October 28, 2022
Trailway News: Trick or Tre-A.T.
Happy Halloween from all of us at the ATC! To help you get in the spooky season spirit, choose one of three Appalachian Trail-themed jack-o’-lantern stencils to give your guests on All Hallows’ Eve a special treat. BONUS: take a photo of your A.T.-themed jack-o’-lanterns and share it on social media with #ATCspotlight for a chance to be featured in next week’s Trailway News and on our Instagram!
Camping Closed for Over 15 Miles in Tennessee Due to Aggressive Bear
Due to a report of an aggressive bear near Abingdon Gap Shelter, Cherokee National Forest officials have closed the A.T. to all camping between Low Gap/U.S. 421 and the Tennessee/Virginia state line (NOBO miles 455.7 to 467.0). The previous camping closure between U.S. 321 and Wilbur Dam Road (NOBO miles 428.6 to 433.0) is still in effect. All area visitors should use caution, pack out all trash and food scraps, and never leave food unattended. Overnight hikers should plan their itineraries accordingly to avoid camping in these sections.
Black bears on the Trail are increasingly active at the moment since they are building fat reserves for the winter. Depending on natural food availability, they may be having a hard time achieving their goals. If they do find a good food source, they can be less timid and more willing to “protect” it from anything they view as competition.
No matter where on the Trail, hikers should keep a clean camp and properly store all food and “smellables” (cookware, toothpaste, lotion, etc.) at night. The ATC recommends that all A.T. campers use a bear canister for the duration of their trip on the A.T.
There has also been an additional report of a habituated bear near Cold Springs Shelter in North Carolina. Click here for more information.
For more information on bear safety, proper food storage, and bear canisters, visit appalachiantrail.org/bears.
It’s Official: The 2023 A.T. Hangtag Color Has Been Chosen
After more than a week of intense voting, the people have spoken: next year’s A.T. hangtag color will be Virginia Wildflower! Thank you to everyone who cast their vote this year, and don’t forget to keep an eye on your email: ten voters will be randomly selected to receive a Hydro Flask Parks for All 12 oz Cooler Cup!
Ending November 1: Donate $75 and Receive the 2023 A.T. Calendar
Don’t miss your chance to experience the A.T. every day, no matter where you are!
We are proud to present our 2023 A.T. calendar, which allows you to experience the beauty of the Trail as you record upcoming events, appointments, and all of your 2023 A.T. hiking plans!
You can receive this full-color, limited edition calendar (in addition to other ATC member benefits) when you make a donation of $75 or more before November 1.
In Other News…
How to Find the Best Fall Foliage in Southwest Virginia – ATC Regional Manager Kathryn Herndon-Powell speaks with WSLS 10 in Roanoke, Virginia, about finding places on the A.T. to view fall foliage while also minimizing your impact on the Trail experience.
Ridgerunners: Stewards of the A.T. in the Smokies – Ricky Vandegrift, the long-season ridgerunner in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, discusses his role in protecting the A.T. experience and the perks of working directly on the Trail with hikers.
Six All-Too Common Backpacking Myths – Our friends at TheTrek.co explore some common misconceptions about backpacking on the A.T. and beyond.