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


December 21, 2019 Furnace Mountain, Black Rock Hike
Barbara Martin led 9 other hikers, Dave Eidtman, Mike Hammer, Jocelyn Prostko, Nancy Handley, Anna Castle, John Brandt, Marie Moss, Karen Ballen and Barbara Wilson on a Winter Solstice hike up to Black Rocks from Madison Run Road. On the way back we spied a young possum in a tree, which evoked a lot of oohs and ahs and how cute! Gorgeous views were the order of the day along with sharp changes in temperature. Towards the top the wind picked up and our lunch break at Black Rock was a short one. On the way back down the wind calmed and we enjoyed pleasant winter temps. A very jolly group of hikers!  Thank you Jocelyn for some great photos.


St. Mary's Wilderness Stewardship Day: Dec 1, 2019

For a day that started out cold and wet, the PATC's Charlottesville Chapter did pretty well rounding up trail workers to head out to St. Mary's Wilderness and work deep into the wilderness reclaiming the Cellar Mtn Trail.  The PATC worked with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) and Wild Virginia to reclaim the Cellar Mountain Trail, which was lost to years of unchecked vegetation growth.  PATC participants included John Brandt, John Shannon, Marit Anderson, Mark Perschel, and Jeff Monroe.  The group continued trail work that had been undertaken previously, and progressed to the end of the trail!  It isn’t yet perfect, but it is much more open than it was before the effort started.  PATC-Charlottesville hopes to have a group hike out here in the Spring of 2020.