Recent AT Maintenance

Below is submitted maintenance activities for the last 6 weeks. Please note that trail conditions can change quickly. Or view maintenance by section.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/22/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe and Ben Barry
Summary: Ben Barry the new SORO Trail Facilities Manager joined us for the day and he hopes to continue to do so frequently. Kevin and Ben knew each other from Florida trail and PCT. We took a good shower at 10 AM but it cleared for rest of the day. We continued the rehab south of Low Gap by cribbing with logs and rocks and adding a number of log steps.

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 06/21/2017
Purpose: Summer routine maintenance
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Mike Hupko
Lana Scott
Howard Guinn
David Polon
Pat Kenney
Bruce Darby
Jeannine Edwards
Tim Shipley
Janice Miller
David Douthat
Eric Middlemas
Judy Middlemas
Rich Ritter
David Fay
Scott Thomsen
Summary: Mowed section with string trimmers and swing blades. Lopped larger woody growth and picked up trash. Large blow down was noted south of Beauty Spot Gap near old rail fence.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/21/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Jimmy Mills, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe and SAHC plus ATC: Ethan Brickwood, Hillary Reyes, Kalen Gilliam, Jennifer Lam, Khicher Mckentie, Joseph Cordova, Tamia Dame, Tevin Moore, Jeremiah Roy, Natrieifia Miller, Travis Bordley
Summary: Eight young people from Conservation Leadership Corps plus a couple of folks from SAHC joined five of TEHCC maintainers on Round Bald. Travis, the naturalist from SAHC provided us an overview of SAHC and especially the Roan Highlands. We then set about to rehab the trail above tree line to about half way to Round Bald peak. We lowered many of the high log steps either by actually lowering the logs or filling in base with gravel. We also blocked the extra trail paralleling the AT and the old AT with rocks, brush and sod. The crew worked hard and we made significant progress. Hikers were in the hundreds even though rhodos are no longer blooming.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 06/20/2017
Purpose: Weed Whacked
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick
Summary: The great weed whack of 2017 has begun. Started at northern end and worked south. Its going to take a few more trips to finish up. Saw a surprising amount of hikers going both directions today.

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 06/20/2017
Purpose: Weed Cutting
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Greg Kramer
Summary: A long bedded 4X4 truck has been driving up to the "Holiday Inn" shelter. I dug out where the right wheel pushes the truck over the berm in place to keep the trucks out. By making it a longer reached to get over the berm I hope to make it harder to get over the berm. Dug a drainage ditch on the other side to again impeded the truck getting over the berm. Placed two 25" thick rotten logs either side of the major channel draining water off the FS road that is the trail. Rocked and added dirt to secure logs and dug a long ditch from the drain ditch on the right side and over to the left side. This should take all water coming down over the hill to McQueen's Gap Road ditch. Dug one more smaller water diversion and found rocks to make step.

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 06/13/2017
Purpose: Weed Cutting
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Greg Kramer
Summary: Used a triad blade on a weed eater which worked very well for thin stems up to 1/2" branches. Cut for 4.5 hours

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 06/06/2017
Purpose: Weed Cutting
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Greg Kramer
Summary: I tried used a saw bladed weed eater blade and determined that it was not the correct blade for the cutting of fine green briar stems. Blade worked well on 3/4" diameter to 1/4 diameter brush.

Reporting: Faye Guinn
Date: 06/02/2017
Purpose: clean water bars--check trail
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Howard Guinn
Joe Morris
Faye Guinn
Summary: Howard and I were joined by a very nice man -Joe Morris--who helped us dig out the water bars and cut up a blow down at the spring. I think we are going to lose all the apple trees at the orchard. thank-you Mr. Morris. It was a beautiful day for a hike or for trail work. We were joined at lunch by a thru-hiker.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 06/17/2017
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Lowell Toof, Phyllis Cairnes, Rolla Wade, Lori Mirrer, Kim Peters
Summary: Summer is weed cutting time and for this June 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip we tackled the encroaching vegetation along this section with string trimmers, swing blades and loppers. We split into two groups with one group hiking out to the shelter and working their way back and the other starting at the Forest Service road crossing and working their way out. We finished up before the afternoon storms arrived, but unfortunately we were still 2 miles from our vehicles, so the walk back was a little on the wet side. In fact the heavy rainfall turned the trail into a river and besides giving us all wet feet, it was clear that some water diversions are needed on this section!
Many thanks to the hard working volunteers on this trip who endured heat, humidity and rain showers to get this section into good shape.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/15/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe and Brad Johnson "Compassionator"
Summary: We continued rehab of sloughing trail due to roots primarily. Greg, Kevin and Brad finished the work between Cherry Gap Shelter and Low Gap by adding some locust cribbing and some more water diversions. We also started working trail south from Low Gap. Brad was a thru hiker in 2010 and is from Oklahoma. He initiated contact with us through ATC website a couple of weeks ago since business was bringing him to Charlotte area. He plans to be back in about a year to help again. He was impressed by how hard we work and what a difference we make to the trail tread way. It was a hot day even in these higher mountains.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 06/09/2017
Purpose: Section Maintenance and Environmental Monitoring
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Dan Firth
Summary: Removed two blowdowns including one that required hikers to duck under. Monitored one rare plant location and collected phenology observations on several monitoring locations.

Reporting: Terry Oldfield
Date: 06/10/2017
Purpose: Shelter Maintenance
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Sue Scott, Terry Oldfield
Summary: We hiked to Double Springs Shelter from TN 91, clipping a few branches and greenbriar that were encroaching on the trail. We picked up a small amount of trash at the shelter, shoveled out the fire ring, and left a new log book. The spring is running well. The trail is in great shape; clear, with no blowdowns, from TN 91 to the shelter. We met many hikers on the trail.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 06/10/2017
Purpose: Blowdown clearing and shelter register replacement
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Gene Thune and Joe DeLoach
Summary: We cut two blowdowns along the A. T. near Toll House Gap and a larger one on the blue-blazed trail to the shelter. Also replaced the full shelter register, after one we left in April disappeared. I have never seen so many people in Carvers Gap, still a week away from the Rhododendron Festivals though the bloom was at its peak at Carvers Gap and Round Bald. The mountain top areas in contrast were nowhere close to being full. Making the Trail out of Carvers Gap so much easier, possibly coupled with the short season and user fees at the top of the mountain, has greatly changed the recreational use patterns on Roan Mountain.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 06/09/2017
Purpose: Cut down a blow down
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: We started hiking the Hampton Blue Line when we encountered a midsize tree 20 feet from the gate, totally blocking the trail. Retrieving our tools from the car, we started cutting branches so hikers could hike over the tree. As we found out a little too late, the tree had poison ivy growing on it and Becky has since developed poison ivy on her arms and legs. Whomever comes to cut and move this tree needs to take the necessary precautions so they don't end up in the same predicament. We hiked a short distance on the A.T. and the Blue Line Loop cutting back weeds, thorns, the rhododendrons.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 06/10/2017
Purpose: Remove Blowdowns
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Carl Fritz
Summary: Removed approximately 9 blowdowns.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 06/09/2017
Purpose: Remove blowdown and inpsect trail section
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Adam Baird
Dean Baird
Jennifer Baird
Summary: Removed blowdown with large amount of poison ivy near trailhead. Picked up trash and placed 2 rocks on trail section near creek where heavy rock cribbing is located. Most campsites were noted to be quite clean.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 06/09/2017
Purpose: Inspect and maintain trail section
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Adam Baird
Jennifer Baird
Summary: Purpose was to inspect trail but a blowdown with large amount of poison ivy blocked trail approximately 50 feet from trailhead. Picked up a large bag of trash in the trailhead parking lot.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/09/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Waylon Jenkins, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart
Summary: On a beautiful day we continued the rehab of sloughing trail by installing locust side logs and back filling. We probably only saw six hikers today which are the fewest in months. And many of them were south bound.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/07/2017
Purpose: mow Grass
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and Weedeat as needed. Picked up trash and removed. Checked water source and it was running good. Checked the shelter and it was in good shape .

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/07/2017
Purpose: Mow Grass
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and Weed eat the trail as needed

Reporting: Joe Morris
Date: 06/07/2017
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Joe Morris
Robin Dean
Summary: Routine maintenance cutting abundant weeds and removed 3 small blowdowns. Encountered 11 thru-hikers on a perfect day to be on the trail.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 06/04/2017
Purpose: Shelter and trail inspection and routine maintenance
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Craig DeLoach and Joe DeLoach
Summary: There have been reports that the Roan High Knob Shelter roof is leaking, so we checked it out while inspecting two other potential projects, We found no large holes in the metal roof. One section where there is not much overlap between the metal sheets could leak during a rain from the south, and a nearby section of the upper floor looked to have water stains. A number of nails in the back of the shelter missed the boards and it would help to caulk them. The shelter register revealed no complaints about the roof leaking going back to April 18 though. Even though we'd left a new register in April with the one there only half full, the one register in the shelter is full. Picked up a small amount of trash, looked like Roan Naturalist Jess Schaney had been there this weekend. It would be feasible to improve the side trail to the shelter with around 12 log steps near the bottom, a few more further up, and a rock step at one location. A concern was raised earlier this year about hikers walking into rare plants near the shelter. It is not clear from the reports, and yesterday's inspection, where this impact is occurring. Whacked back a few briars, which aren't bad yet, before a thunderstorm chased us off. Will go back soon with a new shelter register and a chainsaw to cut two easily navigated blowdowns.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 06/03/2017
Purpose: Cleaning Water Bars & Cutting Briars
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Steve Wilson
Summary: I cleared water bars and cut briars on my adopted section. This section is clear.

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 05/31/2017
Purpose: remove blowdowns & cut weeds
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Richard Carter, Carl Fritz
Summary: We removed one large blow down requiring chain saw removal & one smaller partially blown down tree that was a hanging over-trail hazard.
We scattered a fire ring , and cut a copious amount of weeds with swing blades. It was a sunny day with perfect temperature and a few rhododendron starting to bloom.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/01/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Daryel Anderson, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Eric Middlemas, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: Eric cut weeds from Low Gap to Cherry Gap. We cleaned many water diversions and cut some blowdowns. Mostly, we rehabbed sloughing sections by redigging, cribbing with rocks or logs and adding a few steps. Actually, trail is looking good. Probably there is one more day of work in this particular area.

Reporting: Bill Fuller
Date: 05/26/2017
Purpose: Check Shelter
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bill Fuller
Summary: I hiked down to the shelter from my cabin via the High Water Trail. I cleaned out the fire pit, picked up some trash, checked the log book and the water source. The stream behind the shelter is flowing great, of course, after all the rain. I had to point a couple of day-hikers back in the right direction, who were searching for Laurel Falls. The sign that used to be at the A.T./blue-blaze junction is no longer there and it seems some (maybe inexperienced) hikers are missing the trail down to the falls there.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 05/27/2017
Purpose: Scout for rehab entry points
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Jim Foster
Summary: I scouted for the best entry points to do trail rehab on this section. I also cleared a couple of blowdowns. There are about 6 blowdowns (all stopovers) both trail north and south of the Shelter. Chainsaw required.

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 05/26/2017
Purpose: check section & cut weeds
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Richard Carter
Summary: I walked & checked the section, suspecting blowdowns from recent windy weather. There are 2 quite large blowdowns, approx. 20-22 inches dia., one about a quarter mile north of Grassy Ridge trail junction , the other about a half mile south of Stan Murray shelter . There is another smaller blowdown about a mile south of the shelter. In addition to all those, I cut & removed one four inch blowdown. There is also a "hung" blowdown/hazard about a mile south of the shelter. Weeds are already copious, & I cut them from the first 2/3 mile south of the shelter. I replaced the shelter register. There were many hikers out.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 05/26/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart
Summary: We encountered something like 35 hikers. The hikers probably got stacked up with the recent rains. A couple of them stopped to tell us that our trail condition was generally the best they had seen.
And one of those was from New England.

We mostly worked on wet areas by adding a long turnpike or rock steps. Mountaineer Falls was flowing heavily and hikers were having to wade the stream but additional rock steps were added. We removed some minor blowdowns and about a 14" poplar with hand saws.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 05/18/2017
Purpose: A.T. Cooperative Management Call
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Regular sharing of news and forum for discussion between ATC, APPA, and the trail-maintaining clubs. Wendy Janssen and Ron Tipton fielded most of the topics. There were a few takeaways I would like to relay to TEHCC. 1) While comments can still be registered regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline (Virginia), we're waiting on direction from ATC on next phase for the review process. 2) With announcement of Ron's retirement at the end of 2017, he outlined the approach being taken by ATC to hire a search firm with experience in outdoor non-profits and gain input by stakeholders. 3) GIS reports from the Trail Assessment will not be available to the clubs until 3Q2018, thus recommend TEHCC take no further action until then to ensure the update method is first fully functional.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/24/2017
Purpose: Mow Grass
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the grass and weed eat the trails at overmountain Shelter as needed. Removed trash from Firepit and shelter.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 05/24/2017
Purpose: Ash Survey Training
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Dan Firth, Bill Tindall
Summary: In preparation for the search for ash stands suitable for treatment in the effort to thwart the emerald ash borer along Tennessee sections of the AT, Bill Tindall and Dan Firth met with Matt Drury (ATC) for training on identifying and surveying ash stands. As opportunity allows sections of the AT will be surveyed to identify and quantify ash stands. Information from these surveys will be used to seek funding for treatment next year. Information available indicates that there are may be significant stands on Iron Mountain. Few hikers out, but shuttled one thru hiker to John's Hostel before severe weather struck.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 05/18/2017
Purpose: Roan Naturalist orientation and maintenance
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Jessica (Jess) Schaner is the Roan Naturalist for 2017, the fifth year this program has been in existence. Along with SAHC Roan Stewardship Director Marquette Crockett, Matt Drury from ATC, and Lynn DiFiore from the Forest Service, we conducted field orientation for Jess between Carvers Gap and the Grassy Ridge trail junction, describing policies and issues she is likely to encounter. Two of those are trash and fire rings, and we picked up trash and dismantled several fire rings. I went on to Grassy Ridge and clipped the trail leading to it. The signpost at the junction was almost all the way out of the ground, I reset it. Also, the sign which mysteriously appeared at Jane Bald several years ago was mostly out of the ground and turned, and the sign board was cracked in half. I reset that post. Since neither TEHCC nor the USFS installed that sign, whether to fix and keep it or remove it should be considered. The high steps on Round Bald continue to encourage people to walk off the Trail.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/19/2017
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Steve Tipton
Summary: Finished cutting weeds. Cut out one blow down & obliterated the new trail around it. Removed a small amount of trash from Stan Murray shelter. Saw only a few hikers out, possibly due to the significant thunderstorms that passed through!

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 05/18/2017
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Pat Loven
Dennis Dugan
Summary: Drove to top of White Rock Mountain and performed routine maintenance on southern portion of this section. Clipped usual rhododendron and saw briers. Also used hand saw to remove overhanging branches and one leaner tree section that had planted itself in the middle of the trail.
Ten hikers came through and all were grateful for our work. One spoke of his encounter with Kevin's work crew on Wednesday and was very impressed with their tree removal skills. Overall, a good day.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 05/18/2017
Purpose: Scout trail
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Kim Peters
Summary: After the reported high winds in the Shady Valley area last week, I thought it might be a good idea to check the trail condition. Surprisingly, I saw no evidence of high winds in the area, so thankfully, that must have been on another ridge.
I cleared a few small blowdowns, dispersed a few fire rings, cut back a few encroaching branches and cleaned out waterbars. This section of trail is in good shape for a while. The weeds will need to be cut in a few weeks though.
At the shelter I picked up a surprisingly small amount of trash, just one small bag, and placed a new log book.
Someone has repaired at least part of the Grindstaff Monument. The engraved stone has been put back into place with what looks like epoxy grout. However the rest of the monument is still crumbling so not sure if this is any kind of a fix.
Saw more hikers than I could count, most heading to Damascus for Trail Days. I was thanked a lot for my efforts today.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 05/17/2017
Purpose: Take care of blow down
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Carl Fritz, Richard Lott, Bob Peoples, George Thorpe, Gloria Sedgwick, Kevin Sedgwick.
Summary: Gathered reinforcements to tackle large split tree blow down. Lott and Sedgwick started last week. Used all tools on this one. Used pole saw to remove overhead branches. Using come- a- long, straps and lines to secure large branches as many cuts were required. Carl and Richard carved up tree. Warm day to be out. Thru hikers still passing thru.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 05/16/2017
Purpose: Invasive Species Survey and Rare Plant Monitoring
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Dan Firth
Summary: Multiflora rose is an invasive common along the trail and occurring in several locations along the section. Surveyed these occurrences determining area covered. Monitored a Tennessee threatened species found along the section.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 05/16/2017
Purpose: Cut blowdowns
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Carl Fritz, Jim Foster
Summary: Carl cut 6 blowdowns and 1 dead standing tree. We also repaired the spring box that had been uncovered by someone. It was a great day and Carl did a great job with the chainsaw. We saw 20+ hikers including two we had to step over sleeping at Greasy Creek Gap.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/16/2017
Purpose: Mow Grass
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weed eat the Trail across the Osborne Farm. Prisoners are working on the fences. The fence building that has been completed looks great. The fence has been completed and the fence row has been cleared between the gate and HY 91 has been completed on both sides of the road.