AT volunteers invited to help preserve view into Shady Valley

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Approximately 80 miles of the National Scenic Appalachian Trail (AT) navigate the hills and valleys of Carter County, but maintaining the trail that gives access to these views requires the commitment of local volunteers. Each week, members of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC) tackle a different section of the trail, ensuring that water drains properly, trails are well-marked, and fallen trees and rhododendrons do not impede the trail.
This Wednesday, they will begin fencing an area along Cross Mountain at Osborne Farm to allow cattle to graze in an area where vegetation is beginning to block the view into Shady Valley. Carl Fritz, AT projects coordinator, said farmers can’t mow that area, and that by making it possible for cattle to access it, they can feed while clearing the vegetation that is obstructing the view. Eventually, they plan to build a half-mile fence around the area.
Work Wednesday will include cutting, skinning and splitting locust posts for the fence. Volunteers will also be laying out the new fence line.
“There should be some interesting tasks for everyone in a beautiful area,” said Fritz.
Volunteers with no fence building experience are welcome to join in this social and educational opportunity. They should wear close-toed shoes and bring water and gloves, if they have them.
They may meet other volunteers to caravan to the farm at either Parkway Discount Wine and Liquor at 8:20 a.m., Elizabethton Food City at 8:40 a.m. or at Cross Mountain at TN-91 at 9:15 .m. Those interested should call Fritz at 423-330-2970.
TEHCC volunteers meet each Thursday morning to maintain the third largest section of any group along the AT. Through a combination of regular maintenance, special projects and volunteers that adopt sections within TEHCC’s area, club members volunteered over 15,000 hours in 2014 alone. For more information about opportunities with TEHCC, visit

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