As a pre-celebration to Carolina Mountain Club (CMC)—North Carolina’s oldest mountain club—turning 100 next July, the organization is inviting volunteers to join them for trail maintenance on Max Patch tomorrow, September 24th. The public celebration will be followed by a meet-up at BearWaters Brewery in Canton.
A scenic grassy summit with 360-degree views near the Tennessee border, Max Patch is one of the most popular spots along the Appalachian Trail.
“Visitation to Max Patch has exploded in recent years, which is why, since 2018, the CMC has been helping manage visitor impacts through volunteerism,” CMC President Tom Weaver says in a press release. “Max Patch is a special place in WNC that needs stewardship to protect its natural resources and preserve the hiking experience. Events such as this serve to continue that stewardship while also highlighting the good work that has been done to return Max Patch to a place of natural beauty and wonder.”
The event purposefully 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 space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits.
“Hundreds of thousands of volunteers roll up their sleeves to help restore and preserve public lands of all types and sizes—from iconic national parks and rivers to local urban green spaces and everything in between,” NPS states on their website. “National Public Lands Day is special because it provides all lovers of the environment—old and new—an opportunity to show our appreciation for these unique places.”
CMC is welcoming up to 100 volunteers to participate in trail maintenance between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Volunteers will be helping rebuild parts of the Appalachian Trail that crosses Max Patch along with the blue blaze access trails. The work will focus on eliminating social trails, helping to reestablish habitats for creatures like warblers and butterflies, and improving signage. CMC says in a press release that, “it’s all in an effort to improve knowledge of stewardship and visitor impact to Max Patch.”
All photos courtesy of CMC by Kathy O’Donnell