• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


The Blaze

Page history last edited by Pat Hensley 1 day, 4 hours ago


Newsletter of the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club 

Fall 2023


Summer 2023


We had several good hikes during the last few months, but also cancelled or changed some due to summer busyness and hike leader injury. Heidi Dixon White led several of us on a 4 mile hike on the Creeper Trail and the AT to celebrate National Trails Day in early June. On National Get Outdoors Day Mike Pivirotto led us from Fox Creek up Pine Mtn on the AT for incredible views, and this was our hike with the most participants (8). Two folks joined Anne Maio for a Shady Valley hike from Cross Mtn to Low Gap on the AT later in June. In July, Mike led us on another hike to Gentry Creek Falls with a total of 30 creek crossings round trip, by far the wettest hike we had for the 4 folks participating, but worth it for the coolness and lovely falls. No recreational hikes were held in August, but we have 2 scheduled in September, on the Brumley Trail and to Laurel Falls. Many of us did lead AT Vista hikes for the folks who came to the conference in Johnson City in early August. Also, we were lucky enough to have lots of work done on our trail section by the Konnarock Crew this summer, and on August 3rd we helped them celebrate by bringing food and joining their closing potluck at the Sugar Grove Forest Service work center.


Gentry Creek Falls



Pine Mountain



It’s been a rainy summer on the trail as reflected in the aggressive growth of brush, more aggressive than has been seen in several years. Our monitors have been actively scouting for areas requiring intervention, but if you find yourself on our section of trail and come across a particularly overgrown area please let us know via e-mail at mratcinfo@gmail.com.  The more detail the better in terms of the location. For users of the app FarOut, trail mileage from that app would be ideal. In early August the club stained Thomas Knob shelter to both protect the siding and cover up a good deal of unsightly graffiti that had accumulated. The color selected is a shade of very dark brown, in the hope that it might discourage future “artists”. Our next target will be Wise Shelter.



 Wise Shelter    



The season for monitoring rare plants is drawing to a close. On our last expedition of August 26, we found and monitored the one site for long stalk holly in the Mt. Rogers section. Jim Warden showed us how to use a GPS spreadsheet to pinpoint the location. Another Fall bloomer that we will monitor in September is Roan Mountain rattlesnake root. This season we have turned in 21 rare plant reports and 3 phenology reports.  Unfortunately, despite all our efforts to stop it, VDOT has once again mowed down all the rare plants that border the parking area at Elk Garden. One problem is that area is near the border of two counties and, no doubt, not all of the mowers have heard about the prohibition, even though the ATC and the Forest Service have talked to VDOT about this issue. The Forest Service does now have the funding to extend the parking lot into the field adjoining the area, so hopefully that will help the situation.  A special thanks goes out to Felicia Mitchell for taking on the difficult task of reorganizing all the years of rare plant reports on Dropbox and also for her photographic work for Natural Resources and her diligent monitoring of great Indian plantain in the mowing zone. And thanks to Anne, Sharon, Jim, Marywood, Mike, and Jennie for helping with reports. If you have an interest in plants and would like to learn about monitoring, I’ll be happy to go out with you any time.  Carol Broderson, Natural Resources 


Dedicated Rare Plant Monitors



 The Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club currently has 196 members. This includes individual, family, and public relations members. There have been 7 new members since the end of May. Five of these memberships were received online. While we don’t have specific information on how folks found out about us, from conversations it seems that most of them found out online or because they knew and perhaps hiked with folks who are members. So far, new members have participated in trail work, or one of our recent trail work workshops, or hiked with us on a recreational or rare plant hike. One person has become a regular volunteer for trail work. So it seems that online information at our website or the ATC’s or perhaps social media and word of mouth reach the most interested folks.


In all seasons…


Konnarock Crew Camp 2018



A new planter box has been installed at the Trail Center in fond memory of Randy Goodman. 


Return to Main Page


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.