Appalachian Trail Maintenance March 2020

water diversion at Rockfish Gap

Fine weather made this a great day for John Shannon and Marian Styles to inspect Charlottesville Chapter’s section of the Appalachian Trail (Rockfish to McCormick Gap) for fallen trees after recent storms and high winds. We started walking over trail regraded in January; John hopes that more extensive earth removal will reduce future cleaning of drainage structures.
  Nearing the middle of the trail section, we met a southbound hiker who reported two trees across the trail a little south of McCormick Gap. Before heading for these obstructions, we stopped to remove an 11” tree that had fallen across the trail. For this task, John’s large folding saw, which had been recommended by a Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter member, worked well. It also worked great for reaching broken branches above our heads.

That job completed, we fetched our car from Rockfish, drove to McCormick Gap, and quickly found the first downed tree. Removing poison ivy from the tree was tedious, but the two cuts to remove it went quickly. We walked on and found the larger fallen tree, which our helpful hiker had accurately estimated the size of. We used the folding saw to remove a 10” branch and a 12” section on the main trunk. The chapter’s cross-cut saw proved useful to cut through an 18”section of trunk. We then spent some time freeing a small tree that had been bent and trapped by the large tree.
Cutting large logs with large saws

Marian Styles cutting part of the large blowdown


Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve Hike and Soup Party - Modified- January 18, 2020

January 18 was scheduled for a 5 mile hike and soup party led by Marit Anderson and Mark Perschel, but weather had other things in store. With a winter weather advisory listed for the day and many hikers dropping out the day before - the leaders made a decision to cancel the hike at Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve which is located on winding, rolling, and narrow Albemarle County roads, and offer walking on hiking trails from Old Trail Subdivision in Crozet (home of Marit and Mark) with a soup party after.  Nine folks partook hour long walks, some before the party, and a second set after the party including Dianne Anderson, Sunny Choi, Margaret Helber, Brooks Fulton, Barbara Martin, Andre Meyer, Iva Gillet, and the hosts. All enjoyed chili, vegan vegetable soup, salad, bread, many adult beverages, hot cider, homemade toffee bars, biscotti, and snickerdoodles. Thanks to all who brought things to share, but most of all thank you to Sunny for her amazing Korean yodeling demonstration!

submitted by Marit Anderson with photo share from Margaret Helber


January 11, 2020 Georgia Camp Trail/Shenandoah Mountain Trail/Road Hollow Trail

January 11, 2020 Georgia Camp Trail/Shenandoah Mountain Trail/Road Hollow Trail
10 hikers: Barbara Martin Anna Castle, Marit Anderson, Nancy Handley, Linda Beights, Margaret Helber, David Crowe, C J Woodburn, Dennis templeton and John Brandt explored a trail that was new to most, the Georgia Camp Trail. We started at Mountain House Parking and shuttled 2 cars to the Georgia Camp Trailhead. We climbed slowly up to Signal Knob and then down the Great Eastern Trail to Confederate Breastworks where we had lunch. We continued on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail, making a right on the Road Hollow Trail to return to Mountain House and Ramseys Draft. This is a beautiful area with many trail left to explore!


Reservoir Hollow Trail with NBATC: 2020 Jan 04

The first PATC-Charlottesville hike of the year was on the GWNF's Reservoir Hollow Trail.  Most hikers had never before experienced this pretty route, including veteran Michael Seth who completed every trail in the GWNF Pedlar District with this hike.

This hike was a combination hike with the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.  As a result, the group was treated to examples of non-blooming orchids along the way - a real treat!

 There were several stream crossings at the beginning of the hike, providing some adventure.  Nobody got wet!

 There were also interesting rock formations.
The NBATC hikers showed us a great overlook that was marked only by a stone cairn.  It looked west towards the Shenandoah Valley and Elephant Mountain.
 For lunch, we crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway and picnicked at Indian Rocks, in among the great rocks.

 After lunch we retraced our steps back to a fork in the trail.  Michael led a sub-group of PATC hikers on the trail to its northern terminus at US 60, halfway up from the valley to the BRP.  The NBATC and other PATC hikers headed back to their cars, located on the edge of Buena Vista.

 We might return during the green season.  It was a nice alternative to our usual hikes.

On the way back, we stopped at JJ's Meat Shak in Buena Vista.  Highly recommended!

Here is our mandatory group shot!


Old AT- New AT from Three Ridges Overlook - Saturday, December 28, 2019

Group gathered at Wintergreen sign - Old Appalachian Trail

 December 28, sunny skies, no wind, and 58 degree weather.  Great day for a hike and that is what we did! A group of 10 hikers gathered at Three Ridges Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to start an 8.5 mile hike. The leaders were Marit Anderson and Mark Perschel, joined by the participants: Patrick Cory, Jana Walters, Marian Styles, Marie Moss, John Brandt, Nancy Handley, Anna Castle, and David Consolvo. We bushwhacked from the parkway through the forest heading north for about half a mile looking for Old Appalachian Trail blazes and found a few.  Everyone got a good work out and plenty of hitch-hikers on their clothing.  Finally we arrived to Wintergreen Resort property at Cedar Drive. We continued by following the red blazes, which was the Old Appalachian Trail (and also part of the Perimeter Trail of Wintergreen Nature Foundation trails).  The trek had lots of ups and downs, rocky sections, and also many beautiful views. We stopped to admire many, including the Sherando Lake area and west to the Shenandoah Valley and Allegheny Mountains.  The trail meandered behind people's homes and then along the Shamokin Springs Nature Preserve.  We then exited the Wintergreen area and crossed the parkway at Dripping Rock....hungry and ready for lunch, which we ate at the lovely Cedar Cliffs. We were lucky to have the place to ourselves.  After lunch we hiked four more miles along the current Appalachian Trail to return to the cars at Three Ridges Overlook. Everyone was suitably tired and happy with the day of outdoor fun, so we said our good-byes to each other and to the exiting year of 2019. Welcome 2020!

 submitted by Marit Anderson, photos by Marit Anderson and Mark Perschel