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Current Week's Information

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

MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Oct. 25 – Oct. 31, 2020




No trail work is scheduled for this week. We’re taking a Halloween break after the spooky large blowdown from last week. 


CLUB SAWYERS:  Since sawyer certification classes have not been offered this year due to COVID and may not be offered in the spring, there has been a second extension of current sawyer certifications until the end of September, 2021. Note:  First Aid/CPR must be current. Bristol Red Cross and some other locations offer part online and part live First Aid/CPR. https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class



COVID keeps us from carpooling and from planning regular club group hikes, but 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).


Friday group hikes.Contact Judith Foster 276 623 2408, jaf@centurylink.net for information. Also contact her if you would like to be dropped from her weekly hike email list.


Off-road vehicles on Whitetop Mtn. The ATC and MRNRA have reports of off-road vehicle activity on Whitetop Mtn. If you are hiking there and see such activity, report the day and time you saw it to the MRNRA during business hours:  276-783-5196.


Grayson Highlands St. Park and adjacent area map (Avenza maps app) free download available:  https://www.avenzamaps.com/maps/1204147/grayson-highlands-state-park.


Muzzle loader season begins Oct. 31. Wear blaze orange on the trails!


Dredging and repairs (using large equipment) on the Iron Mtn. Trail just north of Damascus from E. Fourth St. started 10/8 and will continue through the first week in November.


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.


Trail Center update: Siding and decking are in progress. Completion date for the building is late October/early November. Landscaping and work on the outbuilding will be completed later. The Center will have 3 exhibit rooms and 1 office room. Applications for the position of Trail Center Supervisor have been reviewed by the ATC and come from many people of varied experience. Later, a position of Visitor Services Specialist will open up.


Request for photos of Wilderness Areas:

Matt Helt, Dispersed Rec Program Mgr for the GWJ, is looking for photos for VA – USFS-GWJ Wildernesses for wilderness.net.

For all submissions to Matt please be sure to include the photographers full name, Wilderness area, and description for each photo. Also include written permission for these photos to be used by USFS/Wilderness.net.

Any photos or questions can be directed to Matt Helt - matthew.helt@usda.gov


ATC’s The Register – latest issue 



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 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. 


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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