Roan Mountain community once again celebrates the Appalachian Trail

John Thompson • May 1, 2018 at 10:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Last year, the community of Roan Mountain celebrated its brand new designation as the 41st Appalachian Trail Community. Part of the celebration was an invitation to through hikers passing through the community to spend time performing some trail maintenance.

This year, the community is still celebrating and will once again provide an opportunity for everyone to give some tender loving care to the trail and join in several other chances to celebrate the trail and the community.

The celebration will take place this year on Saturday, May 5.

“Members of this community are quite energized by last year’s designation of Roan Mountain as the 41st Appalachian Trail Community,” community Ambassador Jim Chambers said. “Locals are very enthusiastic and appreciative of having such an asset in their backyards.”

Chambers has organized the inaugural Roan Mountain Hard Core event to engage 2018 thru-hikers in joining a work crew for the day. AT thru-hikers, regular Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club trail maintainers as well as locals will perform trail rehabilitation and erosion control just south of Carvers Gap and just north of the peak of Roan Mountain.

“We will work hard and and have fun giving back to the Appalachian Trail,” Chambers said. “We will have a spaghetti dinner and awards ceremony after the work day. Participants will receive a free T-shirt as well.”

The words “Hard Core” are honored among the trail community. For years, through hikers were recruited at Trail Days in Damascus to contribute a day to doing trail maintenance.

The Hard Core groups did extensive work over the years on the Roan Mountain section of the trail. After the hard work, the Hard Core participants would gather for a big spaghetti dinner.

There are also two celebrations taking place May 5. Roan Mountain Community Park will host an event similar to last year’s designation ceremony and a new Roan Mountain business will host an after party.

There will be fun outdoor activities, live music and opportunities to learn about the Appalachian Trail. The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Roan Mountain Town Park.

The after party featuring live music from Hawk Baby will be held at The Station at 19E at 7 p.m. Accommodations are available at several Roan Mountain hostels, cabins and bed and breakfasts. Just as was the case last year, overnight camping will also be allowed at the Roan Mountain Community Park.

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