Bear Activity along TEHCC Section

Three reports have been recently received of bear activity along the TEHCC section.  On June 13th, hikers were disturbed by a bear at Low Gap on Unaka Mountain who would not leave their campsite.  Next day (June 14th), a juvenile bear was encountered around Cherry Gap Shelter, who again did not want to leave.  The leader used bear spray in an attempt to negatively reinforce the bear, which returned that evening to take a pack.  The pack did not contain food, which was properly hung.  On June 15th, a third report was made for three miles south of the Mountaineer Falls Shelter.  Along the trail it was apparent there was a lot of bear activity.  Necessary precautions to limit risk of encountering a bear were taken including hanging bear bags 50 feet or more from the campsite.

ATC and USFS have been notified or provided information on all of these incidents.  Warning signs were posted on Monday at trailheads and in the shelter at Cherry Gap.  Camping at Low Gap or Cherry Gap Shelter is presently not recommended.

2015 ATC Biennial – Winchester, Virginia

Hiking Through History
July 17 – 24, 2015

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Biennial Conference is being co-hosted by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM).  Sited at Shenandoah University located in Winchester, Virginia, which is near hundreds of miles of outstanding hiking trails, including a short 18 minute drive to the Appalachian Trail at its closest point. The University is also close to important civil war battlefields such as Manassas, Gettysburg and Antietam, and 90 minutes from Washington D.C.

Workshops will be held during the day on Saturday, July 18th through Monday, July 20th. Coordinated hikes will be offered between Saturday, July 18th through Thursday, July 23rd.  In addition to amazing scenic areas, there will be nature, history, and  photography theme hikes, plus sunset outings. Many of the hikes include a swim, and/or a stop at an ice cream shop, restaurant, winery, or brewery. Family hiking specialists have designed hikes suitable for most families that are five miles or less plus hikes suitable for most children eight years and older that are nine miles or less.

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