Sprout's Run/Wilson Mountain Loop - October 13, 2018

Submitted by Jeff Monroe

A combined NBATC and PATC hiking event brought out 13 total hikers and one dog to hike the Wilson Mountain Trail in Jefferson National Forest off of I-81 near Buchanan.  The weather was perfect, however rain earlier in the week from the remnants of Hurricane Michael meant that Sprouts Run was higher than normal for October.  The creek wasn’t dangerous, but crossings were tricky, so the group decided to abandon the original loop hike for an out and back on the Wilson Mountain portion of trail.  The Wilson Mountain Trail was in great shape and provided the group a good workout while teasing everyone with partial views of the James River Valley.  The group hiked until the end of the Wilson Mountain Trail before retracing their steps back to the trailhead for an 8.1 mile hike. NBATC hikers included Herb Vreeland, Laurel Foot, Gary Nero, Laura Neale, Nancy Anthony, and Mahendra Punatar. PATC hikers included Marian Styles, Marie Moss, Michael Seth, Christa Neher and Ana Estrella-You.  John Brandt and hike leader Jeff Monroe are members of both clubs.  Everyone agreed that an occasional joint hike is a great way to meet and connect with new hikers from Central Virginia.

Patterson Ridge and Big Run, SNP - September 8, 2018

submitted by Iva Gillet

It was threatening rain, but eleven stalwart hikers, including new hikers Michael Matz and Mike Hammer, joined hike leader Iva Gillet, Marian Styles, CJ Woodburn, David Crowe, Jodi Fredericksen, Dave Abdullah, Michael Luu, along with Sharon Holman and her dad Bill for this 7.5 or 10 mile loop. The Patterson Ridge trail was beautifully manicured and increasingly steep as we descended into the Big Run Portal area. Traveling along Big Run, Dave caught a quick glimpse of a bear before the rest of us approached and scared it off. Lunch along the clear waters of Big Run were relaxing as we prepared to go UP the distance we had descended all day. We hiked our own pace with Dave and Michael Matz reaching the Skyline Drive first. As the rain was lightly falling, all but four of use decided to call it a day and head to the Loft Mountain Wayside for the cars and refreshment. Jodi and Dave, Michael Matz and Iva (with Remi the best hiking dog ever!) completed the loop past the Loft Mtn. campground to finish the 10 mile loop. We were grateful to have gotten such a lovely hike in before the weather worsened.