120

Hours spent everyday hand-picking blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries: 1-2

Hot dogs: 2,730

Chicken thighs: 1,200

Pounds of hamburger meat: 546

Cans of beer and soda: 2,000+

Minutes spent driving to Monson in a four-wheeler to pick up ice four times a week: 45