Tree Down – U.S. Forest Road 77, Chattahoochee National Forest

After 24 hours of 25+ MPH winds, this large pine gave way and blocked our drive up U.S. Forest Road 77 in the Chattahoochee National Forest. We were on our way to backpack a section of the Appalachian Trail near Three Forks, and after snapping a tow line - got to work using a Sven campsaw and a small hatchet to clear the path. Fortunately, our primitive backcountry tools prevailed and after 30 minutes, we were moving again. Eight trucks and a motorcycle awaited passage. So after the next big … [Read more...]

Long Branch Shelter replaces the old Big Springs Gap Shelter

Out with the old ... and in with the new: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Nantahala Hiking Club, and a local company - Goshen Timber Frames - teamed up for the construction of Long Branch Shelter near Glassmine Gap. The new structure is located north of Standing Indian on the Appalachian Trail and about 17 miles from Franklin, N.C. The new two-story Long Branch Shelter replaces the old Big Springs Gap Shelter (shown below), which was built just north of Albert Mountain. The Big Springs … [Read more...]

Video Of Steven Ainsworth’s Helicopter Rescue In The Smokies

In early November, I posted an article about an Appalachian Trail southbound thru-hiker that was rescued in the Smokies after riding out Hurricane Sandy. Steven Ainsworth battled record snowfall and survived for three days before calling 911 for help. Here's footage and some commentary from the HuffPost on the helicopter rescue: Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Brad Lund and his crew of three had taken to the air after park rangers on foot failed to reach Ainsworth. "We have had numerous … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appalachian Trail Buffer: Rocky Fork Into Public Ownership

The Nashville Business Journal reported last month that there is a new State Park in Tennessee. The 2036 acre park is located near the A.T. in the Northeastern part of the State and provides an additional buffer against development in this area. The transfer of Rocky Fork into public ownership has been a goal of the Appalachian Trail Conference since at least 1983: Tennessee_State_Park_-_AT_ReRoute_Nov_2012.pdf Download this file Gov. Bill Haslam and other Tennessee officials … [Read more...]