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Current Week's Information

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on April 24, 2022 at 5:47:32 am




MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Apr. 24 – 30, 2022





No group trail work is scheduled for this week.



Wed. Apr. 27Spring Hike on Mt Roger’s Trail.  Meet at 9:30 at the trailhead parking on VA Hwy 603 (not far past Grindstone Campground if you are coming from Whitetop Road area) to walk up Mt. Rogers Trail toward the intersection with the AT, out-and-back round trip of about seven miles. Opportunities to see wildflowers. Bring lunch and rain gear, poles if you use them.  Some of the hike is in the Lewis Fork wilderness, so group size is limited to 10, and we will plan to split into 2 groups if this happens.  Contact hike leader Felicia Mitchell for more information atmtrogersatc@gmail.com.


UPCOMING: Monday, May 2 – Wildflower/Rare Plant Hike:  Meet at Elk Garden at 9:30.  We’ll hike to Whitetop and back on the AT and look for early spring wildflowers and rare plants.  Bring lunch and rain gear.  Contact hike leader Carol Broderson for details at 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).



Fri. – Sun. May 13, 14, 15. The club will have a booth at the Trail Center Fri. and Sat. and club members will march in the parade at 2  p.m. Saturday, May 14. Come join us!

Still need a second person to help staff the booth Sat. from 1:00 to 3:00.



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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