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: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 06/27/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Brian Schloff
Summary: Used a swingblade to re-cut annual growth along trail, removed a minimal amount of trash from Stan Murray (including a pair of slippers), removed a moderate amount of trash from the barn (including a raft). Springs are still running well. Ran into numerous trail runners & day hikers out for the day. With highs in the 50's a good day to be outside!

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 06/29/2015
Purpose: Summer Maintenance
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Judy Middlemas, Eric Middlemas, Wayne Jones, Susan Peters, Bruce Darby, Sandie Burns, Jerry Jones, Jack Lawson, David Douthat, Anthony Kozloski, Lamar Adcox, Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko.
Summary: Mowed from one half mile south of Iron Mountain Gap to FS 230 Switchback.
Lopped overhanging limbs, cut small roots, removed two 10 inch trees from the trail. Replaced a damaged bear warning sign in the shelter, picked up trash at the shelter and at camp sites. Spring at the shelter was running good.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/26/2015
Purpose: Finish trimming trail and do general maintenance
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I finished trimming the section and also cleaned the waterbars again. In addition we installed 3 check dams and replaced one rotted waterbar. There was a fairly large blowdown (14 in.) about 1/4 mile from Hughes Gap so we decided to hand cut the sucker on our way out. Of course there was a knot on the bottom of the log where I decided we should cut. Bruce didn't complain and we finally go it cut and out of the trail. I was just about to high five Bruce when a yellow jacket stung me on the ear. It seems that we had rolled the log onto their home and they didn't appreciate it one bit. Oh well such is the life of a maintainer.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 06/25/2015
Purpose: Weed, lop and shelter maintenance
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Kevin Sedgwick, Phyllis Cairnes, Kim Peters
Summary: We finished weeding and loping from the Grindstaff Monument out to Iron Mt. Shelter. We (again) dismantled a fire ring built at the monument and three others at the shelter and picked up trash. The shelter area was surprisingly clean. I need to bring a broom out next visit. The water source at the shelter was low, but flowing. The newly reworked spring was also flowing well. We walked back out on the newly opened relo. This section is in good shape.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/25/2015
Purpose: Open Relocation
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Ed Olliver, Ted Mowery, Paul Benfield
Summary: Opened a new location of AT south of hy 91. Cut yearly growth and raked the new location. Blazed relo and removed old blazes on the old section. Some work still needed on north end on relocation. Expect to complete next week.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/25/2015
Purpose: Cut weeds and clear waterbars
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Jim Floyd, Carl Fritz, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: Many hikers were out today. We got a majority of the worst of the weeds. Probably three people are still needed for another day. Water bars were cleaned out to about 3/4 mile south of Berry Fields. George encountered one bear on the trail, but it quickly left.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/25/2015
Purpose: Cut Blowdown
Section: 3b: Spring to US421
People: Carl Fritz, John Robbins
Summary: We cut a chest high blowdown that was an obstacle 2 miles north of US 421.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 06/24/2015
Purpose: Summer Mowing
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: David Douthat, Jeannine Edwards, Faye Guinn, Howard Guinn, Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko, Wayne Jones, David Polon, Lana Scott, and Tim Shipley
Summary: Mowed, lopped and picked up trash on trail from Beauty Spot to Indian Grave Gap.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/24/2015
Purpose: Mow campground and trails
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the campground and trails to barn and Privy. Almost waited too long to mow. The grass and weeds were almost too high to mow. Shelter is clean and the water sources are flowing good.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 06/21/2015
Purpose: Admire the white rhododendron blooms
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Scheduled club hike gave an opportunity to view this trail section after the heavy usage by the thru-hiker wave. The single wide path north of the outfitters to the switchback in the bottomland is very passible – thanks in part to recent efforts by Craig Haire in removing two blowdowns. Summer growth was primarily stinging nettle and dog hobble narrowing the trail which could be addressed with a swing blade – or just wearing long pants. A log step near the fourth bridge was observed to have broken free. Some light trimming was performed, along with hauling out a bag of trash from two campsites and a few beverage containers tossed into the woods. The stream under the first bridge was noted to not be flowing, while other three had moving water.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/23/2015
Purpose: GPS trail
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I walked from Carvers Gap to 19E in order to GPS the trail for ATC. It's probably been a while so all the new relocations are now included. This whole section of trail is in excellent shape some mowing has already been done and it was greatly appreciated. The new rehab north of Hump looks real good and made the descent a little more pleasant.

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 06/18/2015
Purpose: sign placement & maintenance
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Richard Carter
Summary: I posted our new trailhead sign, replacing the old one which was outdated because it indicated the presence of the Apple House Shelter. I then spent the remainder of my day cutting briars and bushes encroaching the trail on the south side of Jane Bald.

Reporting: John Robbins
Date: 06/22/2015
Purpose: General Maintenance
Section: 3b: Spring to US421
People: John Robbins
Joanne Robbins
Summary: Maintenance walk of the section. Trimmed back briars, cleaned out water bars, and removed several smaller blow downs. There is a large chest high blow down about two miles north of 421 (right before the camp area). I removed all the secondary falls and made the hiker walk around safer but it will need a chain saw. Packed out some trash and cleaned up at the trail head. The spring is flowing well. Ran into thru-hiker "Mule" who worked with us on Hard Core. Met several section hikers including a girl scout troop. Trail is in good shape

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 06/13/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Continuing the club hike, I cleared 2 trees between the shelter and the outfitters, and 2 more between the outfitters and Chestoa. For the first time, the battery gave out during the last cut, and I switched to my spare battery to finish the cut. It was a very pleasant day.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 06/13/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 19a: Indian Grave Gap - Curley Maple Gap Shelter
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cut 3 trees across the trail, one over 12" across, with my 12" Greenworks chainsaw while doing a club hike.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 06/08/2015
Purpose: clearing trailside overgrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Did weed whacking near the road. Some brainless oafs had cut across the first switchback at the road, excoriating the bank. I tried to block it off the best I could.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 06/20/2015
Purpose: Weeding and lopping
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Jim Floyd, Lorri Mirrer, Kat Johnson, Kim Peters
Summary: For this June 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip we lopped rhododendron and whacked weeds using swingblades from TN 91 to the Grindstaff Monument. We met lots of hikers. Almost all of them thanked us for our work and one asked if we "had enough gas for those weed eaters". Apparently we did not, as we decided to turn around when we reached the Grindstaff Monument. To make the day perfect we got caught in a heavy rain shower while walking back, guaranteeing that we arrived back at the car soaking wet - about the same time the rain stopped. Much thanks to Lorri Mirrer who traveled all the way from Charlotte to help out on the trail.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/20/2015
Purpose: GPS this section of trail
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Jim Foster
Summary: I did a GPS reading for this section of trail.

Reporting: Jim Foter
Date: 06/20/2015
Purpose: GPS tral
Section: 15b: Cloudland Hotel - Hughes Gap
People: Jim Foster
Summary: I did a GPS reading for this section of trail.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/20/2015
Purpose: Mow Trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat the Accessible Trail across the Osborne Farm. Painted all the Blazes across the Farm. All of the Cairns are still standing and looking good. Need to Spray the Accessible Trail. Lots of hikers and Thru Hikers out hiking.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 06/19/2015
Purpose: Routine Maintenance/ Paint Blazes
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick, Gloria Sedgwick
Summary: Repainted blazes. Broke apart 2 campsites. Tried to pull dead fall onto ATV tracks on hill south above cemetery to block path. Hikers are missing the turn and following ATV tracks down hill. Better blazing. Cut back multiflora rose, rhodos and briars. Especially Bishop hollow area and other open fields. meet several thru hikers.

Reporting: Joe Morris
Date: 06/18/2015
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Joe Morris
Summary: Routine Maintenance cutting seasonal growth. Removed an 8" blowown on the blue blaze approach near the cemetery trail intersection. Another large blowdown was above it which I did not remove for safety concerns. But the blue blaze is passable. The parking lot was full at the Hampton trailhead on this hot and muggy afternoon.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/18/2015
Purpose: Improve spring and
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Daryel Anderson, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Bill Murdoch, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart
Summary: Bill, Ken and Tim redug the spring, placed a modified 5 gallon bucket with lid as a collection basin and piped it for easy access. They achieved a concentrated water flow. The rest of us worked on putting new lath on bog bridges and doing some minor trail rehab.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/18/2015
Purpose: Repair rock cairns
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Collin Edwards, Ted Mowery, George Thorpe
Summary: Paul, Ted, George and Collin reworked all the rock cairns on the Osborne Farm. They dug them in and mortared them together if there were multiple rocks. They also drove some t-posts beside them until they are set so cattle do not push them over. There were only three hikers today.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/17/2015
Purpose: Trim weeds from trail
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Fred Jabolnski, John Tomko, Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Two of us started at Hughes Gap and the other two at Greasy Creek and we trimmed the whole section of weeds. We met several hikers on this warm day and they were grateful for the weed trimming. The trail is in very good shape.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 06/05/2015
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken and Lotta Murray
Summary: Routine summer clipping. Temple Hill Gap to NBK Shelter (and return). No blowdowns. Only three hikers. The bubble seems to have past.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 06/07/2015
Purpose: Rare Plant Monitoring
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Dan Firth
Summary: Searched for two rare plant species. Found one definitively.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 06/06/2015
Purpose: Rare Plant and Invasive Species Monitoring
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Dan Firth
Summary: Spent a beautiful day exploring the section and searching for two rare target species of plants. While out, found a small patch of garlic mustard near the junction of the AT and Walnut Mountain Road. The total garlic mustard pulled was one pound. The plants did not look as if they had dropped their seeds.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 06/15/2015
Purpose: Summer Maintenance
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Ernie Hartford, Faye Guinn, Howard Guinn, Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko
Summary: Mowed weeds, lopped small overhanging branches, removed branches from the trail, and cleaned water bars from Iron Mountain Gap to Weedy Gap. The spring at the orchard was running good.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 06/13/2015
Purpose: Summer Maintenance
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko
Summary: Mowed a section of AT in Deep Gap area and trail to the spring. Mowed open area at Beauty Spot Gap and mowed a section from the Beauty Spot Spring to the north end of Beauty Spot. Picked up trash at Deep Gap, Beauty Spot Gap and the parking area at Beauty Spot.

Reporting: Ed Oliver
Date: 06/11/2015
Purpose: Repair Rock Steps
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver
Summary: During the winter a large rock fell on the mortared steps leaving the parking lot. The large rock was successfully removed during the winter, but the freeze/thaw cycle destroyed about four steps. Paul, Ted and Ed removed all the rocks and rebuilt the stairs using old rocks plus some new. The stairs look great again and are safe to walk.

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 06/09/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Patrick Loven
Pat Loven
Summary: We drove to the top of White Rock Mountain and worked trail north from Canute's Place to just beyond recent relocations. Main tasks included trimming rhododendron, saw briers, and nettle and also sawing out several 'step-overs'. Saw eight hikers during the day.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/09/2015
Purpose: Accompany John Odell on invasive plant survey
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Fred Jablonski, Jim Foster
Summary: Fred and I continued with John Odell on the plant survey to Iron Mtn. Gap. John didn't find anything and the trail was free of obstructions. By the way this is John's next to last week with the ATC he will be missed and we wish him well.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/09/2015
Purpose: Accompany John Odell on invasive plant survey
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Fred Jablonski, Jim Foster
Summary: Fred (first timer) and myself accompanied John Odell of the ATC on an invasive plant survey. He found none thankfully but we did get to cut a small blowdown and the trail was muddy but in good shape.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 06/07/2015
Purpose: Lopping briars and other annual growth
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Started at Carvers Gap and clipped blackberries and lopped brush to the old Hack Line Road, Cut one small blowdown and improved drainage in a couple of areas. Then went to Cloudland and cut areas thick with blackberries near the top, at Toll House Gap, and in a sunny spot between Toll House Gap and the side trail to Roan High Knob. Also lopped brush, picked up trash, reset some of the stakes used for the steps, and blocked some side paths around the steps along the way. Section will need blazing next time. Rhododendron are already blooming atop Roan and are near peak in Carvers Gap and on Round Bald.

Reporting: Terry Oldfield
Date: 06/07/2015
Purpose: Maintain Shelter
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: John Frey, Terry Oldfield
Summary: We hiked to Double Springs Shelter from TN 91. On the way, we clipped briers and other weeds encroaching the trail, and cut one small blowdown. We left a new log book at the shelter and picked up trash. Everything looked good at the shelter and the spring. The trail is clear. We saw 10 thru-hikers, several of whom complimented the condition of the trail.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 06/03/2015
Purpose: Trim weeds
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Cut back very overgrown weeds around Watauga Lake up to US321

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/31/2015
Purpose: Cut annual growth
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Summary: Used brush cutter to finish cutting annual growth. Removed a moderate amount of trash from Stan Murray shelter. Finally got to meet Roan Naturalist/Ridgerunner Lee! Still signs of active ATV use on the TN side of Buckeye Gap but they do not appear to be accessing the trail.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/30/2015
Purpose: Cut annual growth
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Summary: Used brushcutter to clear annual growth from trail. Removed a moderate amount of trash from the barn. Removed a fire ring from a newly created campsite before Little Hump. Saw many section & day hikers - very few thru hikers.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 05/29/2015
Purpose: Confirm location of invasive species
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Multiple tasks planned for this afternoon’s trail section check. First was to confirm location understood for new kiosk being installed as an Eagle project – and to examine current messaging on existing kiosk in the Chestoa recreation area. Second was to pull reported garlic mustard along the railroad tracks. Found and removed couple bags of trash – and springs from a long former truck bench seat, but nothing right along the trail. Six pounds were removed from beside Jones Branch Road, so TEHCC successfully completed the ATC Garlic Mustard Challenge with 135 pounds total. Next search was made for tree-of-heaven and Chinese yam just short of the second trail bridge. Mountain laurel was in full bloom. Three previously dismantled fire rings have been reconstructed, while two others remained gone. Encountered a significant amount of stinging nettle – and then figured out the tree-of-heaven by locating several dozen plants, including a pair 8-10” diameter by 60-80’ tall. However, no Chinese yam was seen. To verify my observations, I swung by the ranger office in Unicoi to check with Joe McGuinness. Finally, I transported a couple of flip-flopping hikers from the Erwin McD’s to I-81 Exit 59 as they were heading quickly to Damascus. Overall, an active afternoon in the woods…

Reporting: John Robbins
Date: 05/30/2015
Purpose: cutting weeds
Section: 3b: Spring to US421
People: John Robbins
Summary: Perfect day to continue cutting weeds in the section. Completed 3B and continued north almost reaching the emergency shelter. Cleared water bars along the way and broke up three fire rings. There were about 20 through hikers and 10 day hikers that passed me, all very appreciative of our trail maintenance activities.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 05/28/2015
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: We walked half way up the trail trimming small branches and stinging nettle. Picked up a few aluminum cans near the trail head. Ran into several hikers camping down below the trail head who complimented our Hiking Club for the recent rehab up near Doll Flats. They also reported no blow downs. The new camp site was clean too.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/25/2015
Purpose: Mowing Camping area at Overmountain Shelter
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the Camping area at the Overmountain Shelter, Trail to Water source, Trail to Privy and cleaned the water sources. Removed some rocks from the Campground.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/25/2015
Purpose: Mowing Trails
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ted Mowery and Paul Benfield
Summary: Mowed the Appalachian and Accessible trail across the Osborne Farm and removed the last known graffiti by Hunny Bunny from the stile. Trail needs to is beginning to need spraying in place before too long. Lots of hikers out.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/25/2015
Purpose: Cut out blowdown
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Summary: Made a quick trip with the chainsaw to cut out a downed tree near Buckeye Gap that could not be handled previously with the hand saw. Lots of people (and trash) at the barn. Broke up numerous fire rings in the field by the barn & placed a new register. Gave a couple of section hikers & their dog a ride to the hostel as one was too sick to hike.Ran into a couple on a ATV at the old road that comes up to Buckeye Gap. I asked them not to ride on the trail & reminded them that ATV use is illegal on Forest Service land but they did not see anything wrong with what they were doing as "they only wanted to bring snacks up to the AT for the hikers." I will pass along to NFs in NC & Cherokee NF law enforcement as they are accessing from the TN side.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/25/2015
Purpose: Cut out blowdown
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Summary: Made a quick trip with the chainsaw to cut out a downed tree near Buckeye Gap that could not be handled previously with the hand saw. Lots of people (and trash) at the barn. Broke up numerous fire rings in the field by the barn & placed a new register. Gave a couple of section hikers & their dog a ride to the hostel as one was too sick to hike.Ran into a couple on a ATV at the old road that comes up to Buckeye Gap. I asked them not to ride on the trail & reminded them that ATV use is illegal on Forest Service land but they did not see anything wrong with what they were doing as "they only wanted to bring snacks up to the AT for the hikers." I will pass along to NFs in NC & Cherokee NF law enforcement as they are accessing from the TN side.

Reporting: John Robbins
Date: 05/23/2015
Purpose: cutting weeds
Section: 3b: Spring to US421
People: John Robbins
Summary: Spent all day cutting weeds. Weeds were high and thick. Didn't get all the way to the spring so I will need to return. Met about 15 thru-hikers and a scout troop. Trail is in great shape.