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