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Bear activities closure update

US 321 to Wilbur Dam Rd. (approx. 4 miles) – All activities except hiking along the Appalachian Trail are prohibited due to recent bear activity.

Hikers are asked to walk through the area without stopping. Preparation or consumption of food, lingering, and camping are prohibited in the area known locally as “Oliver Hollow” by a U.S. Forest Service closure order.

The Watauga Lake Shelter in this stretch is also closed. Even though a “closure order” has been issued to restrict usage of the area, the A.T. is not closed to hiking. These orders are in effect for an 18-month period from June 3, 2014 until December 1, 2015. The official U.S. Forest Service poster can be found here. (June 17, 2014)

On some signs the Forest Service is now using definition of closure area as “Shook Branch Rec area/Oliver Hollow Rd. to Wilbur Dam including Watauga Lake Shelter- Closed”

13th Annual Nolichucky River Cleanup & Celebration, June 21st

apes

APE’s are hosting their 13th annual event on Saturday, June 21st, 2014.  Meet at U.S.A. Raft, 2 Jones Branch Rd, Erwin, TN starting at 11AM.  Participants will be assigned to teams plus provided with maps, trash bags and gloves. There are clean-up opportunities for both those with their own boats or rafts – and shore crews.  Be prepared with appropriate footwear, sunscreen, bug repellant, etc. Rafts, pickup trucks, and trailers will be helpful and much appreciated. Consider bringing a packed lunch, boating equipment, rain gear, chairs, family, and friends.  Showers and restrooms are available at the campground.  For cleanup participants, a free BBQ dinner from Texas Roadhouse of Johnson City will be served at 6PM with live music by the Chaz Spence Trio and prize drawings.  Bring a lawn chair, kick back with a cold tasty beverage, and know that you did something good for the river we all enjoy so much!

Event Contact: Debbie Briscoe (423)-534-3636     ldcakes@hotmail.com

Event website: http://regions.​worldkayak.com/​tri-cities/2014​/05/14/nolichuc​ky-river-cleanu​p-and-celebrati​on/

Oliver Hollow Use Restriction Due to Bear Activity

The National Forest Service lands are closed to most recreation from north of Shook Branch to a half mile north of Wilbur Dam Rd.  Bears are active in this area.  Individuals are only permitted to hike through this area.  Please continue hiking through this area without stopping.  Watauga Lake Shelter is closed.  No preparation or consumption of food or overnight stays allowed.  This closure is effective until December 1, 2015.

Oliver Hollow bear closure map

Swiftwater Rescue Course – June 27-29, 2014

Whitewater enthusiasts participate in hazardous activities in wilderness environments. Are you prepared to rescue yourself or your best paddling friend?  Are they prepared to rescue you?  Help in many cases may not be immediately available, and might be hours, not minutes away. Sign up and bring your favorite paddling crew to this clinic. It’s like buying yourself, and them, the safety line that may save your lives.

See the announcement for the details.  Cost for TEHCC members is $85.

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Beginner Whitewater Kayak Course – June 14-15

If you’ve ever thought how much fun it would be to learn how to kayak now’s your chance!! The Beginner Whitewater Kayak Course, sponsored by the Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) and the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, will be held June 14-15 in the Tri-Cities area. The clinic is designed for anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of whitewater kayaking—fundamentals that will ensure a fun and safe time on the river. No previous experience is necessary. Instruction will consist of one day on flat water and one day on the river. As in the past, there will continue to be a strong emphasis on safety. Participants will be responsible for providing their own gear and transportation, although loaner gear is available on a first come basis.

Registration now open – link.  Deadline is June 7th.

F/B Hike: Little Stony Creek Falls, Sunday May 25

Leader: Bill Tindall (423-357-4850)

Rating: Moderate 5 mile round trip hike up and back along a cascading stream

Experience two picturesque waterfalls hidden in a forested gorge. The narrow trail follows the cascading stream with bridges provided for all crossings. Frequent stops expected to enjoy the beauty. Bring a towel to dry your feet, if you plan on briefly wading at the upper falls.

Departure time from Colonial Heights is 1pm Sunday. William Werner will swing by McDonalds/Ingle​s location to check if anyone is there. Otherwise, Food City in Weber City is the second rendezvous point to leave at 1:30pm to the trailhead near Dungannon, VA.

For further information, check the trail wiki or call/e-mail the hike leader.