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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 5 days, 8 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of March 19 - 25, 2023



MRATC TRAIL WORK:           


No group trail work on the AT this week, BUT:

The Town of Damascus is clearing brush for a new pocket park next to Trestle 16 and is looking for volunteers to help with the first work session and planning for this area. This project could feed into the non-native plant removal projects MRATC is planning for Holston High School on April 14th. Come if you can! Meet at the caboose in Damascus at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 22nd.


BASE CAMP CLEANUP – Volunteers are needed for annual cleanup and repairs at Konnarock Base Camp in Sugar Grove to get ready for the Crew season. Dates are March 21-24. If you can help for one day or more, contact Jerry Kyle (jkyle@appalachiantrail.org).



Club members can join a trail crew to do amazing trail work on the AT. For information on work locations and schedules for each week, visit: https://appalachiantrail.org/get-involved/volunteer/trail-crews/konnarock-trail-crew/

To work with a Crew for a day or two rather than a whole five-day session, contact Jerry Kyle: jkyle@appalachiantrail.org.




March 25, Saturday: Hike from Laurel Bloomery to Damascus on the Iron Mtn Trail,about 6 miles; ups and downs. Cars at both ends. Meet at the caboose in Damascus at 9 AM. Bring lunch,water. Poles recommended.To be notified of any change in plans due to poor weather, email mtrogersatc@gmail.com by 6 PMthe evening before the hike. Leader: Anne Maio. 


Note: Besides being listed in the club’s quarterly newsletter, hikes can be scheduled a week or so ahead. 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). 


Next MRATC meeting will be Wed., Apr. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Damascus Trail Center with a Zoom option. Agenda and Zoom login coming in the next two weeks.


UPCOMING EVENTS:  Leave No Trace Trainers coming to Damascus April 12 – 15. The club will be involved in hosting non-native plant removal projects for Holston High School Fri. Apr. 14 and in the community cleanup of fire rings and trash between the AT and Creeper Trail from Straight Branch to Taylor’s Valley on Sat. Apr. 15. A workshop on ways to communicate Leave No Trace will be the morning of Apr. 12. Save the dates! 


The CAMPING BAN from Low Gap (TN 421) north to the VA/TN state line on the AT has been lifted. Camping at Abingdon Gap Shelter is now permitted.



The Trail Center’s hours are Thursdays – Mondays each week, from 10 – 5. 


AT VISTA 2023, Aug. 4-7, at ETSU in Johnson City, TN. Early registration is open: See www.atvista2023.orgfor information, a link to sign up for the newsletter, and registration.


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. 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), 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 the last four years, 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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