Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Corona Virus and the Trail

    • LIhikers wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      I agree, I think the ATC, as well as the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference has responded to the virus in a good manner. What I'm real starting to dislike is how almost every e-mail from ATC asks for money.
      Or even worse promoting political causes that have nothing to do with taking care of the trail itself.
      Yep and that too
      Companies and entertainment and sports should stay focused on their trade, I have a hard time spending money with those opposed to me, I ditched REI a long time ago, dropped Netflix and Prime today. I don't occupy the moral high ground but Netflix has gone too far with trashy shows for even me.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Was supposed to talk to the University Explorer Club tonight (outside social distanced) about hiking, but the club president canceled. Despite plexiglass, masks, and 6 foot distance in classroom, some cases have recently shown up from activities beyond the classroom. We are halfway to our goal of on ground classes until Thanksgiving break, and finish with 3 weeks online.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Was supposed to talk to the University Explorer Club tonight (outside social distanced) about hiking, but the club president canceled. Despite plexiglass, masks, and 6 foot distance in classroom, some cases have recently shown up from activities beyond the classroom. We are halfway to our goal of on ground classes until Thanksgiving break, and finish with 3 weeks online.
      Hope you all make it Astro. The online world rather sucks IMHO.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Have you thought about your hiking plans for 2021? I am growing increasingly concerned that I will be forced to chose between my desire to take a walk, and the official guidance of the ATC and PCT.

      While I understood and supported their request that long-distance hikes be terminated and postponed in 2020, I fear this stance will remain in place for some time to come. At the start of 2020 we did not fully understand the implications of this virus, we were not fully prepared to protect the vulnerable. Now everyone understands the risks involved and can make their own decisions about what is best for them. But the problem with government restrictions and the loss of freedom is that it seems a lot easier for people to give up than to get back.

      I have zero faith that a vaccine will fix this thing anytime soon. The 'safe' thing for these agencies to do from a 'cover your ass' point of view is to keep their recommendations in place. Will 2021 be another lost year for the hiking community? What about 2022?

      What I want to know is, what is the end game for all of this? And if you tell me it is a vaccine, I am not sure there is any end game in sight.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Have you thought about your hiking plans for 2021? I am growing increasingly concerned that I will be forced to chose between my desire to take a walk, and the official guidance of the ATC and PCT.

      While I understood and supported their request that long-distance hikes be terminated and postponed in 2020, I fear this stance will remain in place for some time to come. At the start of 2020 we did not fully understand the implications of this virus, we were not fully prepared to protect the vulnerable. Now everyone understands the risks involved and can make their own decisions about what is best for them. But the problem with government restrictions and the loss of freedom is that it seems a lot easier for people to give up than to get back.

      I have zero faith that a vaccine will fix this thing anytime soon. The 'safe' thing for these agencies to do from a 'cover your ass' point of view is to keep their recommendations in place. Will 2021 be another lost year for the hiking community? What about 2022?

      What I want to know is, what is the end game for all of this? And if you tell me it is a vaccine, I am not sure there is any end game in sight.
      I see no end game & it still appears to be a guessing game. My doc told me it was going to be like a severe flue when it first hit. I did work Sturgis Bike Week but in Hulitt, WY I did see people trying to social distance, Crowds didn't follow normal pattern. last info I saw 260 people had covid traced back to the media proclaimed "super spreader rally with an estimated attendance of 400K. I don't deny the virus is out there & bad. I personally believe shut downs have gone too far, especially the trails. I've heard rumors of one person on th AT getting covid,
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Have you thought about your hiking plans for 2021? I am growing increasingly concerned that I will be forced to chose between my desire to take a walk, and the official guidance of the ATC and PCT.
      The ATC recommends hiking locally which I agree is sound advice.

      I can get anywhere on the AT that is in GA and back home on 1 tank of gas so that's what it's gonna have to be.

      (A couple weeks ago I was planning a 2 day, 1 night hike starting at Hickory Flatt Cemetary, but then life got in the way and it didn't happen.) :(
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • New

      IMScotty wrote:

      Have you thought about your hiking plans for 2021? I am growing increasingly concerned that I will be forced to chose between my desire to take a walk, and the official guidance of the ATC and PCT.

      While I understood and supported their request that long-distance hikes be terminated and postponed in 2020, I fear this stance will remain in place for some time to come. At the start of 2020 we did not fully understand the implications of this virus, we were not fully prepared to protect the vulnerable. Now everyone understands the risks involved and can make their own decisions about what is best for them. But the problem with government restrictions and the loss of freedom is that it seems a lot easier for people to give up than to get back.

      I have zero faith that a vaccine will fix this thing anytime soon. The 'safe' thing for these agencies to do from a 'cover your ass' point of view is to keep their recommendations in place. Will 2021 be another lost year for the hiking community? What about 2022?

      What I want to know is, what is the end game for all of this? And if you tell me it is a vaccine, I am not sure there is any end game in sight.

      Ive spent about 2 weeks on AT in last month.

      First realize it our economy is 90% open unless you own a bar, or in a state where your leadership is trying to make a political Gambit by keeping things closed for no reason.

      I've stayed in hotel several times, because I stay in hotels for free, due to the copious amounts of work travel in the past. in my several hotels days in the last month the hotels were virtually booked up full. In fact as I got to my hotel last week.... A man in front of me got the last unreserved room. I say this just to point out everything is working just about normal out there.

      There's a tremendous amount of people on the AT. Particularly around weekends. Bear Garden hostel in VA has had over 650 hikers stay with them this year. And that is after a really slow start the first few months of the hiking season. I went on a little nobo hike in the past week and I crossed paths with quite a few sobos. Quite a few weekenders and section hikers too.

      There is not one iota of evidence to suggest that the virus is being communicated on the at in shelters or privies and they have all been very heavily used. Towns people typically don't even wear masks even wear required. Everybody's over this thing...... For the most part. They consider it to be a big city thing.... At least a few I talked to. One flip flopper said that there was resupply issues in Ga/NC early on in April time frames but that quickly cleared up and he had no issues for the remainder of his hike. He skipped the smokies and then came back.

      lots of shuttle providers have been running and hostels operating and business as normal. Some ask that you wear a mask in the vehicle , keep windows cracked,others don't care.

      Whether the ATC likes it or not it's going to be business as usual on the trail next year, i suspect. Go for it.

      A photo from a recent trail excursion: did they really think they weren't just creating work for themselves by trying to lock a privy? What total idiots. A 10 lb rock is as good as a 10 lb sledge hammer, duh......

      they finally unlocked the privy at partnership shelter. an in spite of being practically located in the parking lot of the Mount Rogers visitor center, the shelter is not posted as closed...... Nor do they harass hikers and run them out the way they did back in june.... The funny thing is part 36 CFR requires USFS to post notices of closures in conspicuous locations.... Usually this is trailheads. Often even deep in the backcountry out west where they have fire stuff you will find they have posted closures miles from the nearest trailhead. Simply put, I'd say they have not complied with the regulations in 36 CFR and so that the shelters are not closed per law



      The only goal in managing the pandemic, was to not overrun the healthcare system. You're not going to keep people from getting sick you're only going to slow the rate at which it occurs. And that has worked well enough. the idiots at the ATC have taken it upon themselves to set their own goals for managing the pandemic.....


      The post was edited 8 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • New

      With the right result two weeks from yesterday the "crisis" will be over. Wrong result and things are going to get a whole lot crazier with serious long term effects. And I will leave it at that. :whistling:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      max.patch wrote:

      Muddywaters wrote:

      There is not one iota of evidence to suggest that the virus is being communicated on the at in shelters or privies and they have all been very heavily used.
      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      Anybody who chooses to sleep shoulder to shoulder with strangers in a shelter is either stupid or uninformed.
      Not going to disagree.....

      But the forest service and the park service have their responsibilities and such spelled out in 36 CFR. As well as the compendium of orders for the AT, and national parks, etc. Capricious and arbitrary decisions are not among them. They do not have that right.

      the knee jerk reaction initially was because we didn't know anything about this. Since that's time it's proven..... An extremely small risk to the vast majority of reasonably healthy people.

      After one year there will need to be evidence to maintain closures. Not suppositions, or "it seems like a good idea."

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • New

      Muddywaters wrote:




      A photo from a recent trail excursion: did they really think they weren't just creating work for themselves by trying to lock a privy? What total idiots. A 10 lb rock is as good as a 10 lb sledge hammer, duh......




      The person who damaged property is the definition of an entitled hiker. I wish he had been caught in the act and proscecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      To tone things down for a moment, I said "You can't close the woods" to a ranger once. The parking lots (and trails) at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park close at dusk. I knew that but never let that stop me. Once I finished up in the dark and there was a ranger in the parking lot writing tickets for every car that was still parked there. He saw me and came over.

      Ranger: Sir, Kennesaw Mountain and the parking lots close at dusk. Ever car here is being ticketed. Please leave on time in the future.
      Me: You can't close the woods!
      Ranger: Yes we can. Kennesaw is only open from dawn to dusk. I was just going to give you a warning. Don't make me change my mind.
      Me: Thank you. But I still don't understand why the woods are closed. Have a nice evening.
      Ranger: You too. (Ranger returns to ticketing the other cars.)
      2,000 miler
    • New

      max.patch wrote:

      Muddywaters wrote:

      A photo from a recent trail excursion: did they really think they weren't just creating work for themselves by trying to lock a privy? What total idiots. A 10 lb rock is as good as a 10 lb sledge hammer, duh......




      The person who damaged property is the definition of an entitled hiker. I wish he had been caught in the act and proscecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      Well that includes a great number of millenial type hikers today that hike with a sharpie as part of their base weight......

      I'm not commenting on the right or wrong of it just that it would have been exactly the outcome I would have expected. Although I agree there is no right to it it's all definitely wrong.

      I don't know why it's closed. Could be the corona, could be a different reason, but I suspect it's the corona. Odd that even though they closed the other privies they didn't lock them......why someone decided to do so this one is baffling. I think they're lucky it was just the hasp that was broken, they could have eadily ripped the whole door off the thing.

      But actually it's not that baffling because there was a short 50-ft trail reroute a little bit down the trail with blue tape. There was a "hazardous tree", that this maintaining club routed the trail around. Like there's not thousands of hazardous trees leaning across the trail you have to climb under. And thousands more you have to climb over. They printed up little laminated maps and everything for this little ridiculous short reroute.

      Nobody took the ridiculous bypass around the ' hazardous tree''. Just like I'd say 9 out of 10 hikers are not taking a long bypass around the Comers Creek falls bridge that has a "crack". To do so would miss the falls. several hikers could jump up and down on that closed bridge and it wouldn't move..... There was never any reason for a reroute you can walk across the the rocks below it....... Just put up a sign explaining bridge unsafe do not use and then let people do whatever the hell they're going to do. But it's forbidden to walk across a rocky stream of flowing water on the AT.....IF someone can build a bridge.....Most have crossed bridges in a lot worse condition. Good thing guthook has the info..


      Overzealous trail maintaining clubs . think they have to protect everyone from everything and beat the AT down into a urban trail that protects everyone from everything and can be done safely by anybody that can walk.

      Heres the key ......if you don't want to have to constantly keep up , fix , and maintain improvements, DONT put in the improvements in the first place. Your improvements make you liable for them. But of course that stuff is more fun to do than maintaining the trail tread.....I had a discussion with a passing hiker about the poor condition of a lot of trail particularly on top of ridgelines where the rocks are cropping out of the ground. He said it reminded him of Pennsylvania. I said they got up there they said "this is basically a trail we don't need to do anything to this, let's go build a bridge somewhere". And the rocky ridgeline is hard on your feet and ankles no attempt to smooth it out, fill in with gravel etc. The poor trail condition becomes much more noticeable when walking in fresh fallen leaves where most of your obstacles are hidden.

      The post was edited 8 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • New

      LIhikers wrote:

      How are they going to close the woods?
      I've only seen a ranger away from their vehicle once, and even that one time he wasn't very far from the vehicle. They might be able to make it illegal to be in the woods but they'd have to catch you to do anything about it.
      I guess that's why they ticket cars at Kennesaw...end result is the same.

      Although if I hike the southern part of Kennesaw I actually now park at a shopping center that's only a mile from home and take a 0.1 mile social trail to the Kennesaw hiking trails. Still have to drive to the northern section.
      2,000 miler
    • New

      "Everybody's over this thing...... For the most part. They consider it to be a big city thing.... At least a few I talked to. "

      At the very instant I read this sentence in the post above, I glanced as the news crawler at the bottom of my TV screen and it said "Rural hospitals being overrun with Covid cases."
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      "Everybody's over this thing...... For the most part. They consider it to be a big city thing.... At least a few I talked to. "

      At the very instant I read this sentence in the post above, I oglanced as the news crawler at the bottom of my TV screen and it said "Rural hospitals being overrun with Covid cases."

      Aint no rural hospitals.....not real hospitals with emergency and ICU.
      One person i talked to..... Nearest hospital 2.5 hours away.
      Everybody has the air-med membership $70/yr due to that.
    • New

      I'm not going to tell people what to do or how to live their lives but breaking into closed privys is the antithesis of how hikers should behave. Hike if you want, but damaging property and violating LNT is for assholes.

      Privy's have to be maintained, periodically cleaned out, and even relocated. In the best of times, people throw things in the privys that they shouldn't and someone has to go through all that muck and separate it. Closed and unmaintained privy's being used by hundreds of hikers? I pity the saints who volunteer for the privy cleaning jobs. Just dig a freakin cathole.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • New

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      I'm not going to tell people what to do or how to live their lives but breaking into closed privys is the antithesis of how hikers should behave. Hike if you want, but damaging property and violating LNT is for assholes.

      Privy's have to be maintained, periodically cleaned out, and even relocated. In the best of times, people throw things in the privys that they shouldn't and someone has to go through all that muck and separate it. Closed and unmaintained privy's being used by hundreds of hikers? I pity the saints who volunteer for the privy cleaning jobs. Just dig a freakin cathole.
      I agree with everything you posted.
      But this is just a symptom, and I believe the root cause of the problem is thinking if we get the experienced hikers, ridge runners, caretakers, and volunteers off the trail everything is going to be fine. While instead the AT is being destroyed (or at least negatively impacted) becuase of this decision, since the jerks and (ignorant) newbies are still out there.

      Things would be much better with more experienced hikers, ridge runners, caretakers, and volunteers out there.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      Astro wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      I'm not going to tell people what to do or how to live their lives but breaking into closed privys is the antithesis of how hikers should behave. Hike if you want, but damaging property and violating LNT is for assholes.

      Privy's have to be maintained, periodically cleaned out, and even relocated. In the best of times, people throw things in the privys that they shouldn't and someone has to go through all that muck and separate it. Closed and unmaintained privy's being used by hundreds of hikers? I pity the saints who volunteer for the privy cleaning jobs. Just dig a freakin cathole.
      I agree with everything you posted.But this is just a symptom, and I believe the root cause of the problem is thinking if we get the experienced hikers, ridge runners, caretakers, and volunteers off the trail everything is going to be fine. While instead the AT is being destroyed (or at least negatively impacted) becuase of this decision, since the jerks and (ignorant) newbies are still out there.

      Things would be much better with more experienced hikers, ridge runners, caretakers, and volunteers out there.
      yep...not having the support people around to educate the masses has taken a toll. But I wonder if they would make a difference? The kind of people out disrespecting the trail is not likely to respect a ridge runner either, but that’s beside the point. It seems counterintuitive to pull your caretakers and ridge runners when there’s been an upsurge in hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • New

      Heard from one the shuttlers around here...At 9:30 this morning the parking lot for Blood Mountain was full and so was Mountain Crossings. At 10:30 the Woody Gap parking lot was full, some found "creative" ways to park, tickets being written and tow trucks moving the worst offenders.

      Even before Covid you needed a Plan B on where to go if you were planning on parking at either of these locations on a weekend. Now it's a zoo.

      Edit to add: and the cars are lined up on the highway waiting to enter Amicalola Falls SP.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • New

      I made the mistake of driving through Salem, MA today. The locals know enough to stay away from Salem for the month of October because every witch-loving tourist from across the country shows up here to celebrate Halloween.

      Because of Covid the city officials have been shutting things down to keep the crowds from showing up. The commuter rail lines into Salem are not running their regular schedule, the city parking lots have all \been closed, and businesses are required to close early each day.

      Well, I can tell you it did not work. Stuck in traffic for at least an hour just trying to drive through the periphery of Salem. Saw license plates from the entire east coast. I have a feeling this is going to become a 'hot zone' in another week.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • New

      On one of our trips to Boston we spent most of a day in Salem. Very interesting day; toured a graveyard and learned about the Witch Trials and then saw a few other places. Neat place; planned on returning sometime but that hasn't happened yet.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().