Mutton Hollow District Trail Work and Hike -November 17, 2019

Eleven volunteers came out on chilly Sunday, November 17 to do trail work at PATC Mutton Hollow District in Greene County.  Bill Holman (Mutton Hollow District Manager), Iva Gillet, and Marit Anderson helped to coordinate the day and the mighty participants included Dave Borszich, Jeanne Siler, John Shannon, Marian Styles, Brian Muszynski, John Brandt, Mark Walkup, and Mark Perschel. The plan for the day was to hike/inspect as many of the 10 miles of trails as possible, while taking care of blowdowns and debris along the way.  It ended up being a very busy day because of all the blowdowns, most likely due to the big storm on the recent Halloween night.  The groups were broken down into 4 teams.  Bill Holman and Mark Walkup with chainsaw duties on the northern trails.  Mark Perschel and John Shannon also using chainsaws on the southern trails.  Iva was the lead for Jeanne, Dave, and Marian inspecting and clearing Boxwood, Wineberry, Conley and Conley Morris Trails.  Marit worked with Brian and John Brandt to hike and clear Boundary East and Boundary West, Mutton Top, Cliff and Conley Morris Trails.  The teams worked from 10 am -2:30 pm straight to get as much work done as possible.  Then lunch and some refreshments provided by the leaders were enjoyed by all at Butternut Cabin (overseer cabin).  All were tired, cold, with wet feet, but happy with the work completed at 3:30 pm when carpools set for Charlottesville and beyond.  There is still much to be done, so another work day may be in the planning in the new year.  In the meantime, a heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers for the day!

Submitted by Marit Anderson with photos by Iva Gillet, Jeanne Siler, and Marit Anderson


SNP AT Hike #4: November 17, 2019

Despite cool November temps, a large crowd of experienced hikers hit the trail on Saturday, November 17th to continue the journey on the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park.  This section started at Blackrock parking, continued north through Loft Mountain Campground, and ended at the Ivy Creek Overlook. 

The group lunched at the Loft Mountain Amphitheater, which featured great mountain views, and it was announced that the 2019 recipient of the Chapter's sole Hawksbill Award would be Iva Gillet.  Since the presentation would be on a Wednesday evening up in Vienna, there was nobody scheduled to be present at the award event.

After lunch, the group cut through the Loft Mountain area to find the other end of the AT as it looped around the campground.  We passed though a closed picnic area which had kind of an eerie feeling.

Closed area of the Loft Mtn Campground

In all, it was a 10.3 mile hike with a 2000 foot + ascent.  The group hiked the distance in about 5 1/4 hours.


Beard's Mountain Hike - November 10, 2019

Three hikers braved perfect temps and unknown trail conditions to travel out near Douthat State Park and hike a little used trail in the GWNF.  This hike started out by crossing the scenic Cowpasture River on a 150 foot long swinging bridge. The bridge connected to a trail on the western side of the river that climbed Beards Mountain, which is the eastern boundary of Douthat SP. This was an out-and-back hike up Beards Mountain that did not go as far as the Douthat boundary.  It appears to be an established mountain biking trail, though we saw no other trail users of any kind. The trail was in great shape - must be the mountain bikers! There were several nice views through the trees and one open spit with spectacular views to nearby mountains, including the Rough Mountain Wilderness, Warm Springs Mountain, Tower Hill Mountain, and Shenandoah Mountain.  Joining hike leader Jeff Monroe were Marian Styles and Joanna Myers.  The trio hiked a total of 9.6 miles with a 2550 foot total ascent, over 4 ¾ hours. 

submitted by Jeff Monroe


Fuller Rocks - November 2, 2019

submitted by Barbara Martin

6 hikers, Barbara Martin, Andre Meyer, Dave Eldtman, Nancy Hanley, Margaret Helber and John Brandt enjoyed a gorgeous fall day with incredible viewpoints on November 2. We started out driving through fog on the way to James River Foot Bridge, but miraculously just as we arrived at the parking lot, the skies cleared and we hiked under gorgeous, clear blue skies. This was an out and back hike heading north on the AT, which started with a stroll along the lovely Rock Row Run. After a couple of miles we began the climb to Fuller Rocks. The view of the James River and surrounding mountains was so appealing we decided to have our lunch, complete with leftover Halloween candy from hike leader, Barbara Martin. The decision was made after lunch to hike another 1.3 miles further north on the AT to a promised view above cliffs. This added another 600 feet in elevation, but all agreed it was worth the climb with an even more expansive view than the one at Fuller Rocks. We all headed back, feeling sated and grateful.