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Trail Damage Update



PATC News Release - Damage Update/SNP Status

    Base: PATC Trails Forum 
    Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 02:52:55 GMT 
    From: Andy Hiltz <ahiltz@bbn.com> 

 News Release

 from the Potomac Appalachain Trail Club



 An assessment of trail conditions in the PATC trail region is continuing
following storm
 damage resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Fran. As of today, 95% of the
 Appalachian Trail in the North District of Shenandoah National Park (SNP)
has been
 cleared. Selected clearing has also been occurring in other areas of SNP,
but much
 remains to be done.

 According to reports from PATC trail surveys, at least 300 trees have been
counted
 down across the Appalachian Trail in the South District. The AT in this
region is not
 considered "passable". Estimates in the Central District put the number of
trees down
 at about 6 to 10 per mile. The very worst of the damage along the AT was
identified
 just north of Thornton Gap at Pass Mountain, and south up to Mary's Rock.
PATC has
 done much clearing on Pass Mountain, and the Park Service has now cleared
85% of
 the AT to Mary's Rock where 20 trees were counted down across the trail.

 Conditions on many of the side trails in SNP, as well as PATC trails in the
Massanutten
 Range of George Washington National Forest and the Big Blue Trail are still
mostly
 unknown at this time.

 Status of the Skyline Drive is as follows:

 The Central District Skyline Drive segment is expected to be fully open by
Tuesday,
 September 17th. The South District segment of the Drive is expected to be
open by
 Friday, September 20th. The North District Drive segment from Dickey Ridge
Nature
 Center to Thornton Gaps is expected to open by October 1st. NOTE: These are
 tentative dates - please check with the Park for actual disposition.

         BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING PERMITS ARE STILL NOT BEING ISSUED!

 PATC Trail Overseers interested in working on their trail sections may
enter closed
 sections of Skyline Drive after checking with the Entrance Station Rangers for
 information on Drive conditions. OVERSEERS NOTE: If you intend to work on a
trail
 section behind the closed gates, these gates will be opened for Overseers
at 8am, and
 LOCKED at 5:30pm. Overseers that intend to stay overnight are strongly
encouraged by
 SNP to stay in covered shelters and cabins. Tent camping is not recommended.

 How Can I Help??

 PATC has a special clean-up trip scheduled for September 21st and September
22nd.
 This will be an overnight trip. Saturday will be dedicated to cross-cut saw
training by
 NPS. Sunday will concentrate on trail clearing in the South District of
SNP. Interested
 individuals are invited and encouraged to attend this trip. Some overnight
 accommodations will be available at Doyles River Cabin, with the remainder of
 individuals tent camping in "safe areas" identified by SNP. For more
information,
 contact Rob Lauchner at (804) 794-1038.

 PATC is also looking for hikers willing to survey the trail system by
hiking the trails,
 making a count of downed trees, and identifying obvious trail damage. If
you are
 interested in hiking the trails and helping in this assessment, please
contact Anneliese
 Ring at PATCSOT@aol.com

 More trips are planned for the future. If you have already requested to be
added to
 PATC's "Volunteer Worker" list, you will be contacted about the trip
identified above,
 and all future trail clearing trips related to Hurricane Fran trail damage.
If you are not on
 this list but would like to be added, please contact PATC's Webmaster, Andy
Hiltz at
 ahiltz@bbn.com.

(From PATC's Trails Forum at:
http://union.ncsa.uiuc.edu/HyperNews/get/trails/PATC.html)