January 2023 Work Trips Clearing Skyline Drive

 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.

Submitted by Marit Anderson including all photos


Trail Maintenance on the Appalachian Trail from Rip Rap Parking Lot - SNP - 9/4/22


Thank you to the twelve volunteers who came out to do trail work on their Labor Day holiday weekend. The task for the day was vegetation cutback on the Appalachian Trail from the Rip Rap parking lot in southern Shenandoah National Park.  The section was recently adopted by Linda Beights and Lisa Swales, so trail maintenance leader, Marit Anderson, had set up the event to help them out. The group met at 8:30 am for the briefing, tool and helmet hand-out, and walked 1.5 miles to begin the work.  Snack break with cookies was midway through the morning.  At noon we finished up and hiked back to the parking lot finishing up around 1 pm.  Much gratitude to the eager volunteers including Tad Hardee, Noelle Daly, Josh Heath, Kathy Thornton, Michael Seth, Brenda Stephens, Mike Hammer, Barbara Martin, and Erwina Maria Winiger (who found us on Meet Up and stopped by to assist us while on her South America/North America travel van tour😊).  Labor Day, which to many means the end of summer, is a holiday that really celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers. This group did some good work on the AT today!

submitted by Marit Anderson


Torrey Ridge- Sherando Lake Loop Hike - Sunday, August 28, 2022

We made the most of summer winding down at the end of August by taking a 9+mile hike from Slacks Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Sherando Lake for a swim and then back up. Leaders for the day were Barbara Martin and Marit Anderson with participants including Bill Westen, Rebecca Smith, Brenda Stephens, Karen Wilson, Mike Hammer, Mike Smith, and Mark Perschel.

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. 😎😍

Submitted by Marit Anderson, photos by Marit Anderson and Barbara Martin



Trail Love for Camp Holiday Trails - May 22, 2022

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).

Two groups were created to tackle the tasks.  Marit led Karen, Marie, and Angela doing vegetation cutback, sawing, and blowdown removal on the entire trail system, except Lucy's Landing.  Mark and Bill coordinated the team that did grading and mulching on the much-traveled waterfront trail. Temperatures had soared into the 90's over the weekend, so the event schedule had been revised to meet from 9am-noon.  Fortunately all of the work was completed in the three hours.  By then all were hot and sweaty!

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!

submitted by Marit Anderson