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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 2 days, 20 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of July 12-18, 2020





Wed, July 15:  We will meet at Straight Branch pkg. area on Rte. 58, across from the Beech Grove Trail, at 9:15 to caravan to Beech Mtn. Rd. (601) to cut blowdowns. Max. 4 people. 

If interested, please send a mail to mratcinfo@gmail.com.




Hikes are not planned very far in advance, due to evolving coronavirus concerns. If a club member wishes to lead a hike, 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).


Friday hikes. Friday group hikes have resumed. Contact Judith Foster 276 623 2408, jaf@centurylink.net for information.




For those of you who have been following developments in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which would have crossed the AT in Northern VA:  the pipeline project has been canceled. https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/dominion-cancels-atlantic-coast-pipeline-sells-natural-gas-transmission-business/article_340549bd-cd01-57f1-9167-86b6ee406f02.html 


The ATC’s THE REGISTER newsletter has an article about our club installing a trail bridge with students from U. of TN at Chattanooga in early March. Use this link to read The Register: 






ATC Ridgerunner: The Ridgerunner season on our trail section starts late, due to the coronavirus, but we expect Alexis (“Moxie”) Niedenthal to start this coming week. Moxie was a Ridgerunner in Georgia at the beginning of this season, a Ridgerunner in Maine for two seasons, thru-hiked the AT in 2014, has worked on trail maintenance projects, and has been an expedition guide and outdoor educator.





Framing is up.

The ATC expects to have hired a Facility Director in August who will start assembling visitor information. There will be exhibit space to feature area outdoor organizations, plus professionally created interpretive exhibits. Not all exhibits will be installed this fall and workshops and more exhibits will come next spring.



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 is building the Trail Center in Damascus. Work has started as of February. Projected completion by early Sept. 2020.


AT Community Update:

Three AT Communities recently 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


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. Eventually, all 50 AT communities will be featured on Wild East.



Grayson Highlands State Park reopened the Backpackers' pkg. lot on June 15th. Reservations required. https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/grayson-highlands-state-park/VA/140172/35528/campsite-booking


•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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