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Benton MacKaye
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BMTA Activities Calendar

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Overview

Listed below are the scheduled activities of the BMTA for 2014.  Work trips will be held on the second Saturday of the month in Georgia and on the fourth Saturday in Tennessee/North Carolina.  Recreational outings (Fun Hikes) are planned on other weekends to avoid scheduling conflicts with work trips and are set up as hike leaders become available.  Videos of previous hikes can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/BentonMacKayeTrail.

All Are Welcome

The BMTA welcomes all who would like to participate in any scheduled activity.  Members and non-members alike are encouraged to join in; no experience is necessary.

Notes



Recurring Monthly Events

  • 2nd Saturday - Georgia Work Trips - coordinated by Tom Keene
  • 3rd Saturday - Fun Public Hike - coordinated by Ralph Heller
  • 4th Saturday - Tennessee/North Carolina Work Trips - coordinated by Bill Hodge


      Planned Activities for 2014
      MonthDateLocation & Details
      April  April 4 Fun Hike: 6+ moderate miles, Grassy Mountain Fire Tower, Songbird Loop and picnic after at Lake Consauga pavillion. Parking fee required. Hike Leader is Van Banke. Register: van.banke AT co.clayton.ga.us or 770-827-3899.
        April 12 GA Trail Maintenance Work Day:  Georgia (+ Section 11) Work-trip – Big Frog Wilderness Adventure Work-trip

      Last fall the Board of Directors shifted responsibility for maintaining Section 11 – from the GA/TN line to US 64 – to the Georgia Maintenance Team. This is no Crimea take-over! The fact is that metro Atlanta gives the Georgia team a bigger demographic base to draw on for work-trips. So, Big Frog here we come! (TN/NC members – we are newbies in the Big Frog and would be very glad of your help!)

      We will mainly work refreshing side-hilling on the Fork Ridge Trail (Section 11c) but will also remove a fair number of small and medium blow-downs. This won’t be a regular Georgia work-trip, it will more strenuous than usual, and a bit of an adventure! The Cohutta/Big Frog is the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi; size matters! Walking to and from the worksite will be a MAJORITY of the day. The walk in from the FS 221/BMT trailhead to the work area will take over 2 hours. Along the way we will have to rock hop across the West Fork of Rough Creek TWICE. If there have been recent rains, wet feet are a real possibility. Dry socks and/or Crocs/Tevas are recommended. Also, bring plenty of water. You will need it for 4-5 hours walking, plus side-hilling.

      By the way, the walk in and out is incredibly beautiful. The Southern Appalachians at their finest!

      Meeting information (Note new breakfast location): The Breakfast meeting will be at 8:00 the McDonalds at the corner of Hwy 515/US76 and GA 5 (to McCaysville). Departure for the trailhead will be at 8:25am sharp. Trailhead meeting will be at 9:00 am at the Thunder Rock Campground at Power Station #3 just west of the Olympic Whitewater Center. Meet in the campground parking lot accessed by a road just behind the Powerhouse. The entire group will depart ASAP after 9:00 for the short (12-15 min) drive to the FS221/BMT trailhead. The aim is to be back in Blue Ridge by 5:00pm.

      Trip Leader is Barry Allen: 770-294-7384. PLEASE (!) let Barry know if you expect to be with us. We want to get this first-time Big Frog trip right.

      See you there!
        April 12 First Aid/CPR Training: Chattooga River Ranger District. For more information or to register, contact Janice Miller - janicepmiller (at) fs.fed.us or call 706-754-6221.
        April 12 Chainsaw Certification Class: Oconee Ranger District. For more information or to register, contact Jeff McDonald - jmcdonald (at) fs.fed.us or call 706-485-7110. Note: to receive a chainsaw certification card, you must complete an approved First Aid/CPR course.
        April 15 Yellow Creek Reroute:  CANCELED due to weather
        April 26 TN/NC Trail Maintenance Work Day: Work Trip on new Yellow Creek Trail Section.  We will need an additional qualified chainsaw operator, plus at least two brushcutters, in addition to clippers and loppers.  No tread maintenance, just brush clearing.  We will LEAVE the McDonalds in Robbinsville at 9 AM on Saturday April 26 and travel north to the work site.  Folks coming down Route 129 from Tennessee, meet at the Route 129 / Meadow Branch Road intersection just south of Tapoco Lodge at 9:30 AM.
      Bring eye protection, heavy gloves, loppers.  Brush pants or gaiters would be a benefit, plus lunch and water.  Contact Point - Dick Evans (828) 479-2503 or dick.evans (at) frontier.com.
      May  May 2-4 Hiking and Car Camping Weekend at Rainbow Springs (private campground with no charge to camp) with GATC and BMTA Board Member, Bob Ruby.  Near headwaters of Nantahala off Rt. 64. Stay overnight or come for the day and hike.  Pre Register with Bob - bmtabob AT gmail.com or 404-252-8888
        May 2 Fun Hike:  Ocoee Outdoor Center area. Bear Paw Loop then Rhodendron Trail and return. 3.7 moderate miles. Hike Leader: Hank Baudet. Register: 706-492-4318 or geezer95 AT gmail.com. Parking fee. Bring lunch and watch rafters and kayakers navigate class 3 & 4 rapids.
        May 3 Walk-thru of TN/NC Sections between US 64 and the Smokies. Sign-up NOW.  Go to the BMTA Walk-thru Page to see what sections are already claimed. Then line up a partner and claim one. Details on what’s involved and how to stake your claim are on the Walk-thru webpage.

      See below May 17 for GA Plus walk-thru day. Sign-up for BOTH
        May 4-9 Yellow Creek Reroute:  Join the American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation in helping to clear the Yellow Creek Reroute Project.  Tent accommodations can be provided.  Certified Chain Sawyers, brush cutters and general trail workers are needed throughout the week.  Contact Dick Evans at bmta(at) frontier.com or 828-479-2503.
        May 17 Walk-thru of GA sections plus TN north to US 64. Sign-up NOW.  Go to the BMTA Walk-thru Page to see what sections are already claimed. Then line up a partner and claim one. Details on what’s involved and how to stake your claim are on the Walk-thru webpage.

      See above May 3 for walk-thru TN/NC sections between US 64 and the Smokies. Sign-up for BOTH!
        May 21 Fun Hike:  Hike on BMT involving Skeenah Gap.  BMTA Board Member, Joy Forehand is Hike Leader.  Pre Register by calling Joy: 386-334-0336 (cell) or jwfbrga AT gmail.com.
        May 23 TN/NC Trail Maintenance Work Day:  John Muir Trail Coker Creek to Big Bend - Our plans are to meet behind the Skyway Visitor Center at 9 AM or if you want breakfast first, then Tellico Grains at 8:30 AM. Then we will carpool to the work sites.
      Crew 1 - Coker Creek toward Towee Creek
      Crew 2 - Towee Creek toward Coker Creek, meet in the middle
      Crew 3 - Big Bend to Towee Creek
      We will need chain sawyers who are certified and brush cutters as well as the usual loppers and hand saws. Please let me know if you plan to attend.
        May 24 TN/NC Trail Maintenance Work Day:  Work Trip on new Yellow Creek Trail Section.  We will need an additional qualified chainsaw operator, plus at least two brushcutters, in addition to clippers and loppers.  No tread maintenance, just brush clearing.  We will LEAVE the McDonalds in Robbinsville at 9 AM on Saturday May 24th and travel north to the work site.  Folks coming down Route 129 from Tennessee, meet at the Route 129 / Meadow Branch Road intersection just south of Tapoco Lodge at 9:30 AM.
      Bring eye protection, heavy gloves, loppers.  Brush pants or gaiters would be a benefit, plus lunch and water.  Contact Point - Dick Evans (828) 479-2503 or dick.evans (at) frontier.com.
        May 26-30 Yellow Creek Reroute:  Various Day hikes to remove old trail signs and install new ones for the Yellow Creek Reroute.  Contact Dick Evans at bmta(at) frontier.com or 828-479-2503.
        May 31 Yellow Creek Reroute:  Tapoco area on Route 129 in northern North Carolina.  Yellow Creek Trail Opening Ceremony and first Offical Walk Thru to Fontana Village.  Contact Dick Evans at bmta(at) frontier.com or 828-479-2503.
      June  June 6 Fun Hike: BMT from highway 60 to the Swinging Bridge and return. 7 moderate miles. Hike Leader: Ralph Heller. Register: rshbmta AT gmail.com or 770-235-9760.
        June 14 Chainsaw Certification Class: Chattooga River Ranger District. For more information or to register, contact Janice Miller - janicepmiller (at) fs.fed.us or call 706-754-6221. Note: to receive a chainsaw certification card, you must complete an approved First Aid/CPR course.
      August  August 30 First Aid/CPR Training: Conasauga Ranger District. For more information or to register, please contact Karen Larsen - kalarsen (at) fs.fed.us or call 706-695-6736.
      September  September 18-21 Biennial Conference for All Hikers:  This event will be sponsored by Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition at Blairsville, GA New Conference Center and Nearby Vogel State Park. It will be in the North GA Mountains near both NC and TN. Workshops aplenty, both new and previous favorites are planned. The Saturday Banquet Speaker will be Ron Tipton, the new Executive Director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. We’ll have wonderful, beautiful hikes to nearby mountaintop vistas and waterfalls (Nearby Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye Trail featured). Details of registration, local housing facilities (inns, cottages, camping), and costs/fees coming your way later this year.
        September 19 Cross-cut Saw Certification Class:  Blue Ridge Ranger District. For more information or to register, contact Valencia Morris - vcmorris (at) fs.fed.us or call 706-745-6928. Note: to receive a cross-cut saw certification card, you must complete an approved First Aid/CPR course.



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