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: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 06/27/2016
Purpose: Weed whacked/ clear trail
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick
Summary: The great weed whack tour moved on to the middle part of the section. Grass/ rose and weeds are growing well this summer. Took a lot to clear. Abundant poison ivy. 12 hikers today. 1 flip flopper.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 06/25/2016
Purpose: Trail Maintenance
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Lopped trail from Wilbur Dam Road to past the shelter. Cleared a couple of small blowdowns. Recorded two larger blowdowns just before the shelter (24 in and 7 in climb-overs). Shelter looks in good shape, but needs a new rake (or at least a new handle for the rake). The changes at the base of the bear pole look good. On the way back, I hiked the new access trail to the Watauga Visitor Center. It also has a large blowdown near the top.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/23/2016
Purpose: Finish trimming trail
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim
Summary: We finished the trimming that we started Monday. It was a good day although very humid.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/23/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Daryel Anderson, John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Robin Dean, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: With a great crew and temperatures maxing out at 70 rather than 90 like in low country, we continued rehab adding many rock steps, rock cribbing and log cribbing. There are many more work days in this area. Most were able to attend a departing party for Reuben Potter at the Laurels.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 06/23/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintanance
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: We walked up as far as the power lines, trimming back rhododendrons, overhanging branches, and weeds. Several dead logs that had been hanging over or onto the trail were also cut. When we got up towards the power lines, there were 2 new blow downs. One tree was cut and removed. The other tree which was completely uprooted was too big for us to saw. It is difficult for someone of short stature to hike over the fallen tree. Other hikers have hiked around the roots, or below the side of the trail, causing a little bit of erosion trying to get around it. The last blow down had already been reported in a previous maintenance report. We attempted to cut it but after 45 minutes of sawing, we gave up.

Reporting: ken Murray
Date: 06/21/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Summary: Working on vegetation control on far (inaccessible) part of Section 20b.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 06/09/2016
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Mike Brickell
Summary: Returned to look for my missing swingblade (which was not found). Luckily I had already anticipated this & brought a new one to finish up. The AT SCENIC TRAIL sign has been stolen - the nails & corners are all that remain. Removed another moderate amount of trash from the barn. Met a father & son setting up camp in the field at the barn with a hatchet cutting live limbs so I gave a brief "LNT' talk & showed them where they could find down & dead wood. Quite a few hikers in the barn & set up in the field.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 06/05/2016
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Summary: Used loppers & a swingblade to knock back the worst of the briars along this section. Removed a moderate amount of trash from the barn, including a half dozen mason jars from the new brewery in Spruce Pine .A massive thunderstorm cut the trip short (and also caused the loss of my swingblade as I left it leaning against the car when I left). Met a few thru hikers & alot of day hikers.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 06/22/2016
Purpose: clear trail
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick
Summary: weed whacked northern end of section. meet lots of hikers.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 06/21/2016
Purpose: Check trail
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bob Peoples
Summary: Bob walked both the AT and shelter trail. Only one blowdown is there and he will get it soon. He lopped any problem growth. Waycaster spring is dry. A couple of places near shelter need some trail rehab later this year. There was some sign vandalism at junction with Hampton Blue Blazer.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 06/19/2016
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Pat Buchanan, Ken Buchanan, Kim Peters
Summary: Kim and Ken used string trimmers to cut the weeds on this section while Pat followed behind with loppers cutting rhododendron and green brier. We recovered some loppers at the shelter left behind by the SAWS group last week. We met quite a few hikers including a large group of ten from Wilderness Trail. This section is now in good shape for the summer.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 06/18/2016
Purpose: Paint Abingdon Gap Shelter
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Phyllis Cairnes, Rolla Wade, Tim Stewart, Lori Mirrer, Jim Floyd, Kim Peters
Summary: The June 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip was a little different as our tools consisted of paint brushes and rollers. On this wonderfully cool day, we started out from McQueens's Gap and hiked about a mile in to Abingdon Gap shelter carrying three cans of paint, tools to apply it with and a section of gutter to replace the front gutter on the shelter. We scraped and cleaned the surfaces, painted the inside and outside and replaced the gutter on the front. Tim climbed up on the roof with caulking and made another attempt to stop the persistent leak. There were hikers at the shelter when we arrived, and more stopped in for lunch or were just passing through to Damascus. It was a lovely day to be out in the woods. Hopefully it will be some time before graffiti begins to appear on the freshly painted surfaces.
Many thanks to this fine crew for working so hard and another special thanks to Lori who again drove 3 hrs from Charlotte to join us (and then had to drive 3 hrs home afterwards!).

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 06/20/2016
Purpose: Trim trail
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: We started trimming the trail at Hughes Gap and were making good time at Little Rock Knob when our string trimmer decided to call it a day. No amount of coaxing and cussing could get it going again. So we'll have to finish another time.

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 06/19/2016
Purpose: Trail maintenance
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Pat Loven
Karen Loven
Summary: Drove to Dennis Cove this afternoon for a hike with tools. Found that vegetation along trail was much heavier than expected including more nettle than usual. About 1 3/4 miles up the mountain, we cleared a trail blocking blowdown with a hand saw except for a 12" step over. Didn't have time to go further. We'll return later with a chainsaw and work the remainder of this section.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 06/19/2016
Purpose: Summer vegetation management
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Lotta Murray
Jenny Eckenrode
Summary: Clipped rhodedendrens

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/18/2016
Purpose: Hike out following 5 day Maintenance Trip
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: The SAWS/United States Naval Academy Crew, after spending five days working on annual vegetation issues and cutting out blow-downs between the Vandeventer Shelter and the Iron Mountain Shelter packed up camp and hiked out to Wilbur Dam Road where they were met by Congressman Phil Roe to thank them for their work.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/17/2016
Purpose: Annual vegetation management
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: Brushed and log-out the first three miles north of the Vandeventer Shelter with loppers, sling-blades, hand saws and cross-cut saws

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/16/2016
Purpose: Annual Maintenance of vegetation and downed trees
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: Worked to brush the middle two miles between the shelters and moved camp to the Vandeventer Shelter (gap by water source)

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/15/2016
Purpose: Brush and log-out trail corridor south of the Iron Mountain Shelter
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: The SAWS/United States Naval Academy Crew worked to thoroughly brush the first three miles south of the Iron Mountain Shelter and to remove trees down across the trail. The work involved loppers, sling-blades, hand saws and cross-cut saws.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/13/2016
Purpose: Hike in, establish camp and start working on brushing trail corridor between Iron Mountain Shelter and Vandeventer Shelter
Section: 6: Iron Mountain Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: The SAWS/United States Naval Academy Crew hiked in from 91, established camp by the Iron Mountain Shelter and started working on brushing the first mile south of the shelter. This was the first day of a five day maintenance trip.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/10/2016
Purpose: Clear annual vegetation growth from the trail corridor
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: The SAWS/United States Naval Academy Crew hiked in and brushed thoroughly the trail corridor from the top of the switchbacks north of Wilbur Dam Road. The crew brushed a total of 2.5 miles of rhodo and annual vegetation growth.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/09/2016
Purpose: Install new sign and remove old bridge stringers
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Katie Currier, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: The SAWS/United States Naval Academy Crew installed a new information kiosk about 100 yards south of the Cross Mountain Trailhead and then went to Dennis Cove, hiked in to Coons Ford and cut up old bridge stringers with cross-cut saws and hand carried them out.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/08/2016
Purpose: Install and deliver new information signs
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bill Hodge, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Dory Lustig, Adrienne Wang, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: Working with the Watauga District Staff we installed two new Wilderness information kiosks at the Dennis Cove Trailhead, and delivered and hiked in a new Wilderness information kiosk at Cross Mountain.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 06/07/2016
Purpose: Deliver and Unload new Wilderness Information Kiosk Signs - Remove Old Bridge Stringers
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bill Hodge, Ryan Mariano, Collin Massman, Adrienne Wang, Dory Lustig, Mason Hicks, Vanessa Medford
Summary: We loaded two signs at the Watauga Work Center, delivered and unloaded the signs at Dennis Cove. We also carried out three pieces of old bridge stringers from last year's bridge project.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 06/18/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Ken Murray
Summary: Routine summer vegetation control in areas where vegetation impinges on trail.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/17/2016
Purpose: check shelter
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Jim Foster, Carl Fritz
Summary: We inspected roof on shelter. It is still leaking and we developed some plans to repair. We also removed a cart that had been abandoned at shelter for weeks.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/16/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Daryel Anderson, Ken Buchanan, Robin Dean, Carl Fritz, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We started some trail rehab north of Deep Gap. Mostly, we removed problem rocks, straightened trail and added many rock steps and rock cribbing. This is the start of multiple work days here. But it was about 15 degrees cooler here than in the low country.

Reporting: Terry Oldfield
Date: 06/08/2016
Purpose: Maintain Double Springs Shelter
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Kim Peters, Terry Oldfield
Summary: We hiked in from TN 91, making note of the new, well-constructed fence on the Osborne Farm. On the way, we cut briers and observed two blowdowns across the trail that are too large to cut with a handsaw. The blowdowns are about 2 miles in from TN 91. At the shelter, we picked up trash, dispersed rocks from a fire ring, and left a new log book. The water source was running well. We hiked back, leaving the shelter crowded with thru-hikers stopping in for lunch. It was a beautiful day.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/13/2016
Purpose: Trail Maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the camping area at the Overmountain Shelter and weedeat around Shelter and Trails.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 06/13/2016
Purpose: Maintenance
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat the Appalachian Trail and the Accessible Trail as needed.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 06/10/2016
Purpose: Trail Inspection
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko
Summary: Cut a multi-limbed tree from the trail. Checked weed growth in Beauty Spot, Beauty Spot Gap and Deep Gap. Beauty Spot looked good, but Beauty Spot Gap needs mowing now. Picked up trash at BS parking area.

Reporting: Kenneth buchanan
Date: 06/10/2016
Purpose: Remove reported blowdowns
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ken Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Anita Long
Laura Jack
Summary: Kim had reported a couple of significant blow downs on this section. So, I recruited some more or less willing workers, supplied them with tools and promises of free lunch and off we went.
We removed the blow downs cut a multitude of green brars ( briers for the "not from around here"), a few weeds and saw 12-15 hikers.
This time, the hikers were impressed by my crew.
Another fine day to be out hiking.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/09/2016
Purpose: Fix fence and trail rehab
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan,Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Becky Kinder, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Kim Peters, Mike Price, Gayle Riddervold, Kevin Sedgwick, George Thorpe, HIKERS: Yaakov "Trek" Reef, Ronald "Stryder" Stuart
Summary: It was a gorgeous day on Round Bald with rhodo buds just opening. Many people and dogs were out viewing today. We repaired barb wire fences back to original quality. We added many dead limbs and trees to the newly created paths. We raked some of gravel back onto the trail. Many of water bars were lengthened so they are not easily walked around. Part of the crew rehabbed trail just north of Engine Gap. Several took time to cut a blowdown a half mile south of Cloudland. More work remains for later this summer.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 06/09/2016
Purpose: Clean trail under powerlines
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird, Jennifer Baird
Summary: Weed-eated and trimmed brush away from trail at the area where powerlines cover trail.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/06/2016
Purpose: Exchange fence materials
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Carl Fritz
Mary Jane Fritz
Summary: Some fencing supplies needed to be exchanged at Osborne Farm. After several years I remembered to take paint for another blaze north at Low Gap.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 06/04/2016
Purpose: Rare Plant Monitoring
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dan Firth
Summary: Monitored several populations of rare plants locate on the section including pink lady slipper and round-leaf watercress. The lady slipper populations were found but the watercress was not evident.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 06/06/2016
Purpose: Trail maintenance
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Cut weeds & multi-flora rose bushes along AT from US321 to Forest Service gate.
Cleared 7 blowdowns (3 step-overs, 3 duck-unders, and 1 walk around) between Shook Branch and the Watauga Shelter.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 06/05/2016
Purpose: Inspect trail; remove trash
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird
Summary: Removed trash and inspected trail. Noted plant growth under powerline; plan to trim this ASAP.

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 05/28/2016
Purpose: check section
Section: 11b: Canute Place to Bitter End
People: Tim Stewart
Summary: With the exception of the recent fire, the trail and surrounding area was in pretty good condition. The fire jumped the trail in several places but wasn't too bad overall. Cleared a couple of small blowdowns. Rake, broom and shovel were still at the shelter. Replaced the shelter log and cleaned out the fire pit.

Thru-hikers were still hiking through the area.

Reporting: tim
Date: 06/03/2016
Purpose: Testing
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: 1
Summary: 1

Reporting: tim
Date: 06/03/2016
Purpose: Testing more
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: me
Summary: hrmph!

Reporting: Tim Schaefer
Date: 06/03/2016
Purpose: Testing more
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: 1
Summary: Why you still no worky?

Reporting: Tim Schaefer
Date: 06/03/2016
Purpose: Testing emailing - disregard
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Tim
Summary: Why no worky?

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/02/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Carl Fritz, Joe Morris, Bob Peoples, Tim Stewart
Summary: Bob and Joe trashed the sides of a couple of staircases so hikers could not easily avoid the steps. Also, they along with Tim and Carl tried to fix an occasionally muddy section by adding a couple of water bars and some fill of wood and rocks.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 06/02/2016
Purpose: Build fence
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Mark Dibble, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Pat Loven, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, Matthew Gilbert
Summary: With skilled help we were able to complete the almost 1800 foot fence including four wildlife stiles and a strand of barbed wire above the woven wire. Only one gate remains to be installed after it is purchased. This fence will allow the cattle to access a hill which cannot be safely mowed with a tractor. Funding was provided by Tennessee AT License Plates.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/23/2016
Purpose: School
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Paul Benfield
Summary: Attended the Crosscut Saw restoration and sharpening course at the Cradle of Forestry in Brevard, NC during the week 23-27 May 1916.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 05/31/2016
Purpose: Check trail and shelter
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Phyllis Cairnes, Kim Peters
Summary: We hiked out to check the shelter and trail. I thought that the majority of thru-hikers were past our area, but we must have met a dozen or so on this trip. The trail was in good shape, but the weeds are growing and should probably be cut within the next 2-3 weeks. We placed a new log book and cleaned up at the shelter, which was surprisingly free of trash except for the obligatory aluminium foil in the fire pit and the piece of discarded clothing. We dismantled two extra fire pits at the shelter area and one along the trail. The big orange box is gone! Thank-you Forest Service for taking care of that. We heard thunder and saw evidence of rain, but we stayed in the dry.

Reporting: Noah Naseri
Date: 05/28/2016
Purpose: Waterbars/Lopping
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Noah Naseri, Ed Carter
Summary: Cleaned water bars, cut back limbs and brush, picked up extraordinarily minimal trash.

Needs grass cut w/swizzle stick or swing blade, weed eater probably not necessary

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 05/28/2016
Purpose: Mow Camping area
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weed eat the camping area and all trails at the barn. Picked up the trash at the Shelter. There was a Church Group of about 40 that visited the shelter while we was there. Only 1 hiker seen.

Reporting: Kayla Carter
Date: 05/21/2016
Purpose: Weeds
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Kayla Carter
Summary: I was planning to have some recruits come help me, but they did not show up. I walked in from Elk River Falls with a swing blade. My sole purpose for this trip was to mitigate the weeds along the Elk River. I cut rhododendron on my way to the weedy area. It took the whole day to cut the weeds by myself with the swizzle stick, which broke about half way through. Rough day, but I got it done. Hope this will reduce tick-borne illness for the hikers that come through. I saw about four thru hikers and three day hikers. I plan to go back out after the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards Wilderness Skills Institute and my birthday (June 4) to maintain the rest of my section.

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 05/26/2016
Purpose: Install fencing
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: George Thorpe
Pat Loven
Ed Oliver
Tim Stewart
Bob Peoples
Ken Buchanan
Kim Peters
Ted Mowery
Mark Dibble
Matthew Gilbert
Summary: Under threatening skies we continued fence installation on the Osborne farm. We completed attachment of all the woven wire today - approximately 900 feet. We also opened the four wildlife stiles. Ted mowed and trimmed
the trail across the farm.
We'll likely be able to complete the installation with one more workday. The trail was quite busy with hikers all day.

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 05/25/2016
Purpose: Spring AT maintenance
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Eric Middlemas
Judy Middlemas
Wayne Jones
Janice Miller
David Douthat
David Fay
Lana Scott
Mike Hupko
Marsha Hupko
Howard Guinn
Faye Guinn
Summary: Conducted routine trail maintenance. Removed trail debris, lopped overgrowth, cleaned out water bars, checked springs at Cherry Gap Shelter, and removed 6 blowdowns. Replaced the log book at Cherry Gap Shelter.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 05/22/2016
Purpose: Section Maintenance
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: There was more than I bargained for on this trip. The fences heading through the woods climbing Round Bald have been cut in numerous places, and people making shortcuts through is more evident now that at any time since the relocation was first installed. I tied together what I could, but much more extensive work with some fresh fencing and a way to provide tension will be needed. I threw brush on the fence and along the volunteer paths which are being created. Volunteer paths paralleling the Trail are also becoming rampant in the open area on the Trail south side of Round Bald. I saw a not very tall acquaintance walking down to Carvers Gap, not using the gravel trail at all. When I asked her why, she said the steps were too high. Some of them are too high, through frost heaving, compaction, erosion, soil creep, not being installed deeply enough in the first place, or some combination thereof. They would be quite fine in a low use backcountry setting primarily used by avid hikers, but that's not Round Bald. The Trail north side has widened but is in better shape. The Round Bald sign is illegible. The Jane Bald sign which someone unbeknownst to us or any AT management partners installed was wobbly. The Grassy Ridge trail junction post is in solidly and in good shape. A campfire had escaped near the junction and burned a few acres. I scattered a fire ring and some wood near the junction. Hand clipped blackberry and brush between the junction and the summit, not beyond. There was actually a blowdown to contend with, a fir which had brought down some rhododendron.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 05/23/2016
Purpose: routine maintenance
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick, Gloria Sedgwick
Summary: Trail was very muddy after all the rain we have had. Met 16 thru hikers today. Broke apart a few campsites. Cleared lots of small/ med blow downs. As always pulled limbs across ATV path to block them from AT. Cut back mutiflora rose and berries.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 05/22/2016
Purpose: clearing trailside overgrowth, removing blowdowns
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Duchess Vixen
Summary: A cool, pleasant day. Several day-hikers and a few section- and thru-hikers. Removed a tree south of the 5 major switchbacks and 1 at the north end of switchback #1. Cleared trailside growth with my 4-cycle Husky weed whacker ("Destroyer of Worlds") between switchbacks #3 & #4, between switchbacks #4 & #5, and between switchback #5 and the ridge.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 05/21/2016
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Craig Haire
Scott Thomsen
Summary: Cut 3 trees across the trail. It was a wet, nasty day until it cleared up in early afternoon.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 05/14/2016
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Brian Schloff
Summary: We made a preemptive strike on the briars along the trail - looks like it will be a banner year again as some were more than 8 ft tall! We lopped branches, cleared a few small blowdowns & dispersed another fire ring that showed up on the bald just beyond Little Hump. Removed a moderate amount of trash from the Bradley Gap campsites & a large amount of trash from the barn. All springs are running well. Only saw 1 thru hiker & many day/section hikers.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 05/19/2016
Purpose: Inspect trail; remove trash
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Curtis Baird, Jennifer Baird, Emily Pons
Summary: Inspected trail for blowdowns/damage and "powerline area" for vegetation growing over trail. Removed trash from campsite firepits and parking lot.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 05/19/2016
Purpose: Build cattle fence
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Bob Peoples, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, Matthew Gilbert, Reuben Potter
Summary: We were in the clouds all day today and had to stay working to keep warm. But we started stretching woven wire fencing and established some techniques. Over half of the fence is up now. A couple of more days should finish the fence.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 05/19/2016
Purpose: Check trail clean water bars trim annual growth
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I cleaned, clipped, and sawed from one end of the section to the other. We also checked the shelter out and delivered a new broom. Someone left a pull cart (many for hauling game) at the shelter. Wonder if we could use it for hauling tin?

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 05/17/2016
Purpose: Roan Naturalist Orientation
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: This is the fourth year where a ridgerunner or naturalist will have a presence in the Roan Highlands from late May into early August. I met with Marquette Crockett from the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC), Amy Snyder from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), Reuben Potter from the Cherokee National Forest Watauga Ranger District, and 2016 Roan Naturalist Eric Rayfield for field orientation. We reviewed policies, guidelines, and some of the situations that have arisen in previous years. Eric's season starts this week. This year as well as last, he is employed by SAHC using A. T. license plate grant funding, but this is really a cooperative effort between both national forests, ATC, SAHC, and TEHCC. This will be the first year where a kiosk, in place just Trail north of Carvers Gap, will provide messenging for visitors which we hope will help the naturalist. Eric will focus most of his efforts between Overmountain Shelter and Cloudland, and has a distinct advantage over his predecessors by not starting on the very busy Memorial Day weekend.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 05/16/2016
Purpose: Cutting Locust Trees for Boy Scout Project
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Carl Belcher
Steve Wilson
Summary: The goal of this outing was to fell two dead locust trees near Abingdon gap shelter, and cut them into nine-foot logs. The logs will be used as water bars to improve the drainage for blue blaze trail leading to the shelter’s water source. We also used the chainsaw to cut down the almost dead locust tree next to the shelter which was a hazard tree. A new diamond shaped water sign was placed on another tree to indicate the water trail. We saw about twenty section & thru hikers which took great interest in observing the chainsaw work in the forest.