Who are we, and what are we doing here?
Questions and Answers about PATH
What is PATH?
Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers, Inc., is a nonprofit club that maintains a section of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
Where in the Piedmont?
PATH's members live in North Carolina and Virginia, mostly between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.
What is the Appalachian Trail?
It's a two-thousand-mile-long footpath that runs along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Originally constructed by volunteers in the 1920s and 30s, it's now maintained by dozens of volunteer groups like PATH, up and down the east coast.
What part does PATH maintain?
We look after fifty-eight miles of the AT in the Virginia counties of Smyth, Wythe, Bland, and Tazewell. Our section runs for 50 miles from SR 670 at the South Fork of the Holston River north to SR 623 atop picturesque Garden Mountain. PATH also maintains another 8-mile stretch of trail that runs from VA 615 north to U.S. 52 near Bland. Map of PATH trail area.
When you "maintain" the trail, what do you do?
We meet at a Friday night camp-out, once each month during the spring, summer, and fall. Then, Saturday mornings, we fan out in teams across our fifty-mile section. We do everything from clearing weeds, and chopping and sawing through fallen trees, to rebuilding footbridges and relocating miles of trail.
Are there other PATH activities beside trail maintaining weekends?
Yes. We also sponsor day hikes and backpacking trips for members and others who might be interested in learning more about trails, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. We host an annual cookout with our "trail neighbors" each fall. And friendships established on the Saturday work trips lead to many informal hiking trips along the AT, and as far away as the Rockies and the Sierras. These trips often develop by "word of mouth," and never make it onto any formal activities schedule.
Who belongs to PATH?
The volunteers that make up the membership of PATH include young and old, men and women, dedicated volunteers who never miss a maintenance trip and unseen volunteers that support our mission through monetary contributions. By far the most important aspect of PATH is that it brings together people who can share common interests and become new friends. Join us on one of our work trips or fun trips and see what you've been missing.
Where do you meet for work trips?
We usually meet in either the US Forest Service's Stony Fork Campground, in the Jefferson National Forest in Wythe County, Virginia or at the ATC's Konnarock Work Camp near Sugar Grove, Virginia. Work trips are on the third Saturday of each month, from March to October.
Should I just show up on a work trip?
You could, but to make things easier, we hold informal "get-acquainted" meetings in early March of each year, for new members. For more information, contact Parthena Martin (Triangle area) or Betsy Truscott (Greensboro area). If you are planning to show up for one of the work trips, call or email one of the work trip contacts listed in the calendar of events. They'll be happy to give you directions to make sure you arrive at the correct location.
What does it cost to become a member?
PATH's annual dues are $15.00 for an individual, $17.50 for a family, and $10.00 for students. Any donations to PATH, are tax-deductible.
How can I stay in touch with other PATH members?
PATH members can subscribe to PATH-list, an email mailing list that allows members and friends to communicate with each about the trail, maintenance, hiking, camping, and gear. For more information, see the PATH-list subscription page.
Who can I contact for more information?
How can I correspond with PATH?
Our mailing address is:Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers
Post Office Box 4423
Greensboro, NC 27404-4423
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