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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 4 days, 12 hours ago

MRATC Activities and Information, Week of April 5-11


New (3/31) important closure notice:  See  https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/gwj/recreation for updates on MRNRA closed areas and facilities. The Elk Garden AT trailhead and many others are closed.

The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area announced 4/2 that in compliance with the VA Governor’s executive order, trail maintenance and campgrounds in the MRNRA will be shut down until June 10th.





The ATC has made a recommendation against trail activities on the AT for the next few weeks due to coronavirus transmission concerns. The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters has specified no trail work on forest lands in our area until June 10.




The ATC made a further recommendation on 3/23 against trail activities on the AT for the next few weeks. The club’s group recreational hikes on the schedule will be canceled at the discretion of the leader due to social distancing concerns, even if they are not on the AT. For information, email mtrogersatc@gmail.com.


Friday hikes. Regular Friday group hikes have been canceled. Contact Judith Foster 276 623 2408, jaf@centurylink.net for information on alternatives.




The MRATC quarterly meeting scheduled for Wed. April 8, 2020 at 7 p.m. will take place online and by phone instead of in person. 




COVID-19 INFO. FROM THE ATC, MRNRA and VA state parks (Copy/paste links below for updates.)


ATC: The website below has ATC recommendations for hikers and for trail volunteers.


Virginia State Parks are open for hiking and are getting lots of day use. The backpackers’ lot is closed.



Some national parks (https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm) are open; some have waived fees to encourage outdoor recreation; some are closed.


The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters announced that all campgrounds, Visitor Centers and volunteer projects/training and trail maintenance in the MRNRA are shut down until June 10.

NEW 3/31:  See  https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/gwj/recreation for updates on MRNRA closed areas and facilities. The Elk Garden AT trailhead and many others are closed.




Earth Day in Abingdon April 18th, where MRATC usually sets up a booth, has also been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.


The Creeper Trail Fest in Abingdon April 25th, where MRATC usually sets up a booth and an activity with the ATC, has been rescheduled for Nov. 7th.


The ATC-sponsored Wilderness First Aid/CPR class scheduled for Apr. 17-19 has been canceled.


All sawyer certification and recertification classes have been postponed until further notice.


The Konnarock Crew’s entire season of trail work has been canceled.


NEW (3/31):  The Naturalist Rally scheduled for May 8-10 has been canceled.


Trail days, May 15-17, has been canceled. That means we won’t be signing up hikers for our Hardcore project and that is canceled as well.



THE ATC’S THE REGISTER NEWSLETTER:  Things to think about and do while not out on the Trail – Copy/paste this link:





Guests:  The club welcomes guests on work hikes and recreational hikes.  Guests should contact either the listed hike leader, or the general club email address:  mtrogersatc@gmail.com, or in the case of work hikes, the Trails Coordinator's email (mratcinfo@gmail.com) before coming, in order to get information about the activity and what to bring.

Anyone under 18 needs to get a parental permission form from the club in advance. 


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. 



Wallberg Construction of Abingdon has been selected to build the Trail Center in Damascus. Work has started as of February. Projected completion by the end of May, 2020.


AT Community Update:

The ATC has added Damascus and Abingdon to its Wild East website. 


Abingdon has joined Damascus on the ATC's Wild East website with great photos. Take a look!


Marion/Smyth County will be added later. Eventually, all 50 AT communities will be featured on Wild East.




•As of 4-26-2019 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 planned AT reroute on Comers Creek Rd. (Rte. 650) around the failing AT bridge at Comers Creek Falls was marked with signs and blaze posts on 9/18/2019 and will be the official route of the AT in that area until a new bridge is built. 


Bears:  In 2019, there were few reports of bears taking hikers' food, but they 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. 


Iron Mtn. Trail: The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area proposes to make improvements to the Iron Mtn. Trail between the intersection with the AT spur (north of Damascus) and East Fourth St. Besides overall trail rehabilitation, a couple of spots would be relocated slightly uphill away from the creek to reduce erosion problems. 


Overmountain Shelter near Roan Mtn., TN has been found to be structurally unsound and has been closed.


Links for the Konnarock and Hardcore Crews Blog/Photo Album for May 2018 project on Wilburn Ridge:


Konnarock Crew and Hardcore Blog: http://konnarockcrew.blogspot.com/2018/06/week-3-may-18-22-2018_12.html


Photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/atconservancy/albums/72157668009655087


Konnarock Crew's work project photos - below is a link to Konnarock Crew's work project photos between Thomas Knob and Rhododendron Gap.  Cut and paste to your browser window to view.  







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