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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 2 days, 13 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Jan. 24 – 30, 2021




Our regular trail work season has ended, as of the end of November. We will go out only if there is a problem that needs attention and will resume regular trail maintenance in March.



MRATC is not scheduling and publicizing group hikes in advance, due to COVID, but 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 ATC recommends keeping group size small and not carpooling.


The Friday hiking group is not holding group hikes right now, due to the COVID surge.



The next MRATC meeting will be the Annual Membership Meeting on Sat., Feb. 27th at 7 p.m., when we will go over plans for the upcoming year and vote on the slate of club officers. The Annual Meeting will be held on Zoom. Login information and an agenda will be sent out to club members in a Sunday email about two weeks before the meeting.



Morgan Sommerville, Regional Director for the ATC Southern Region (GA, NC, TN) will be taking the position of ATC Visitor Use Management coordinator. With all his experience, he will be a great person to work with on our club’s visitor use impacts.


Dru Falco has been hired as the ATC’s AT Community Coordinator, taking up some of Julie Judkins’ workload.


Theresa Duffey, Chair of the ATC Virginia Regional Partnership Committee, will be retiring from her job at the VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation March 1st. She will continue as VA RPC Chair.



Emily Mayo reported at a recent ATC VARO Zoom call this past week that the AT relief map of the section of the AT near us, which is to be on display at the Trail Center, should be manufactured soon.


Although the Trail Center’s Grand Opening will probably be put back until next fall due to COVID concerns and the final exhibits will not be set up until close to that time, we are hoping for a “soft opening” event in May.







Off-road vehicles on Whitetop Mtn. The ATC and MRNRA have reports of off-road vehicle activity on Whitetop Mtn. If you are hiking there and see such activity, report the day and time you saw it to the MRNRA during business hours:  276-783-5196.


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:



Outstanding AT hike videos: A member of the Tidewater AT Club who knows a couple who are section hiking and have made and posted a series of videos, passed along the notice of the You Tube posting, so we all can enjoy them. They are wonderful videos! Go to You Tube and search for “Campfire Confidential” to select a few to watch.



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


AT Community Update:

Three AT Communities hosted webinars about their trail communities. You can watch and listen to the videorecordings by pasting these links into your browser:

Roan Mountain: https://youtu.be/UeZXOZPtQaw

Unicoi: https://youtu.be/MpawM6TGwjY

      Damascus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5VvZmg-tm4&t=7s


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 is closed - the Forest Service has closed the bridge on the AT at Comers Creek Falls due to safety concerns that include a crack in a support beam. The AT reroute on Comers Creek Rd. (Rte. 650) around the failing AT bridge at Comers Creek Falls was marked with signs and blaze posts and will be the official route of the AT in that area until a new bridge is built. 


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. 






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