Volunteers invited to Sep. 24 trail maintenance day, picnic
Published 8:28 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Volunteers are welcome to join Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club for a day of trail maintenance at Carvers Gap followed by an appreciation dinner at Watauga Point, provided by the United States Forest Service on Thursday, Sep. 24.
Everyone will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Carvers Gap parking lot near where TN Highway 143 becomes NC Highway 261. After a day of maintenance, those interested will drive to Watauga Point on Watauga Lake, beyond the Shook Branch recreation area, for a 5 p.m. dinner.
Some of the work will involve laying geo-textile and gravel around the new kiosk near the parking lot, while other work will take placecloser to Engine Gap, about one mile from the parking lot, in the valley just past the first bald.
Volunteers there will ensure that water drainage paths are clear so that rain water may drain without washing out the trail.
Volunteers must wear durable shoes and bring gloves if they have them as well as personal water and lunch in a day pack. TEHCC will provide hard hats and tools. USFS will provide the gravel needed at Carver’s Gap to maintain the ground around the new kiosk.
Those who wish to participate should call TEHCC Appalachian Trail Projects Coordinator Carl Fritz at 423-330-2970 by Wednesday night, so he knows how many to expect and may inform USFS on how many will be eating.
TEHCC began in 1946 and among other activities has organized section- and long-distance-hikes, weekly maintenance days, photography trips and whitewater paddling ventures.
The trail maintenance group meets weekly, typically on Thursdays, all over the region and always welcome volunteers. Those interested in joining may visit tehcc.org or call Fritz.
“Our goal is keeping the Appalachian Trail open and in usable form for the whole comunity and anyone wanting to hike it,” said Fritz. “We have made a lot of improvements to it over the last 15 years, and we have built probably 20 to 25 miles of trail from nothing.”