Love Gap - Mau-Har Trail - May 5, 2018

Mark Perschel stepped in to lead the Love Gap - Mau -Har Trail hike on May 5 because Marit Anderson had to tend to her ailing mother.  He was  joined by seven hikers including new comers Ivan Via and Karen Ballen, along with Nancy Handley, Iva Gillet, John Sinclair, Betty Joyce Nash, and Dave Borszich.  The group met up at Love Gap at MP 15.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway after some car pooling segments.  The group started on the fire road and headed in to unite with the  Mau- Har Trail at the Maupin Field Shelter.  The seven mile hike continued down along Campbell Creek for lunch and then a long haul back up the mountain to return to the parking area.  Elevation gain was 1180 feet.  The previous week Marit and Mark prehiked the route and the wildflowers shown below were from that excursion.  There were reports that it was a great day to be out in the Three Ridges Wilderness enjoying the falls, wildflowers, and nice weather.

Wildflower photos from the previous week:
Skunk cabbage

Common blue violet


Spring beauties

Wild geranium

Golden corydalis

submitted by Marit Anderson


Mutton Hollow - Vining Tract Trail Maintenance, Hike, and Pot Luck - April 21 & 22, 2018

Volunteers prepare to do trail work at Mutton Hollow

Ready for the potluck at Conley Cabin after 6 hours of maintenance 
Bill Holman, district manager of Mutton Hollow, helped to organize 4 groups of volunteers on Saturday, April 21 at the Mutton Hollow - Vining Tract off of Route 33 in Greene County. Iva Gillet and Marit Anderson led two groups of volunteers inspecting 12 miles of trails for blow downs, cutting back vegetation, and removing debris off of the trails.  Another group trimmed back vegetation on the road up to Mutton Top Cabin, as well as some of the connector roads.  The volunteers included Marian Styles, CJ Woodburn, David Crowe, Lisa Lampe and newborn son, Steve James, Michael Seth, Dave Borszich, John Brandt, and Peggy Byrd.  The other teams included Jodi Frederiksen and Dave Abdallah painting fresh blazes to mark the trails, along with Bill Holman and Mark Perschel using the chain saw to clear large blow downs. It was a very productive day and the crews put in over 6 hours of work. Cool, clear weather helped to make conditions optimum for some of the rugged hiking and work.  At 4 pm most of the volunteers congregated at Conley Cabin for refreshments and appetizers.  Dinner of hamburgers and many pot luck side dishes and desserts followed.  A cozy fire provided warmth as the evening wore on. Six folks stayed to spend the night and work on Sunday to do more chain sawing and swamping including Bill, Iva, Jodi, Dave, Mark, and Marit.  Meteor showers were anticipated after midnight, but cloud cover rolled in and unfortunately no one reported any sitings  The work was completed Sunday afternoon - the district manager was delighted by all that had been accomplished. 

Remy always loves to come out and play

Wineberry Cabin

Lovely red bud trees in bloom

May Apple

Conley Cabin - great lodging, party place, and view
submitted by Marit Anderson


Bear Church Rock Hike - April 7, 2018

From the Graves Mill Trail to intersection at the Staunton River Trail

Atop Bear Church Rock for lunch
 With a forecast of winter mix and cold temperatures, hike leader, Marit Anderson, decided not to cancel the hike set for Saturday, April 7, but instead have interested hikers reach her by phone, which allowed us to arrive at AHS ready to hike with the option to change the hike.  Five hikers decided collectively to forego the scheduled Corbin Mountain 11 mile hike for a shorter hike a little closer to home in case bad weather developed.  Iva Gillet and Remi the hiker dog, John Brandt, Mark Perschel, Nancy Handley, and Marit carpooled up to the Graves Mill parking area on VA662 to do the Bear Church Rock circuit in the Shenandoah National Park. We began on the Graves Mill trail along the Rapidan River and split off at the Staunton River Trail taking the steeper Jones Mountain Trail all the way up to Bear Church Rock through a canopy of Mountain Laurel.  We enjoyed the beautiful view and ate a quick lunch and dark chocolate, as the day was quite brisk.  Snow and hail spat at us as we descended and took the detour to see the Jones Mountain Cabin, a quaint cabin which might be fun to backpack to for an overnight someday.  We split off to take the less steep descent on the McDaniel Hollow Trail and rejoined the Staunton River and Graves Mill trails to return to our cars.  The mileage for the day was 8.5 miles with 2,210 ft of elevation gain.  We also did some trail maintenance - sawing and removing a tree on the trail. Everyone seemed happy to get a good hike in on a day we thought would be snowed out. Remi seemed the happiest of all!
Jones Mountain Cabin

Canopy of Mountain Laurel

Trail maintenance time

Hail on Remi

Bloodroot in bloom
**The Corbin Mountain Hike will be rescheduled for June.  Check the schedule because it is quite a nice hike on the Hughes River along the Nicholson Hollow Trail up to the Corbin Cabin and following the Corbin Mountain and Corbin Hollow Trails- starting at the Old Rag parking area.

submitted by Marit Anderson


Shenandoah Mountain Trail - March 17, 2018

submitted by Jeff Monroe

The Charlottesville Chapter conducted a joint hike with the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter on March 17th. Four Charlottesville hikers traveled over the mountain: hike leader Jeff Monroe, Marie Moss and first timer Karen Ballen met in Charlottesville, and picked up John Brandt in Afton. After meeting eight SSVC hikers in Churchville and discussing trail conditions, the groups decided to hike together without using shuttles, but to still hike on Shenandoah Mountain. The combined group first enjoyed a short hike north on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail from Scotchtown Draft Rd. to a great scenic viewpoint, and then deep snow turned the group around to hike south from Scotchtown Draft Rd. to the projected natural gas pipeline construction corridor. Although tree felling for the pipeline had not begun on the southern end of Shenandoah Mountain, the group did observe flags marking the route. The hike was not a long one, only five-and-a-half miles, but the forecasted rain amounted to only a twenty-minute drizzle and the views from the mountain were amazing! 


AT Trail Clearing - March 10, 2018

submitted by Jeanne Siler

Saturday, March 10, provided good news and good news for PATC trail volunteers working the Charlottesville chapter’s opening stretch of the Appalachian Trail from Rockfish Gap McCormick Gap in Shenandoah National Park.

And then there was the evening news.

NBC Channel 29 sent reporter Pete DeLuca to the meet-up point at King’s popcorn stand atop Afton Mountain on Saturday morning to hear about the planned clean-up efforts after the previous week’s windstorms. DeLuca managed to cart his video gear and a tripod up the first steep slope at McCormick Gap heading south despite being outfitted in a white shirt and tie. Check out his report online by clicking http://www.nbc29.com/ clip/14188975/volunteers-band- together-to-clear-shenandoah- national-park-from-noreaster- debris

Another piece of good news was that with a hefty turnout of almost twenty volunteers, including half a dozen newcomers, the workload was light. The chainsaw crew, working south, took care of several large trees on the trail, while two scouts headed north to Jarman Gap to survey other potential chainsaw needs. A group of nine headed north into the park armed with hand saws and loppers to make sure that portion of trail was clear for hikers like David Waiter. Waiter, a James Madison University student from northern Virginia, was using his spring break days to hike from Front Royal to the park’s southern terminus.
David Waiter
More positive news appeared in form of green leaves at lower elevations, bearing proof that spring isn’t just something on the calendar.

Not counting Channel 29’s news reporter Pete DeLuca, volunteer trail workers on Saturday included hike leaders Iva Gillet and Bill Holman, who doubled as a television star along with Jodi Frederickson. Dave Abdallah, Mikhail Arefev, rock star Rich Bard, Dave Borzszich, Dennis Burgett, chauffeur extraordinaire Pete Fink, Nancy Handley, Sharon Holman, Steve James, Michael Luu, John Shannon, Jeanne Siler, Geoff Manning-Smith, Linda Steigleder, Marian Styles, Clark Wiedman and Remy the Hiking Dog also took part in the clean-up.

Before heading off in all compass directions, a group of volunteers warmed up over cold ones at Seven Arrows Brewery in Waynesboro.