A big storm in December of 2022 closed Shenandoah National Park due to all of the blowdowns on the entire Skyline Drive. Starting in January of 2023 PATC members from the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter and the Charlottesville Chapter organized work trips together to help SNP crews clear the roadway. The tasks included chainsawing, pulling blowdowns next to the road, and putting branches in chippers. Following are a few photos from the work trips led by Jim Fye on January 5 and led by Marit Anderson and Mark Perschel on January 11. There were 12 members from SSVC and Charlottesville PATC on the first trip and 6 members on the second trip. More trips are being planned and the park is slowly opening segments of the park, but there is still much work to be done! Many thanks to all of the volunteers.
Our route descended on the Slacks and Torrey Ridge Trails, around the body of water on the Lakeside Trail, then ascended back up the White Rock Gap Trail and back to the parking lot via the Slacks Trail. We started early at 8 am which helped avoid the crowds at the state park and also took advantage of cooler temps. Lunch was enjoyed lakeside in the shade with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Some folks swam, some waded in the water, and others just rested under the trees. Three of the hikers had never been to Sherando Lake, so the walk up through the park gave them a chance to see the main lake, campground, upper lake, and surroundings. We stopped to identify wildflowers, mushrooms, and fungus. We saw other hikers, mountain bikers, but most interesting of all....a CAT hiking on a leash! The group made it back to their vehicles by 1:40 pm, satisfactorily tired by the miles and 1700 feet of elevation gain. 😎😍
Charlottesville PATC members helped Camp Holiday Trails renovate some much used trails and also prepare the rest of the trail system for the upcoming camper season on Sunday, May 22. CHT is a year-round non-profit camp for children with medical needs aged 7-17 years old at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Charlottesville. PATC trail maintenance leaders Bill Holman, Mark Perschel, and Marit Anderson had been contacted by the camp director, Tina LaRoche, for assistance in trail maintenance and advice for future upgrade of the most traveled sections. Mark and Marit inspected the camp trails in early May and with Bill's help set a plan in place. Bill scheduled the Meet Up and on May 22 the leaders were joined by the following volunteers: Angela Daniel, Loran Zumbrunn, Jodi Frederiksen, Dave Abdallah, Anna Castle, Marie Moss, Karen Wilson, John Shannon, and a CHT Property Committee member (Jody).
Cold beverages and chocolate chip cookies were the rewards for the hard work. After refreshments Marit offered a camp tour for those that had been working on the waterfront. Anna and Loren took her up on the offer and got to see all of the features of this amazing place. Tina, Bill, Mark, and Marit plan to organize a fall event to do more projects on the CHT trails. Hope many can join us!