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Current Week's Information

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on May 22, 2022 at 6:02:12 am

MRATC Activities and Information, Week of May 22 - 28, 2022




On Wed May 25th we’ll address a few blowdowns and possibly some side hill south of Elk Garden.  If time permits there are also a couple sidehill spots less than a mile north of Elk Garden.  Meet at Elk Garden at 9:30 am.

Please e-mail mratcinfo@gmail.com if you plan to participate.




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)



NEED VOLUNTEERS!  We still don’t have enough to host this event:

Saturday, June 4, is National Trails Day. The club committed to hosting an event at the Damascus Trail Center from 10-3. We need a couple of people to greet visitors at the Center with a public activity about items to include in a pack and to pass out club and hiking information, and a couple more to lead a short hike south on the AT. At least 4 people would be needed; more, if the five hours are split among people. If we don’t get volunteers, we can’t host the event! Please reply to this email if you can help, either at the Center or with the hike – and which you would prefer to do – and whether you can take a whole 5 hour shift, or half a shift. Thanks to the two people who have already signed up!


Remember:  The Damascus Trail Center is open Fridays – Mondays, from 10 to 3, May – July. Popup events are scheduled on Saturdays. Come check it out!

The Grand Opening is scheduled for Aug. 26.



The deadline for the summer quarter club newsletter is June 1st. Send articles and photos to:




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. 


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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