LNT Sept 26

McAfee Knob was already popular, but its starring role in the new film, “A Walk in the Woods,” is bringing an unprecedented number of visitors. You can help keep the AT from being loved to death!

On Saturday, September 26 2015 the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club invites everyone who loves the A.T. around McAfee Knob, Dragon’s Tooth and Tinker Cliffs to pitch in and help keep it beautiful!

Why September 26? It’s National Public Lands Day! But that’s not the only reason. (more…)

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AWITW Grandin poster“A Walk in the Woods,” Bill Bryson’s tale of walking about 800 miles on the Appalachian Trail, will premiere in Roanoke at the Grandin Theater on September 2, with Robert Redford playing Bryson and Nick Nolte looking about right for the part of Katz, his out-of-shape hiking partner. Evening shows will be at 5:15, 7:15 and 9:15. Check the Grandin website for more details, including weekend matinees.

Part of the filming occurred on our own McAfee Knob, and its iconic image is featured on the film’s posters, though not exactly to scale! While it is great to have the Knob’s image in the movie, on Virginia license plates and on billboards and websites, the increased traffic (already going up 55% each year for the past 5 years) has a downside as well in terms of trash, graffiti, lost hikers and overcrowding.

Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, the all-volunteer organization that maintains over 120 miles of the AT, including McAfee Knob, started a task force in May to assist the paid Ridgerunners with education, outreach, trash removal and “eyes on the trail.”

You can help! From 6 to 7 pm Friday, September 4, there will be a fund raiser for RATC’s McAfee Knob Task Force at the CoLab (1327 Grandin Road, Southwest, Roanoke) in Grandin Village. $20 includes food and drink from River and Rail and Parkway Brewery, and the first 50 people in the door will receive free tickets for the 7:15 showing that night.

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Interim Report McAfee 8.15 IMAGEWe all love McAfee Knob. In fact, visitation has increased by 55% per year in the last four years, causing a noticeable increase in avoidable impacts such as litter, vandalism, negative encounters with wildlife, and damage to vegetation.

Enter RATC’s McAfee Knob Task Force, an all-volunteer group that helps the paid Ridgerunners with outreach, education and cleanup. While they spend a lot of time on the AT, they find that greeting hikers in the Route 311 parking lot often provides the most useful information for hikers, especially (more…)

(a full copy of the RATC’s comments to FERC on the MVP is here: RATC comments to FERC 6.11.15)

According to its bylaws, the purposes of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club include a duty to:

  • participate in and encourage the development of laws and regulations that protect the Appalachian Trail and its related interests
  • use all legal means to protect and defend the Appalachian Trail and its related interests

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) of Pittsburg has proposed a 42-inch pipeline over 300 miles long to connect fracked natural gas fields in West Virginia to markets on the East Coast and overseas as far away as India, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will decide whether (more…)

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McAfee iconicMcAfee Knob Volunteer Ridgerunners help with outreach, maintenance and parking lot patrol – more training scheduled on August 8. To sign up or get information, see the McAfee Knob MeetUp group or contact Kathryn Herndon of ATC staff at kherndon@appalachiantrail.org

McAfee Knob is popular, which is both a blessing and a curse. Every weekend hundreds of day hikers and quite a few backpackers head for the Knob. Two wonderful paid Ridgerunners – Stephanie Breig and Eric West –take turns patrolling the section from Dragon’s Tooth to Lambert’s Meadow on weekends, but they can’t be everywhere.

That is where the volunteers come in. (more…)

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