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Current Week's Information

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on April 17, 2022 at 5:20:26 am



MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Apr. 17 – 23, 2022





Wed. Apr. 20:  This week, club members are needed to finish off the pathway next to the Trail Center. Since machine grading is being finished first, this is an afternoon project. We are not needed at the Trail Center until noon.

If you can come to help, please reply to this email. 


There were 10 club member participants in the ATC’s trail maintenance field workshop on the AT south of Damascus on Fri., Apr. 15. We all learned some better skills!



Mon., Apr. 18 - Fun Hike: Hike at the Pinnacle in Russell county and see early Spring wildflowers.  Meet at Pinnacle parking at 9:30 AM.  Hike about 5 miles easy to moderate and see how many wildflowers you can name or learn.  Let hike leader Sharon Trumbley know you are interested by emailing mtrogersatc@gmail.com. She will provide road directions, if you need them.

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).


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO STAFF THE CLUB’S BOOTH AT EARTH DAY IN ABINGDON, Sat., Apr. 23rd, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fields Penn house, Cummings and Main Sts. We have only two volunteers. We’d like to give them a break during the four hours. We could use a couple more people. The tasks are 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, reply to this email.



Fri. noon – Sun. morning, Apr. 22 – 24 – in Damascus. See attached agendas for the whole SPM and for the breakout meeting for VA trail clubs. Attending is a great way to find out about issues and concerns in the NPS, ATC, USFS, and other 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.



Club members are needed to staff the club’s booth, greet people and pass out hike handouts and club information. This year, the booth will be in our tent outside the Trail Center. These are the times we have no one, or only one person, signed up to staff the booth when we need two: 

Fri. May 1312:30-2:30 and 2:30-5:00. Sat. May 14: 11:00-1:00 and 1:00-3:00 and 3:00-5:00.

We don’t want to have to take our booth down early and have no club presence during these good times to talk to people about the club and hiking!  You have five possible shifts to pick from. Reply to this email with a time you can come to help.



Emily needs volunteers to greet visitors at the Trail Center on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays during May, June, July and August from 10 to 3. Check your calendars, pick a date or two, or split a shift with a friend, and contact Emily: emayo@appalachiantrail.org.


MT. ROGERS NATURALIST RALLY:  Hosted by the Blue Ridge Discovery Center May 6-8. Registration for field trips is now open:  https://blueridgediscoverycenter.org/mrnrspring


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 is now active.




- Thru hikers currently registered to hike the A.T. sometime in 2022: 3,949

- Thru hikers currently registered to start their A.T. hike by the end of March: 2,589 (2,222

of those are registered to start at Amicalola Falls State Park).

Please keep in mind that these are numbers of individuals who have registered their thru-hike

with ATCamp, rather than a physical count of thru-hikers currently on the trail. It is possible that

some folks who register will alter their plans and not all thru-hikers may register.



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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