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: 01/22/2015
Purpose: Cut blowdowns
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Richard Carter, Kim Peters
Summary: Kim and Richard removed six blowdowns scattered between the dam and Shook Branch. Trail was in good shape otherwise.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 01/22/2015
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Mike Price, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: Today we finished the rehab on the blue blazed trail out of Hampton. We added another 14 steps on the hill for a total of 28. We are hoping that this will complete the major rehab of this trail for some time.

Reporting: Steve Perri
Date: 01/15/2015
Purpose: ATC Norovirus Communication Teleconference
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Steve Perri
Summary: I participated in a call with ATC and several others including CDC from TN and VA to capture our learnings from last year and what we need to do in 2015. We revisited the communication plan last year to pass out to hostels the poster and to post the info on websites. It appears that reported infections were significantly lower in the SORO region which we attributed to better education. However, more incidents were reported in VA and sporatic areas north. So VA is more involved this year in the communication phase. Once of our major efforts was to make available a reporting system on line. It turns out hikers weren't actively reporting incidents thru the hot line or email. We actually had more reports from friends of hikers and to a higher degree from Ridge Runners since they were on the trail and wrote up trip reports each week. So hiker education and overnight facilities were planned through the poster again this year and a broader range north of the TN/VA state line will be included for disseminating and reporting. As a trail club, we are asked to help disseminate the poster and to report incidents to ATC as we hear about occurances.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 01/19/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Eilidh (canine)
Summary: Performed some minor maintenance on the barn - attempted to remove some graffiti & re-attached a siding board that had been removed. Cleaned leaves out of waterbars. Cut out a half dozen blowdowns across the trail. Hauled out a large amount of trash from Stan Murray, including a double sleeping bag, plastic canteen, numerous containers of snacks from Trader Joes, glass bottles & beer cans. I was very glad this trip that I brought my dog & her pack as she was able to help carry the load!

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 01/15/2015
Purpose: Trail Rehab
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We did a couple of minor cleanup tasks at relocation we had been working on for weeks. We also fixed a muddy area near there and installed some rock steps and crush and fill near the cherry tree with large roots near ford. Primarily we installed probably fourteen steps and three water diversions as trail goes down to Laurel Fork for the first as coming in from trailhead. There are probably four or more steps to install.

Reporting: Bill Fuller
Date: 01/11/2015
Purpose: routine maintenance
Section: 14a: Doll Flats to Bradley Gap
People: Bill Fuller
Summary: I hiked from Dolls Flats to the summit of Hump Mountain and cleared a couple of small blowdowns, while also working some more on a large blowdown that I cleared last year, but was still encroaching slightly on the trail. I also cut back a lot of small limbs and brush. It was a beautiful day!

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 01/11/2015
Purpose: Inspect No Buisness Knob Shelter
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Thomas Merriman and Rob Martin
Summary: Rob Martin, Unicoi County ATC Ambassador, accompanied Thomas Merriman to No Business Knob Shelter to inspect and approve Thomas's Eagle Scout Project to improve No Business Knob Shelter by providing a picnic table, cleaning the area, repairing the front knee wall, installing hardware cloth under front of sleeping platform and painting inside and outside of shelter including the outside of metal roof.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/22/2014
Purpose: Paint No Business Knob Shelter
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Jess Anderson
Seth Douthat
Thomas Merriman
Summary: Thomas Merriman took advantage of the warm weather and led his fellow scouts in painting the inside and outside of the shelter as well as the shelter roof. Lowe's donated the paint and painting supplies. They also donated the picnic table and supplies for installing hardware cloth that the scouts installed on December 13. These improvements to No Business Knob Shelter will hopefully earn Thomas an Eagle Scout Award.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/13/2014
Purpose: Repair No Buisness Knob Shelter
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Jess Anderson
Micheal Vicary
John Burns
Kevin Stanhope
Seth Douthat
Thomas Merriman
Joe Klug
Aaron Webb
Carolyn Merriman f
Summary: Thomas Merriman, boy scout from Troop 240, is working on his Eagle Scout project. Therefore, he organized and led the other scouts in some much needed improvements to No Business Knob Shelter. They installed a picnic table, cleaned up the area in front of shelter, concreted some of the blocks back into knee high front wall, and installed hardware cloth under front of sleeping platform.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/05/2014
Purpose: Assess No Buisness Knob Shelter
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Jim Foster, Thomas Merriman
Summary: Jim Foster and Thomas Merriman, a boy scout working on his Eagle Scout project, explored some possible routes to shelter.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/03/2014
Purpose: Checkout No Buisness Knob Shelter
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Jim Foster
Summary: Jim assessed No Business Knob Shelter for possible Eagle Scout project and located an access.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 01/03/2015
Purpose: Remove blowdowns
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bob Peoples, Jack Tarlin
Summary: Bob and Jack removed four blowdowns reported by hiker. AT to Laurel Fork Shelter and high water blue blaze trail are clear.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 01/06/2015
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Benjamin Jack, Pat Loven, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We continued and completed the rehab on blue blaze trail along Laurel Fork. We now have a solid two foot wide graded trail. This was probably the most difficult trail rehab we have done. The 300 foot rehab took six work days with usually ten volunteers. We moved probably 25 tons of rocks and locust logs several hundred feet to construct the new trail. Some rocks and logs were so heavy they could not be carried by six people. Ken and crew shaved many rocks off the cliff to increase the trail width.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 12/27/2014
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Craig Haire
Adeoluwa Solesi
Summary: We cleared 5 or 6 blowdowns between Temple Hill Gap and No Business Knob Shelter. The motor starting smoking as I was on the last cut, and I had to finish it with a handsaw. I'm afraid the motor has "given up the ghost."

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 01/03/2015
Purpose: Check trail and shelter
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Phyllis Cairnes, Kim Peters
Summary: Checked the trail and shelter. Cleared a couple of small blowdowns, picked up trash at the shelter and cleaned out the fire-pit. This section is in good shape.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 12/12/2014
Purpose: clearing blowdown
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: I cleared a blowdown reported to me with my 12" electric chainsaw. It was a very pleasant day.

Reporting: Bill Fuller
Date: 01/01/2015
Purpose: clear blowdowns
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Bill Fuller
Summary: I hiked up to Pond Flats and cleared two blowdowns with my small handsaw (mostly branches of upper ends of trees). I also cleared a lot of low hanging and encroaching rhododendrons, laurel, and other small underbrush. It was a cold day! The spring at the flats is flowing great.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/30/2014
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Vic Hasler, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: On our last group work day of the year, the weather was damp and in lower 30's. So we kept ourselves warm by transporting rocks and logs, chipping rock off the cliffs and building trail. We continue to improve this trail significantly.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 12/25/2014
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Eilidh (canine)
Summary: Annual Christmas work hike! Cut out a few blowdowns & small limbs that had fallen across the trail. Removed a moderate quantity of trash from the barn & a large quantity from the campsites at Bradley Gap, including several large tarps, glass jars & bottles & discarded cookware. There are signs of recent ATV use coming from Yellow Mtn & at Bradley Gap as well. Trail is in good condition despite the snowy/muddy conditions.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 12/25/2014
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Eilidh (canine)
Summary: Annual Christmas work hike! Cut out a few blowdowns & small limbs that had fallen across the trail. Removed a moderate quantity of trash from the barn & a large quantity from the campsites at Bradley Gap, including several large tarps, glass jars & bottles & discarded cookware. There are signs of recent ATV use coming from Yellow Mtn & at Bradley Gap as well. Trail is in good condition despite the snowy/muddy conditions.

Reporting: Scotty Bowman
Date: 12/19/2014
Purpose: Routine Maintenance and check for downed trees
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: Scotty Bowman
Summary: Started at Wilbur Dam Rd hiked in 3.5 miles, along the way:
1. cleared out 2 trees where the canopy had fallen across the trail
2. cleaned out 2 water bars
3. removed 50 ft of berm and reestablished the critical edge

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/23/2014
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, John Botts, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, David LaPorte, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart
Summary: We continued our rehab of this bad area along Laurel Fork. We tackled the hardest part today and were able to raise the trail by over two feet by cribbing with large rocks that could be anchored on existing rocks. Then we drug in a long locust and filled with rock. Hopefully, a high stream will not wash this out. We still have a couple of days work to finish this area. Only two maintainers unintentionally went wading today.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/22/2014
Purpose: Remove problem trees and rhodos
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: "Giuseppe"
Summary: "Giuseppe" a SOBO reported that there were some rhodos and small trees that had broken primarily on north side of Pond Mountain. Bob Peoples put him out the next day at 321 so he could walk that section again and clear it with loppers.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 12/22/2014
Purpose: Hang signs at RR, dismantle bootleg campfire rings, and haul out trash
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic and Clark Hasler
Summary: This work session had three objectives. The first was to place yellow warning signs on both sides of the CSX railroad tracks stating to not attempt to pass through or under a stopped train. The second was to dismantle some campfire rings too close to a neighborhood. Three were addressed; including minor deficiency CS000299 located 0.4 mile from the south end of the section which was flagged during the June 2013 ATC assessment. The third was to remove the last of the very old trash in the same vicinity as the CS000299 campsite. 16 heavy-duty grocery bags were filled with glass bottles and rusting beverage cans from the 1970s, with another two of aluminum for recycling. The old refrigerator (see photo) was discovered to be sunk 6-8” into the forest bed. It was mostly emptied of trash and dug out with the shovel brought to take care of the campfire ring. However, our mutual decision was to contact the USFS about hauling it out as still rather heavy. Consolation prize was taking out two tires - a small vehicle and tractor which could be seen from the trail path.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 12/21/2014
Purpose: Maintenance
Section: 2a: Backbone Rock Trail - Abingdon Gap Shelter
People: Jim Chambers
Summary: The Hike For Veterans is going great, and I crossed over into Tennessee today. I went ahead and worked my section as I hiked out of Damascus, and I removed small blow downs and obstructions from the state line to McQueens Gap. I hope that everyone is doing great!

Reporting: John Robbins
Date: 12/20/2014
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: John Robbins
Summary: Hiked towards double springs cutting and moving fallen trees and large branches from the trail. There several trees that will need a chainsaw; otherwise the trail is in great shape.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 12/18/2014
Purpose: Trail Rehab
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Eric Middlemas, Joe Morris, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, Jack Tarlin
Summary: We did some larger remaining rehabs between Indian Grave Gap and FS Rd 230. Old Timers had already done some major rehab near the gap. We removed some rooty sections, dug trail back on hill, buried roots with sidelogs, and installed some rock steps and cribbing. We cut several large dead leaners and cleaned the water diversions. This section is in reasonably good shape going into the winter.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 12/18/2014
Purpose: Provide input to Pisgah National Forest Plan Revision
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: On behalf of TEHCC, comments were developed and provided on the proposed Pisgah National Forest Plan Revision. The plan is divided into Management Areas with stated components for Emphasis, Desired Condition, Goals, and Standards. Input was given for those adjacent to the A.T. between US Hwy 19W and Elk River designated for Roan Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Forest Habitat Diversity, Restoration and Connectivity, and Backcountry. Changes in the management standards can affect such aspects as roads, timber, and utility crossings. The comments provided were focused on protection of the natural resource and viewshed, while allowing low-impact recreation. The letter was sent to Kristin Bail, Forest Supervisor of National Forests in North Carolina.

Reporting: Steve Perri
Date: 12/16/2014
Purpose: AT Biennial Task Force Call
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Steve Perri
Summary: We had our first call last night among the assigned regional reps to begin planning for the 2017 biennial meeting to develop a recommendation of how the meeting can be structured to be more alligned with ATC's new strategic plan. We basically agreed we needed to conduct a survey to more fully assess what is important to members. Our major concern is that we tend to just attract attendance by clubs and members interested in hikes and workshops and therefore don’t get enough new members to attend. We believe there is an optimum survey length and Julie Judkins is helping get that info. So we have been asked to develop a list of potential survey questions which will then help direct some of the recommendations of what to consider changing or staffing differently.