Overnight Camping Re-Opening in Mt. Rogers High Country; Advisories still in effect
(Revised 10/2/2018) The USDA Forest Service has reopened the portions of the A.T. in the Mt. Rogers NRA High Country (Elk Garden/VA-600 to Fox Creek/VA-603, mile 494.3 to 511.3) that had been temporarily closed to camping due to bear activity. Since the time of the closure on August 30, the Forest Service and partner agencies have monitored the area and have seen no further issues with black bear activity and human encounters. However, habituated bears may still be active in the area, so visitors should remain alert.
All campers should carry and store their food in bear canisters or store their food in established bear boxes or electric fences out of bears reach. Bear boxes are located at Thomas Knob Shelter, Wise Shelter, and near the A.T. just west of Rhododendron Gap on the Crest Trail. Electric fences are located near Rhododendron Gap. Additional bear boxes will be installed soon.
Visitors are advised to use all precautions to avoid attracting bears during their visit. This is especially important during the fall season when bears are in search of food to prepare for winter.
The Forest Service is continuing to work with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Grayson Highlands State Park, the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club to evaluate options to address the human-bear conflict issue.
The Place Hostel -- contact info change
(5/13/18) The Place Hostel contact number has changed. The new number is (276) 608-7283.
Trail has re-opened near Bland/Bastian area; cautions remain
(5/7/18) A 7.3-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that had been closed due to fire between Suiter Rd (VA 615) north to I-77 (near the towns of Bastian and Bland,VA) has re-opened. This is between mile 584.3 and 591.6 from Springer Mountain, Georgia.
Approximately three quarters of a mile of Trail was burned, and the tread-way is unaffected despite being burned over in places. Crews will likely return to the site Monday to monitor. Hikers are advised to stay on the trail and to use caution as trees may be weakened by the fire.
Mt. Rogers – Vehicle break-ins and thefts
(unknown date - Present) The Trail between Damascus and VA Rt. 16 at Mt. Rogers NRA Headquarters has a long history of vehicle break-ins and thefts.