North Carolina’s oldest mountain club turns 100 in July 2023, and to mark the centennial kickoff, the Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) is inviting up to 100 volunteers to participate in a trail maintenance day on Max Patch, September 24, with a public celebration to follow at BearWaters Brewery in Canton.
The event coincides with National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands and is held in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the US Forest Service.
Between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., volunteers will be helping rebuild the Appalachian Trail that crosses Max Patch, as well as the blue blaze access trails. They’ll work to eliminate social trails causing erosion and habitat loss, improve signage and information to encourage positive behavior from visitors, and reestablish habitat to return warblers, butterflies, and other native fauna to the bald. It’s all an effort to improve knowledge of stewardship and visitor impact to Max Patch.
“Visitation to Max Patch has exploded in recent years, which is why, since 2018, the CMC has been helping manage visitor impacts through volunteerism,” says CMC President Tom Weaver. “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.”
CMC CENTENNIAL KICKOFF TRAIL DAY DETAILS
No experience is necessary to participate. Volunteers should plan to bring work gloves, lunch, and water, and wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Tools and hard hats will be provided, along with expert guidance from experienced CMC maintainers. These and more details, such as the meeting point and carpooling, will be sent to registrants via email. The workday will take place at Max Patch from about 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Door prizes will be awarded to volunteers, and volunteers of age will receive a free beer at the after party.
The 3 p.m. after party at BearWaters Brewing Company [339 Park Street in Canton] is open to the public. To mark the occasion, the brewery has created a special beer: SB6K, named for the CMC’s South Beyond 6000 Challenge for summiting 40 of Southern Appalachia’s 6,000+ elevation peaks. A dollar from each pint sold will benefit the CMC’s conservation and stewardship efforts. SB6K brew is only available at BearWaters Brewery. BearWater’s food menu will be available for purchase during the event, and the CMC and other partner organizations will be on hand to share info about the club and volunteering.
To register, visit https://carolinamtnclub.org/eventform.cfm.