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”
Are you interested in exploring nature and helping out a good cause? ATC is seeking volunteers for their Phenology program. If you’re like me, the quote below should resolve your current question.
What is Phenology?
The term Phenology is derived from the Greek work “phaino”, meaning to show or appear. Phenology is the study of the reoccurring life cycle stages of plants and animals; such as bud break, leaf-out, hibernation, bird migrations an insect emergence. Phenology also includes the study of how the timing of these events relate to biotic and abiotic forces, such as weather and climate.
Read more about it at ATC’s website or download their brochure.
The 5th and FINAL sale of chunks of Rocky Fork from The Conservation Fund to the Cherokee NF was completed on September 27, 2012. This concludes transfer of Rocky Fork into public ownership, a goal sought by ATC since at least 1983. To top off that excitement, on Oct. 30 TN Gov. Bill Haslam and US Sen. Lamar Alexander announced that the 2036 acre TN-owned portion of Rocky Fork will become Rocky Fork State Park! Funds for this project came from a TN Heritage Conservation Trust Fund grant (obtained by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy), federal Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations, and generous donations from private donors and foundations, notably Fred & Alice Stanback, the Lyndhurst Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (through Walmart’s 2012 Acres for America program), the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Conservation Alliance. The Conservation Fund bought and held the property pending public purchase. Look for an upcoming article in ATJourneys for more details.
Plans have been underway for over a year for the biennial celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013. It will be held at Western Carolina University (WCU) July 19-26, 2013, in Cullowhee N.C. The five AT trail maintaining clubs in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have been working on all aspects of this event. TEHCC is responsible for organizing the workshops while other clubs are handling volunteers, hike selection, excursions, entertainment, housing, etc. We expect near 1000 people to attend this week long event. Continue reading
Contact: Debbie Briscoe
I will be camping in Hot Springs the whole weekend so anyone is welcome to join me. I’ll be running the river with some friends on Saturday, Sept. 15th meeting at Stack House at 11:00AM. This is a little harder than the Lower Nolichucky but the water is warm. The most significant rapid is The Big Pillow that is a low Class III.
The Town of Abingdon joins the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club in cordially inviting you to participate in the official designation of Abingdon as an Appalachian Trail Community™. This event will take place in Abingdon, VA on September 11th at 6pm at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market. Come out early to the Higher Education Center for a “Hikers and Bikers” presentation and hear from ATC’s Executive Director, Mark Wenger, about his Appalachian Trail section hike. The presentation begins at 4pm. We’d love to celebrate with you and hope to see you on Tuesday, September 11th!
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program recognizes communities who are taking extra steps to promote and protect the Appalachian Trail. Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community™ is intended to:
- Engage community residents, Trail visitors, and stewards
- Thank communities for decades of service to hikers
- Catalyze sustainable economic development
- Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
- Raise local awareness of the Trail as a community resource and asset
Please RSVP by September 1, 2012 to Tenille Montgomery (email@example.com) 276-676-2282.