Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) seeks volunteer Ridgerunners

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) created a McAfee Knob Task Force in the Spring of 2015 to focus on resource protection and management challenges around the region’s most beloved and iconic A.T. landmark, McAfee Knob. Rapidly increasing visitation, 76,000 people in 2016, has led to an increase in avoidable environmental impacts like litter, graffiti, trail erosion and problematic bear behavior.

The McAfee Knob Volunteer Ridgerunners help mitigate these problems with outreach and maintenance. Volunteer Ridgerunners engage hikers in friendly conversations to educate them about the natural and cultural significance of this area and tips on best-practices for enjoying the Trail safely and responsibly. They report on trail conditions and perform light trail maintenance to prevent small problems from getting worse-like dismantling illegal fire rings, packing out trash and blocking social trails to discourage shortcutting. The group made a big difference the last two years, and hopes to grow this year by adding new volunteers.

Do you have what it takes to be a Volunteer Ridgerunner? You don’t have to be an athlete-many of the most important conversations and maintenance happen right in the parking lot or within the first mile.

The next Volunteer Ridgerunner Training Day is Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Roanoke Regional Fire and Rescue Center, 1220 Kessler Mill Road, Salem. To sign up, join the McAfee Knob Task Force MeetUp group and RSVP, or email Kathryn Herndon at Kathryn will email participants prior to the training with details about the agenda and what to expect.

Orientation Hikes will be more frequent. There will be several hikes in March and April, appearing soon on the MeetUp page.


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