Current Week's Information

MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Sept. 19 - 25, 2021





Wed. Sept. 22nd.  We will meet at Fox Creek at 9 a.m. and work on sections of sidehill and trail creep reported between 1 and 2 miles north from Rte. 603.  Please send a mail to if you plan to attend and to be notified if plans change due to bad weather. 




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 ( under the Sidebar, Current Week’s Information).



COVID:  The ATC reports recent incidents of COVID among AT hikers in Maine.

MRATC’s policy for work hikes until the end of the 2021 work season (end of November) is that those coming for group trail work should be vaccinated.



Public Lands Day event, Sept. 25th - Emory & Henry students’ project and hike:  A group of E&H students will be planting a garden at the Trail Center, followed by a short hike on the AT, led by Whitney and Isaac Peters.



Possible Bear: Lost Mtn. Shelter, Sept. 7-8, 2021:

A hiker from Ohio reported hearing a “bear” trying to get into the bear box at Lost Mtn. Shelter, and coming back repeatedly to try again, all night long. It could have been a raccoon. Whatever it was, it was just noisy and did not get into the bear box.



Thanks to Ridgerunner, Jim Baum!

Our ATC Ridgerunner, Jim Baum, has finished his season with us. He has done a great job since mid-April, especially in the Mt. Rogers High Country, helping hikers, cleaning up litter, and giving the club feedback on maintenance issues and signage needs.


Latest issue of the ATC’s The Register newsletter:




Sign up to volunteer at the Trail Center by contacting Emily Mayo at



BEAR WARNING, South of Damascus: Due to reported aggressive bear activity and evidence of bear(s) entering campsites and taking food, the area around the Appalachian Trail between the Double Springs Shelter and the Backbone Rock side trail (mile marker 451 to approximately mile marker 464 is closed to camping until further notice.


 Grayson Highlands St. Park and adjacent area map (Avenza maps app) free download available:


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: 



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


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.