The Rocky Top crew works exclusively on 70 miles of the A.T. through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park following the ridge crest from Davenport Gap to Fontana Dam. The crew is sponsored jointly by the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, the National Park Service, and ATC.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rocky Top Takes to the Skies

In June, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, volunteers from the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club A.T. Maintenance Committee, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were graced with mostly-clear skies for a helicopter delivery of supplies to the Rocky Top Crew work site for 2014. Locust logs are imported because they are the most rot-resistant wood and do not grow at the high elevation of the Appalachian Trail within the Park. 

The collaborative effort requires cooperation among club volunteers, park staff, ATC staff, and helicopter pilots to get the hard-as-a-rock locust to the right spots along the Trail. Set and ready for installation this year. 

The crew uses the locust to install waterbars and steps. 

Smoky Mountain Hiking Club A.T. Maintenance Committee volunteers Phyllis Henry and Stuart Taylor still smiling at the end of a long day of moving flight materials, coordination, and waiting around between flights. 

Rocky Top Trail Crew and the helicopter airlift operation are made possible with funding from a North Carolina Recreational Trails Program Grant.