Outdoor Journal

Roan if you want to: The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will host a half-day hike through the Highlands of Roan on Saturday, July 10, beginning at 10 a.m. The hike will follow the Appalachian Trail from Carver’s Gap to Big Grassy Bald, taking in stretches of spruce-fir forest and Roan’s globally rare grassy-bald ecosystem. The outing will not only be full of gorgeous sights, but will be a lesson in the good work of the SAHC, for which the Roan mountain preserve is a keystone conservation victory.  Bring warm clothes, water, hiking shoes, something for lunch and a sense of awe. There’s a suggested donation of $5 for nonmembers. To reserve a spot, call Emily Nuchols at 253-0095, ext. 203.

A week in “bear country”: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy needs you! Volunteer crews are tackling some of the most demanding trail-maintenance projects on the AT’s Smoky Mountains leg, but they need more warm bodies. ATC project coordinator Andrew Downs says that volunteers should be experienced backpackers due to the remote nature of the trail and should be versed in conducting themselves in bear country.

Experience with trail maintenance is welcome but not required. The nonprofit will provide all the necessary tools and training, as well as three squares, housing and transportation from the project’s base camp. The following dates are still open: July 6-11, 15-20 and 24-29, and Aug. 2-7 and 12-16. No stalling, people; get on the horn and tell them you’re coming. Visit www.appalachiantrail.org/crews or call 254-3708.

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