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Current Week's Information

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MRATC Activities and Information, Week of March 27- Apr. 2, 2022




Wed. March 30: The plan is to meet at the small pkg. lot at the beginning of the Seed Orchard Trail across from the GHSP Country Store at 9:30 a.m. We will hike 1.5 miles to Wise Shelter and move the privy cabin over the new pit, which the Park dug for us. There are skids to slide the cabin on, but muscles help, so please come if you can. We will also re-dig the fire ring at the shelter. Email mratcinfo@gmail.com if you can come – and to be notified if work plans change.


The bog bridge project north of Wise Shelter that was supposed to have taken place Sat. March 26 with help from E&H students was postponed due to cold, windy, wet weather. It will be rescheduled.


TRAINING FOR NEW SAWYERS:  ATC is going to arrange a chainsaw certification class for new sawyers this spring.  There will be a very limited number of spots available to us. Anyone interested in applying should send a mail to mratcinfo@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).


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


NEXT CLUB MEETING:  Wed., April 13, 7 p.m. live at Abingdon Library – and also on Zoom.  Agenda and more information in next two Sunday emails.




Sat., Apr. 2: Club volunteers are needed at the Trail Center from 3:45 to 5 p.m. to welcome the E&H student groups back from afternoon hikes and bike rides, chat with the students while they are eating pizza, and help put away tables and chairs afterwards.

Email Emily Mayo at emayo@appalachiantrail.org to sign up to help.

We want to keep the Emory & Henry partnership with the club going!


This is the link to the promo video:



VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO STAFF THE CLUB’S BOOTH AT EARTH DAY IN ABINGDON, Sat., Apr. 23rd, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We have only two volunteers so far. We’d like to give them a break during the four hours. We could use a couple more people to set up the table, tent, and display board before 9, talk to people about the club and hiking, and pack up at 1 p.m. If you can help, even for an hour or two, email mtrogersatc@gmail.com.



Fri. noon – Sun. morning, Apr. 22 – 24 – in Damascus. Attending the SPM is a great way to find out about issues and concerns in the NPS, ATC, USFS, and other southern AT clubs. Please come for as much of the meeting as you can. It’s local this time!


If you plan to attend any part of the meeting, please let the ATC know by registering at this link: https://www.tfaforms.com/4867205?tfa_2035=1&tfa_1994=a0q1U000007TQah.



The Damascus Trail Center is searching for volunteers for the following dates. Please email Emily Mayo at emayo@appalachiantrail.org to sign up for a specific date and time.  Also, volunteers will need to complete ATC's event registration found here https://volunteer.appalachiantrail.org/s/atc-project-details?c__recId=a0q1U000007TQ5x  If you have previously completed the event listing please disregard it. Volunteers will help staff an information booth between the hours of 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

  • May 6th 
  • May 7th 
  • May 8th 
  • May 9th 


AT VISTA 2022, at SUNY NEW PALTZ, AUG. 5-8: 60 Hikes, many Excursions and 45 workshops are listed on the website: https://atvista2022.organd online registration will be active beginning Apr. 1. 


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:  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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