Laurel Fork Shelter – Reopened for use

Carl Fritz is reporting that along with a small crew of maintainers they were able to clear the trees from the shelter. The shelter sustained some cosmetic damage but it remains functional. The back roof overhang sustained some damage but has not affected the functionality of the shelter. The trees were laying across the roof. They cut the tops off trees then were able to pull the 16 inch maple with a 20 foot stump on a root ball upright with a rope and come along. Then they felled the 20 foot stump with a crosscut saw. They were also able to clear blowdowns on the high water trail in the Laurel Fork Gorge as well.

Laurel Fork Shelter – Still closed to use

UPDATE: Laurel Fork Shelter continues to be temporarily closed because of the July 8th high wind storm.  While the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) removed the hazard tree in front of the shelter, there are two oak trees and a large locust tree still laying on roof.  The major concern is a , which will require an expert sawyer from USFS to remove.

Closure signs have been posted at the shelter trail junctions. Please do not plan to visit or even stay in its vicinity until the storm damage has been safely cleared.

August 19, 2016 photo:








July 17, 2016 photo:Laurel Fork Shelter - July 2016 Storm Damage

Norovirus (Stomach Bug) Information – 2016

July Update:  Reports have been received of half dozen hikers being ill with source possible in the area around Nolichucky River, Curley Maple Gap Shelter, and Cherry Gap Shelter with the results showing in the Roans.  Don’t lay food directly on open surfaces – and follow proper sanitation to avoid adding to this number!

Prevent outbreaks of norovirus (or even passing around a stomach bug) at campsites/shelters along the Appalachian Trail. Proper hygiene — especially hand washing with soap and water — is key to preventing the spread of the disease. (Hand sanitizers may not be effective against norovirus; however, vigorous rubbing of applied sanitizer has been reported to improve performance.) Also, be aware that most water filters do not filter viruses.

Please be informed! Read the following information carefully.
Prevent Norovirus 2015

7/23 Hike from Hughes Gap to the Barn Shelter

HCCSNA_Overmountain_Barn_From_ATThis is the continuation of the “Hike the TEHCC A.T.” series. We made it to Hughes Gap last month. Now it’s time to hike the balds! If you’ve wanted to hike large sections of the A.T. but avoid the in-and-out, here’s your chance. We’ll need roughly half to help participate in shuttling. This leg will be from Hughes Gap to the Barn Shelter. We’ll take the Overmountain Victory Trail for trail access. Contact for details. Past and future hikes are being detailed at Hike Plans:2016 TEHCC AT

2016 Roan Mtn Bloom Watch

Report from Eric Rayfield (Roan Ridgerunner) is…
Flame azaleas might be ready in about a week.
Couple of weeks away for the rhododendrons.

There’s lots of good looking buds!

Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival is Saturday-Sunday June 18-19, 2016.

Update – June 20th. Peak did occur during last weekend’s festival, but probably good to enjoy until the next major storm knocks off the blooms.

May Newsletter is Published

The May edition of the TEHCC newsletter is now available.

If you don’t read this month’s newsletter, you’ll miss out on a lot of good information!

  • Spring dinner wrap up
  • Honoring the many contributions of Ted Mowery with the Stan Murray Award
  • The revival of TEHCC Lending Library
  • The continuation of the “hike the TEHCC AT section” series
  • A well-stocked event calendar
  • …and more!

May 2016 TEHCC Newsletter

Bear activity at Watauga Lake Shelter causes new Closure Order

April 2016: Two nights of bear encounters have been recently reported at the Watauga Lake Shelter. The bears were seeking food, thus destroyed a pair of tents, able to shake a bag off the bear pole, and climbed trees for hanged bags.

The US Forest Service has reinstated a Closure Order similar to the previous one which now covers Oliver Hollow Rd./Hwy 321 to Wilbur Dam Rd. – approximately four miles of the Appalachian Trail along the west side of Watauga Lake. No picnicking, lingering, or overnight camping. Hiking, only, allowed on the named four mile Appalachian Trail section. BEARS ACTIVE IN THIS AREA. Help us protect you and the bears. Please hike through the area without stopping. Closure Order: April 15, 2016- Until Further notice.

For TEHCC members, the best recommendation is to avoid this “Oliver Hollow” area and enjoy another section of the Appalachian Trail. For thru-hikers, the word is being gotten out so that they can properly plan their distances. The temporary campsite located south of Hwy 321 above Shook Branch is available for use.

From the Chair – April 2016

By William Werner

For fair-weather hikers like me, April marks the beginning of hiking season. I’m excited to get back out on the trails, and we have a great lineup of hikes this month. I’d also like to bring to your attention two important non-hiking events in April. The first is our annual rental equipment inspection on April 20th. The club maintains a broad selection of hiking and camping equipment for rent, and each year we need volunteers to examine the items to evaluate their condition. Helping out with this process is a great way to get to know what equipment is available, and it’s just plain fun to set up tents in the middle of the B-310 lobby. Volunteers are rewarded with a light lunch of pizza and snacks, so I highly recommend you come out. The inspection is from 11:00 to 1:00 in Room 221 of the Eastman Employee Center (B-310). Contact our Rental Equipment Coordinator, Terry Dougherty, at 502-5177 and let him know if you can make it. The second event is our Spring Dinner Meeting, scheduled for the night of Friday, April 22. We have an excellent speaker this year in Danny Bernstein, an Asheville author who will present stories and photos from her visits to each of the National Parks in the Southeast. We also have some copies of her book to give out as door prizes; so be sure to attend!

Rental Equipment Checkout, April 20,11:00 am –1:00 pm

Rental Equipment Checkout, April 20,11:00 am –1:00 pm Contact: Terry Dougherty, or better yet show up. Location: Eastman Employee Center, Rm. 221 and Lobby It’s time to ensure the Club’s rental gear is ready for another year. We will evaluate all the equipment and propose necessary repairs or replacements. A light lunch of pizza, veggie tray, cookies, soft drinks and bottled water will be provided. This is a great opportunity to become familiar with available rental equipment. Come and go as your time permits. Many hands make light work. Please help if you can. Contact: Terry Dougherty, 502-5177