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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 2 days, 10 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of April 11 – 17, 2021




No group trail work this Wednesday, due to meeting with Ridgerunner and the club’s quarterly meeting Wed. evening.


ATC Ridgerunner, Jim Baum, will start patrolling our trail section this week.



MRATC is not scheduling and publicizing group hikes in advance this spring, due to COVID. Some may be scheduled on a week by week basis. 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.


Club Outreach:  We will be setting up a booth of hiking and club information at the Mountain City Farmer’s Mkt. on Sat., Apr. 17th.


Trail Center:  On Thu., 4/8/21, Virginia US Senator, Tim Kaine, came to Damascus for a discussion of effects of COVID on the local economy and federal money for infrastructure, including trails. The meeting included reps. from MRATC, the ATC, the VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, the VA Creeper Trail and the Town of Damascus.

Interior work, exhibits and landscaping for the Center are in progress.


MRATC meeting this week:

The next meeting will be our Spring meeting, Wed. April 14th, 7 p.m., on Zoom.


Blue Ridge Discovery Center has announced the Spring Naturalist Rally as a scavenger hunt, May 1st – May 9th. Check the website www.blueridgediscoverycenter.org under the heading Programs for information.


Damascus AppalachianTrail Days festival: May 14—16. Check website for schedule of music and events:  www.traildays.us.


 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 has been removed as of 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 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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