October 2017: The A.T. section between US321 (NB Mile 427) and Wilbur Dam Road (NB Mile 431.4), including Watauga Lake Shelter, is still closed to camping due to bear activity. A temporary campsite (no water) has been set up at coordinates N36.29847, W82.12701 (NB Mile 426.5) just outside the Pond Mountain Wilderness. Also nearby is Boots Off Hostel along Bear Branch Road on the south side of the closed section. Vandeventer Shelter is open to the north of the restricted section.
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.
The July newsletter has been released. If you don’t check it out, you’ll be missing out on a lot of good information!
- The addition of new trekking poles to rent
- News of SAHC purchasing 324 acres to protect the northern slopes of Hump Mountain
- Introduction of two new staff of the ATC SORO
The 2017 June newsletter has been released. If you don’t read it, you’ll be missing out on a lot of good information.
- TEHCC receives the 2017 Pinnacle Volunteer Award
- ATC SORO Hires new Trail Facilities Managers
- Usage of L. L. Bean grant for purchase of saws
- …And more!
The water level on Watauga lake as receded and the A.T. along the lake has been reopened.
Reservations required for the meal and can be made using this form.
|Spring Dinner Meeting
April 7th, 2017
Main Banquet Hall
404 Bays Mountain Road, Kingsport, TN
|Happy “Trails” Hour
||Beer and wine for sale, or BYOB
Barberitos taco and fajita bars plus tea, coffee and desserts
||Barberitos will be providing a fajita and taco bar including hard and soft shells, chips, salsa, and more with other items purchased separately by the club. ($8 per person)
||– Update of club activities
|Special Program: An Overview of Hiking, Paddling, and Camping in the Tri-Cities
We have a water conditions report from an area hiker. This was in early November. Hopefully this will improve with the rain in the forecast this week.
Iron Mountain Gap to TN 19E Water Report. I hiked with a good group of people over this section on November 11-13, 2016.
Here is a report on water based on listings in the AWOL guide (going north):
- Campsite 1.3 North of Iron Mountain Gap: Did not check due to being .1 off the trail
- Greasy Creek Gap: Did not check due to being .2 off the trail
- Clyde Smith Shelter: Had lunch here and took the time to walk down to check out the water source. No water available. Ground was not even damp.
- Water .4 North of Hughes Gap: Damp ground by no water
- Ash Gap: Very low flow of water. We had to build a dam and clear a path for the water. One of the crew used a piece of PVC to try and get the top water, but it was still sludge. Between engineering, low flow, filtering through a bandana, and then through a Sawyer, it took us almost two hours to get six clean liters of water. If it had not been at dusk and we were not tired, we would have moved on. I would not count on the water here.
- Roan High Knob Shelter: Slow steady flow with good pool to dip from.
- Footbridges/Streams south of Carvers Gap: Low flow. Would need to dig or find a hole to dip from.
Springs .2 North of Grassy Ridge Bald: Good flow running right across the trail. One was piped and the other could easily be dipped from.
- Stan Murray Shelter: Did not check due to earlier reports of being dry and frequently dry.
- Overmountain Shelter: Good flow
- Doll Flats: Very low flow. Took almost five minutes to get 1.5 liters. There was good flow coming from a spring running across the trail about .5 south of Doll Flats.
- Doll Flats to 19E: The next water we saw was the stream that was alongside 19E and that ran about .5 south of 19E.
The November Newsletter has been released. We have a lot of good information in this month’s newsletter. We discuss the reopening of the Laurel Fork Shelter, club member Bill Murdoch completing his hike of the A.T., club records of reaching 200,000 volunteer hours, and lots more! Read it here!
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.
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