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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 4 days ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of May 9 – 15, 2021




Wed May 12th:  Meet at Fox Creek on 603 at 9:30 to address drainage and other issues from 603 toward Old Orchard shelter and slightly beyond. This work was originally scheduled a few weeks ago but was rained out. E-mail mratcinfo@gmail.com if you plan to participate.


Trail Section Maintainers and Sawyers:

We are looking to schedule a CPR/first aid class in the fall via the ATC, quite possibly at the new Trail Center in Damascus and would like to assess interest from section monitors and maintainers. We just received a grant via ATC that would cover the cost.

If you are a club sawyer, I will assume you’ll be interested unless you tell me otherwise. I’d like to give Josh at ATC a rough idea of numbers, so non-sawyer monitors and maintainers please indicate interest to mratcinfo@gmail.com and also mention if interested in Wilderness first aid verses standard.


RARE PLANT HIKE, Thursday, May 13. Meet at Elk Garden at 9 A.M. for an introduction to rare plant monitoring. From the parking lot south on the AT we will learn to monitor a variety of rare plants, including great Indian plantain, fringed phacelia, American umbrella leaf and others. You can choose your own leisurely hike distance, from 1 to 5 miles. Always bring rain gear and snacks or lunch, and be sure to email    mtrogersatc@gmail.com    so you can be informed of any weather cancellations. If you want to monitor but can't come Thursday, email to schedule an individual session.




MRATC is not scheduling and publicizing group hikes in advance until June, due to ongoing COVID concerns in our area. Some hikes may be scheduled on a week by week basis. If a club member wishes to lead a hike, reply to this email and it can be listed in the Sunday email and on the club’s website the week of the hike (www.mratc.org under the Sidebar, Current Week’s Information). The ATC recommends keeping group size small and not carpooling.


The Friday hiking group is holding small group hikes. Contact Judith for information (jaf@centurylink.net; 276-623-2408)


Creative opportunity from the ATC:  Throughout the month of May, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will be hosting an A.T. Volunteer Brand Concept Challenge. This idea generation process encourages individuals to digitally submit original pieces of art that help to capture the energy of what it means to be an Appalachian Trail Volunteer.


Submit your ideas to this idea-generation challenge but using the following link: A.T. Volunteer Brand Concept Challenge Rules, Authorization, and Release | Appalachian Trail Conservancy




Check website for schedule of music and eventswww.traildays.us.





 Grayson Highlands St. Park and adjacent area map (Avenza maps app) free download available:  https://www.avenzamaps.com/maps/1204147/grayson-highlands-state-park.


Virginia AT license plates:  $15 of the $25 annual fee goes to the ATC VA Regional Office to support the AT – including the new Damascus Trail Center. If you would like to order one, go to this section of the DMV website:



Outstanding AT hike videos: A member of the Tidewater AT Club who knows a couple who are section hiking and have made and posted a series of videos, passed along the notice of the You Tube posting, so we all can enjoy them. They are wonderful videos! Go to You Tube and search for “Campfire Confidential” to select a few to watch.


Current MRATC information is also posted on Facebook:  Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club (MRATC), on Twitter:  twitter.com @Mt_rogersATC, and on Instagram.com:  mountrogersATclub. 


AT Community Update:

Three AT Communities hosted webinars about their trail communities. You can watch and listen to the videorecordings by pasting these links into your browser:

Roan Mountain: https://youtu.be/UeZXOZPtQaw

Unicoi: https://youtu.be/MpawM6TGwjY

      Damascus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5VvZmg-tm4&t=7s


Visit the ATC's website for information and hikes in AT Communities up and down the AT, listed by state.

In our area, the AT Communities are Damascus, Abingdon, and Marion/Smyth County. 




Grayson Highlands State Park Backpackers' pkg. lot reservations:https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/grayson-highlands-state-park/VA/140172/35528/campsite-booking


The bridge at Comers Creek Falls has been removed as of 3/20/2021. Steps and stepstones have been installed  so a low-water crossing can be made and this section of the AT from Dickey Gap south has been re-opened. During times of suspected high water, hikers should plan to use the marked detour on Rte. 650.


Bears:  In 2019 and 2020, there were fewer reports of bears taking hikers' food than in 2018, but bears could come back to try to get food from hikers, especially if they are cooking. Hikers are urged to use the metal bearboxes for overnight food storage near Saunders Shelter, Lost Mtn. Shelter, Thomas Knob Shelter, near Rhododendron Gap, Wise Shelter, Old Orchard Shelter, the Scales, Hurricane Mtn. Shelter, and Trimpi Shelter. 




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