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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 2 days, 15 hours ago


MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Oct. 2 - 8, 2022





Sat. Oct. 8:  Lopper-festMeet at Dickey Gap at 9:30 a.m. to cut back overgrown vegetation in spots on the AT north of Dickey Gap and across Highpoint Ridge.  About 5 miles of hiking round trip. Club loppers will be provided, or bring your own favorites. Email mtrogersatc@gmail.com if you would like to help widen the trail by cutting back the overgrowth on Sat., Oct. 8.


UPCOMING:  The ATC is planning a spruce planting project in the Whitetop Mtn. area Oct. 11-14, with volunteers meeting at Elk Garden at 9 a.m., finishing at 4 p.m. For those who want to help, follow this link to sign up:



You can sign up for one or more days on this project. The form may not let you fill in which days. The ATC has not corrected that problem yet. To register, you can put the day(s) you want to come in the only box you can write miscellaneous text in, the Experience box. 





UPCOMING:  Tue., Oct. 11:  Fun Hike:  High Country Loop in Fall colors.  This is a hard, loop hike of almost 11 miles on the AT and the Pine Mtn Trail, but we’ll probably take a few shortcuts and lose a mile or more.  Meet at Massie Gap at 8:30. Bring raingear, lunch, and plenty of water and snacks.  This is an all-day hike.  Email hike leader Carol Broderson to be included and hear about any changes mtrogersatc@gmail.com.     


Note: Hikes can be scheduled on a week by week basis rather than listed in the club’s quarterly newsletter. 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 fall Regional Partnership Committee (RPC) meeting for Virginia AT maintaining clubs will be held on Saturday October 29th, 10 AM - 5 PM, at the Mountain Gateway Community College in Clifton Forge, VA.  Gerry Davis, MRATC’s representative, encourages club members interested in ATC “big picture” items to join him at this meeting. It’s a great opportunity to interact with members of other Virginia trail clubs. The location is about 3 hours from Damascus.




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



Visit the Blue Ridge Discovery Center website for activity schedule and registration:




Anyone going hiking at McAfee Knob can avoid the overcrowded parking lot by using this shuttle service:  https://mcafeeshuttle.com/



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:



MRATC information is also posted on Facebook:  Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club (MRATC), on Twitter:  twitter.com @Mt_rogersATC, 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 2019, 2020, and 2021 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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