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: 12/01/2016
Purpose: Trail and Bridge Rehab
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Dan Firth, Jim Fischer, Carl Fritz, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, George Thorpe
Summary: We replaced some of decaying timbers on trail northern most bridge. We also did some trail rehab by adding steps and cribbing on AT below Laurel Fork Shelter. Additional work on both projects will be continued.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 12/01/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: We walked halfway up to Doll Flats dismantling 3 fire pits and picking up small branches and limbs that had fallen on the trail due to the recent wind and rain storm. 29 water bars were also cleared of debris.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 11/29/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Bob Peoples, Tim Stewart
Summary: With a break in the rains, we finished the trail at the privy by adding some steps and finishing the cribbing. We also installed a new toilet seat. We recorded some measurements on the barn.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 11/27/2016
Purpose: Blow Downs/Trail Rehab
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Jim Chambers
Connie Squires
Summary: Returned to Pond Flats with the proper tools to rehab trail after removing large tangle of blow downs.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 11/26/2016
Purpose: Routine trail maintenance
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Adam Baird
Dean Baird
Jennifer Baird
Summary: We removed a small blowdown, did some more rockwork on the trail adjacent to the creek, and removed trash.

Reporting: Ken Buchanan
Date: 11/25/2016
Purpose: Check trail and clear waterbars
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ken Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Summary: We took three of our children (one spouse) and six grandchildren out with us today. Some we dropped off at low gap to meet the workers at the shelter. They lopped and cleared on the way but had no tool for the three pronged blowdown.
The rest of the crew walked in from Tn. 91 clearing brush, lopping limbs and cleaning waterbars.
We all met at the shelter for lunch then some did a flip flop for the way out.
It was a fine day to be out in the woods. We met 5 hikers all just out for the day.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 11/25/2016
Purpose: Remove Blow Downs
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Jim Chambers
Connie Squires
Summary: Removed all recently reported blow downs between Shook Branch Rd and the top of Pond Mountain. One step over remains, but we ran out of daylight.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 11/25/2016
Purpose: lop rhodys, clean waterbars and steps, clear blowdown
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Kat Johnson, Kim Peters
Summary: We cleaned all the steps and waterbars and cut back the rhody's for the first 2 miles south of TN91. The reported blowdown just past the last bog bridge was a 14" dead tree laying parallel in the trail on top of the steps put in last year by the boy scouts. It was too big for the saws we had, but I was able to cut a pry pole from the downed rhody's and move it off the trail, so it is no longer a problem.
There is water at the spring between the bog bridges. The pipe that was installed last year has a pencil thin discharge, but the spring box is flowing well and there are plenty of pools of water to dip from.
We dispersed one fire ring and picked up the half dozen empty gallon milk jugs at the trailhead, most of which had been chewed upon by critters.
The first two miles of this section is in good shape. I will make another trip soon to check out the other reported blowdown past the monument.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 11/12/2016
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Brian Schloff
Summary: Cleaned all waterbars & cut out 2 significant blowdowns. Removed a large amount of trash from the campsites at Bradley Gap. Dispersed 4 fire rings & blocked access to several campsites trail north of the barn that keep reappearing.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 11/19/2016
Purpose: Cut annual growth
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Terry Oldfield, Lori Mirrer, Bob Byrd, Kim Peters
Summary: Well, unfortunately the fine fall weather did not hold for this last 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip. But despite the cool wet weather, three hardy volunteers showed up at Shook Branch to hike with me up Pond Mt. and trim back the rhody's. The misty rain stopped shortly after we got underway and by the time we got back to the cars the sun was shining. The temperature however, did not increase much.
Armed with new lighter loppers and saws, we worked our way up the mountain cutting back the woody vegetation encroaching the trail. Shortly after lunch, the trail took us to the windy side of the mountain and it seemed much colder. We split into two groups with two heading to the top to work their way down and two staying down lower, out of the wind. We did find two large blowdowns which will require a larger saw to remove. The first is a 10-12" dead tree across the trail about 1.5 miles up the mountain and the second is a multi-tree mess about 0.4 mile from the top. Other than that, this section is in pretty good shape.
We only met two other hikers, one slack-packing north bound and a southbounder who looked pretty cold. As we got to Shook Branch Road at the end of the day, we met Jim, the owner of the new Boots Off Hostel. He said that he had heard we were out on the trail and stopped to chat with us. He invited us back to the hostel for coffee, but as it was getting late and Lori still had a three hour drive to return to her home in Charlotte, we declined.
All in all another successful 3rd Saturday trip. That's all for this year, the next 3rd Saturday tip will not be until March 2017. Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who came out tho help keep our trail in good shape.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 11/17/2016
Purpose: Move privy, repair shelter, etc.
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ron Boynton, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Nicole Hardin f, Becky Kinder, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Gayle Riddervold, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart
Summary: A beautiful mid November day provided us an opportunity to enjoy the Roans. We welcomed two first time volunteers, Nicole Hardin and Ron Boynton. Water source at barn was cleaned out and is still running well. Of the two water sources at the north base of Little Hump, the furthest north was dry but closest was still good. Ten fire rings were removed between Overmountain Shelter and Bradley Gap. The leaves were removed from the access road culvert. Some of boards on shelter were fastened tighter with screws. And gutter was checked. Also some large limbs were removed from barn roof.

Several checked out Stan Murray Shelter and made detailed measurements for rehabbing it in the future.

Primary task was to move privy to a new board lined pit of 5' deep x 4'x4' and this was accomplished. Because of much rock, the move was not completed until dark.

Reporting: Katie Currier
Date: 10/18/2016
Purpose: Clear blowdown from Vandeventer Shelter towards Iron Mountain
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier
Mason Boring
David Cohen
Summary: Katie, David and Mason hiked in on Wednesday, October 18th to continue removing blowdown from the storm that occurred in July. The work began just after the spring between Wilbur Dam Rd and Vandeventer Shelter and continued to about 2.5 miles North of Vandeventer Shelter. The crew worked until Friday October 20th, Camping at Vandeventer shelter for the 2 nights. We cleared 20 trees and 5 crowns off of the trail.

Reporting: Terry A Oldfield
Date: 11/13/2016
Purpose: Double Springs Shelter cleanup
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Kim Peters, Terry Oldfield
Summary: Hiking to Double Springs, the trail was in good shape. We enjoyed experiencing the new step-up, notched step-over that Ken Buchanan and Pat Loven created from a huge blowdown. We picked up trash at the shelter (mostly ratty clothes and paperbacks), cleaned leaves from the gutter, and broke up a fire ring down by the spring. A pencil-thin stream was running from the pipe at the spring, and, unfortunately, it looks like the shelter roof is still leaking in places. On the way back, we took the relo (not yet open) for a change of scenery and so I could see the fine trail built by ASU students, especially the section that Kim "supervised."

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 11/13/2016
Purpose: Remove blowdown
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Karen Loven
Pat Loven
Summary: We hiked trail south from Dennis Cove and removed a reported blowdown. We also cleared a few other minor obstacles during the trip.
The highlight of the day was some wonderful trail magic at the parking area provided by Dave from the Atlanta area. Good food and a good day to be in the mountains.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 11/12/2016
Purpose: Blow Downs
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Connie Squires
Jim Chambers
Summary: In preparation to dig the new privy at Overmountain Shelter, we removed all blowdowns and 1 felled one hazard tree on the access road.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 11/09/2016
Purpose: sharpen saw
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Paul Benfield
Summary: Sharpened Carls trail saw

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 11/10/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Dan Firth, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We did some general rehab from Deep Gap south to trail crossing of FS230 road. We added some waterbars, some other water diversions, and some rock steps. We removed the unused dimensional lumber stile. We dug some sidehill. Also, we cleaned some waterbars. The area from Unaka Mountain to Indian Grave Gap is in pretty good shape for general trail condition except for a couple of planned relocations near Deep Gap.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 11/07/2016
Purpose: Scout trail access and repair fence
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Jim Morton, Bob Peoples
Summary: We investigated possible access to Stan Murray shelter from TN side. Also, we finished fastening some locust rails to posts at Carver's Gap.

Reporting: Scotty Bowman
Date: 11/05/2016
Purpose: Replace Sign
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: Scotty Bowman
Summary: Its was beautiful for a hike. I hiked in to replace the sign that we removed to have refinished. Along the way I cleaned out two waterbars, removed berm in a couple of spots along the swithbacks, removed two fire rings and removed one downed crown from the trail. The shelter still looks after the paint job and there was no new grafitti. Folks were using the garafitt board. I encountered 15 hikers mostly SOBO's and a few section hikers. I did meet a couple from the PATC in Shenadoah. It was a productive day.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 11/02/2016
Purpose: Rare Plant Monitoring
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dan Firth
Matt Drury (ATC)
Summary: Spent a beautiful day monitoring the health of one of my favotite tree species, the Carolina hemlock, for the ATC in Laurel Fork. Unfortunately, hemocks are under assault from wooly adelgid, spider mites, and drought. Those in Laurel Fork are no different. As a result, they are in decline over much of their historical range. Hemlocks are a critical species for forest and stream health. Without Hemlocks rhododendron thickets often take over shading out others plants and tying up nitrogen ultimately resulting in less diverse ecosystems.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 11/03/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Daryel Anderson, John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We continued adding rock steps, installing water diversions, and shuffling rocks out of path, plus adding some rock cribbing on south side of Unaka Mtn. We have now completed the rehab down to Deep Gap. There still is a future relocation to do near Deep Gap.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 10/13/2016
Purpose: Lop uphill brush
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: The answer to the question of “How much could a lopper lop if a lopper was available to lop?” is roughly 400-yards of uphill brush on the Trail south from the wilderness boundary kiosk. I had asked Kim Peters where did the A.T. needed attention if I had time available for this task. During Fall Break, I took a long morning to first meet the owners of the new Boots Off hostel, then proceed to lop and clip away at the uphill growth so that hikers can walk the trail centerline again. Broke up one fire ring inside the wilderness area. Also had a black snake decide my day pack was a warm place to rest upon until encouraged to move. We’ll need to return to this section to continue this brushing as far as it is needed on Pond Mountain.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 10/28/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: We hiked 2 miles up the trail clearing all the water bars and picking up trash at the campground. There were a few weeds and overhanging branches that were trimmed back as well. When we got about a mile and a half up the trail we encountered a medium size hickory tree lying in the pathway. It took over a 30 minutes to saw this stubborn tree in half. With the rest of the tree we were able to slide down the embankment. Some northbound hikers reported everything was clear going up the last mile to Doll Flats so we headed back to the trail head to pick up some beer cans near a makeshift fire pit.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 10/28/2016
Purpose: Saw Sharpening
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Paul Benfield
Summary: Cleaned, Sharpened and gauged Bob Peoples trail crosscut saw.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/28/2016
Purpose: Clear relocation and rehab
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We removed down trees from remaining part of upper relocation for Konnarock in 2017. We also did finish work on trail built this summer. We did some significant rehab of older trail by doing some rock work, smoothing some sidehill and doing some sidelog cribbing where trail was gone.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 10/26/2016
Purpose: Install graffiti board
Section: 11b: Canute Place to Bitter End
People: Lotta Murray, Ken Murray, Kim Peters
Summary: Lotta prepared another graffiti board and we traveled out to install it in Moreland Gap Shelter. There was only one person who wrote on the recently painted shelter wall and fortunately the graffiti board covered the markings.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/25/2016
Purpose: Shelter roof repair and paint
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Phyllis Cairnes, Carl Fritz, Pat Loven, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters
Summary: We painted the outside of Clyde Smith Shelter. We also did some significant sealing of the roof on both the inside and outside. Hopefully, this will eliminate a couple of long term leaks.
The water source was running adequately.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 10/25/2016
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Lopped and cut back weeds and multi-flora rose bushes around the corner of Watauga Lake. Also cut a couple of small blowdowns across the access trail from Oliver Hollow Rd. Off to Florida. See y'all next Spring.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 10/20/2016
Purpose: Routine trail maintenance
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird, Jennifer Baird, Emily Pons
Summary: We inspected trail (no problems noted) and removed trash.