Spring state park cleanup to focus on river, trail

Published 5:05 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

The effects of flooding from October are still being felt in Roan Mountain.

And to help chip away at the issue, Roan Mountain State Park will host a spring cleanup hike to prepare the area for spring and summer visitors. According to park officials, the hike will take place Saturday, March 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public for anyone over the age of 14 years old. Participants are asked to meet at the park’s headquarters.

While a cleanup of a trail is on the docket, event organizer and RMSP Ranger Keifer Helle said individuals can expect a little bit of work near the river.

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“I am thinking that our (hike) will focus on the Moonshiner’s Run trail and we will be doing a river cleanup in the process,” Helle told the Elizabethton Star.

Helle added the flood that took place in October washed “a lot” of litter and debris and that the park has received help from other parks and from the staff in cleaning as much as they could.

To combat the flooding, staff received help from a variety of avenues. Individuals that helped include RMSP staff, Carter County EMA, Roan Mountain Fire Department, Tennessee Department of Transportation and a pair of inmate crews.

Even though the brunt of work was taken care of following the two workdays following the flooding, Helle is hopeful weather next month can get together a successful river restoration project.

“With the recent cold weather we had, it’s been difficult to do a river cleanup, especially since the Doe River was frozen several times. Hopefully in March we will have good weather to clean up more of the river,” he said.

Individuals wanting to participate are asked to dress in layers for potentially spring weather. Other items the public is encouraged to bring include work gloves, sturdy boots, drinking water and snacks.

Helle added that letters for volunteer service hours completed can be provided for individuals. For more information about the hike, or to help with an upcoming project, visit the park’s website or call (423) 772-0190.