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Current Week's Information

Page history last edited by trailsamkm@aol.com 10 minutes ago



MRATC Activities and Information, Week of Jan. 16-22, 2022





Regular group trail work is not scheduled in Dec., Jan., and Feb. unless an issue comes up that needs to be addressed. Report trail issues to mratcinfo@gmail.com




Two bridges are scheduled for replacement on MRATC’s trail section: Fox Creek (Rte. 603) and Comers Creek (near Rte. 741). The USFS engineering staff are busy with many projects and could use some help. If any club volunteers are current or retired professional engineers and might be interested, see the attached notice from Josh Kloehn or contact him directly at: jkloehn@appalachiantrail.org or cell, 405-860-8371. The PE volunteer posting can be found here




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).



There is a proposal to extend the county water line along part of the Creeper Trail near the creek to reach Taylors Valley.

There would be no impact on the nearby AT, but there could be environmental impacts.

You are invited to send in responses to the project proposal:





The Damascus Trail Center is entering into the next phase of exhibits. This phase will focus on the main exhibit hall surrounding the Mount Rogers High Country Relief Map.  The themes for this space include The National Trails Act and example of each trail system near Damascus:  1. The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. 2. The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail. 3. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the welcome entrance exhibit.

Each exhibit will have the common theme of being place based and will highlight inspiring stories, include high resolution photos, and history related to the development and use of these trails. As we enter this next phase, we need the Club's help. It would be great to track down inspiring stories on MRATC founding members, trailblazers in SWVA, and high resolution photos. If you have access to these stories, history, or high resolution photos, please contact Emily Mayo at emayo@appalachiantrail.org.



BEAR WARNING, South of Damascus: Due to reported aggressive bear activity and evidence of bear(s) entering campsites and taking food, the area around the Appalachian Trail between the Double Springs Shelter and the Backbone Rock side trail (mile marker 451 to approximately mile marker 464 is closed to camping until further notice.


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 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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