Hiking events

Hiking club organizes trail maintenance on Max Patch to celebrate National Public Lands Day

In pre-celebration of the Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) – North Carolina’s oldest mountain club – which turns 100 next July, the organization is inviting volunteers to join them in maintaining trails on Max Patch tomorrow, September 24. The public celebration will be followed by a gathering at BearWaters Brewery in Canton.

A scenic grassy peak with 360-degree views near the Tennessee border, Max Patch is one of the most popular spots along the Appalachian Trail.

“Attendance at Max Patch has exploded in recent years, which is why, since 2018, CMC has been helping manage visitor impacts through volunteerism,” CMC President Tom Weaver said in a press release. “Max Patch is a special place at WNC that needs stewardship to protect its natural resources and preserve the hiking experience. Events like this serve to continue that stewardship while highlighting the good work that has been done. to bring Max Patch back to a place of natural beauty and wonder.

The event deliberately coincides with National Public Lands Day, which brings together volunteers and organizations across the country to support public lands. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the day celebrates the connection between people and green spaces in their community, inspires environmental stewardship and encourages the use of open spaces for education, recreation and health.

“Hundreds of thousands of volunteers roll up their sleeves to help restore and preserve public lands of all types and sizes, from national parks and iconic rivers to local urban green spaces and everything in between,” NPS says on its site. website. “National Public Lands Day is special because it offers all environment lovers, old and new, the opportunity to show our appreciation for these unique places. »

CMC welcomes up to 100 volunteers to help with trail maintenance between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Volunteers will help rebuild portions of the Appalachian Trail that cross Max Patch as well as blue light access trails. Work will focus on eliminating social trails, helping restore habitats for creatures like warblers and butterflies, and improving signage. CMC states in a press release that “everything is to improve knowledge of stewardship and visitor impact on Max Patch.”

All photos courtesy of CMC by Kathy O’Donnell