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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 1 day, 8 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Nov. 27 – Dec. 3, 2022




MRATC TRAIL WORK:           


No group trail work has been scheduled yet, but may be later in the week.


On Monday, Nov. 21, five MRATC members dug and raked drainages and handsawed blowdowns on the AT south of Damascus. 


Group trail work in Dec., Jan. and Feb. will only be scheduled if needed and weather permits.




Saturday, Dec. 3rd: Join us for an early winter hike on the AT around Watauga Lake.  We'll meet at 10:00 at Shook Branch parking on Rt 321 a few miles north of Hampton Tn., and hike on the AT north around the lake to the Watauga Lake shelter and to the Dam (a little less than 3 miles one way).  The trail has lots of ups and downs and views of the lake and mountains.  After enjoying lunch we'll go back the way we came for a total of about 5.5-6 miles.  Bring water, warm clothing and rain gear depending on the forecast.  Let leader,  Sharon Trumbley, know you are interested by emailing mtrogersatc@gmail.com


Note: Hikes can be scheduled on a week by week basis rather than listed in the club’s quarterly newsletter. 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).



HUNTING SEASON:  Deer rifle season:  Nov. 19 – Dec. 3. Dates in surrounding counties may vary.


NEWSLETTER DEADLINE: The deadline for the Winter club newsletter is Dec. 1st. Send articles and photos to Edie:  edithbobko@gmail.com



The Trail Center’s hours are Thursdays – Mondays each week, from 10 – 5. Any changes for Winter will be announced later.

MRATC will have a display and tool demonstration at the Trail Center on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 12 to 1.


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:



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


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 was removed 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, 2020, and 2021 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 carry a bear canister or to use the metal bear boxes 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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