PDA

View Full Version : AT Survey Marker



Mocs123
12-02-2009, 10:44
I just finished a section hike from Bland to Pearisburg and noticed this AT Survey Marker. I have never seen another one in 700 miles of section hiking, has anyone ever seen one of these before?

http://inlinethumb46.webshots.com/45229/2774533030086983979S600x600Q85.jpg

warraghiyagey
12-02-2009, 10:45
Seen lots of them in the northeast. . . they always say 'do not disturb' so I always poke them with my stick. . . repeatedly. . . :)

Schuetzen
12-02-2009, 10:59
Look through the Photos in Bison's journal (2009) on trailjournals.com I think he must have found all of them, there were lots of photos of them. Plan to spend some time, there are almost 3000 photos. It is a very interesting journal, I really enjoyed following his hike.

weary
12-02-2009, 11:54
The trail became a federal entity after Congress at the urging of President Jimmy Carter in the mid 1970s finally appropriated funds for the purchase of private lands through which most of the trail ran. The purchased corridor ranges from 200 feet or less in built up areas, to around 1,000 feet -- and occasionally more -- in rural places like Maine.

Identical markers to the one you saw are located every few hundred yards along the edges of the corridor. You don't often see them because most are located on the edge of the trail corridor, usually between 100 and 500 feet from the footpath.

They are most often seen in the northeast because, with the notable exception of the White Mountain National Forest, until Congress acted the trail in those states ran mostly through private lands. Except for Baxter State Park, none of the trail in Maine was publicly owned until the mid 1970s, when Maine suddenly began recovering use of lands that had been preserved a century earlier but then largely forgotten.

MATC tried, mostly unsuccessfully, for years to negotiate private easements with Maine timberland owners. It was the mid 80s before the Park Service began it's efforts to protect the trail in this state.

So why did you see a corridor marker near the trail? It's a narrow corridor and the trail winds back and forth through the corridor to take advantage of the best terrain, sometimes reaching the very edge of the protected land. Also the corridor was purchased where it was believed the trail was located, or was planned to be relocated. Mistakes were occasionally made. Only last summer was a final relocation of the trail completed in Maine. The original relocation proved to be outside the corridor as purchased. So a mile or so of relatively new trail had to be abandoned and a brand new trail built through the lands the park service had actually purchased.

Want to see more corridor markers? The trail clubs, ATC, and the park service are seeking volunteers to locate the markers and watch for encroachments onto the corridor lands. After finding the markers, volunteers then walk the boundary. It's not an easy task. You essentially have to bushwhack through the bushes and trees that often obscure the corridor boundary.

Maintaining clubs and/or ATC, I suspect would be glad to sign you up. It's hard, but fun work -- and very necessary. More fun even then poking at the markers with your hiking poles.

Weary

Spokes
12-02-2009, 13:18
Yes, they cover all the gold coins.

Mocs123
12-02-2009, 13:56
I guess I don't see them because I have never gone any further north than SNP.

Old Hillwalker
12-02-2009, 19:34
The correct term for these are "Monuments". The one you found (photo) is an AT Centerline Monument. The exterior Boundary Monuments are serial numbered with for example "191NH9" This is translated as AT section 191 located in New Hampshire, monument number 9. The Boundary Monuments are either mounted on a 30 inch long splayed base aluminum tube, or are cemented to a rock face. The cemented ones are referred to on survey documents as "Rock Tablets".

Boundary Monuments are typically placed approximately 500 feet apart in NH/VT, or at direction changes. Each monument's location is, or was, identified by three witness trees, each with a nail and washer located on a witness diagram showing direction and distance to the monument. Over the years many of the witness trees have died and fallen, ofttimes making monument locating difficult. Monuments are quite frequently buried in as much as a foot or more of forest duff, and some you simply trip over.

Between the monuments, the surveyors ax blazed trees and then painted the blazes yellow. Up until a few months ago a fairly concentrated effort was under way to reblaze and brush out the AT Corridor Boundaries. After some changes in personnel at the ATC headquarters, this effort seems to have ground to a halt. My fear is that since much of the above mentioned survey work took place twenty or more years ago, the boundary markings of the AT Corridor in many locations has faded to the point that this multi-million dollar acquisition is losing its identity from surrounding lands and subject to encroachment of all kinds.

Over the last few years, acting as a volunteer corridor monitor, I have witnessed numerous occasions where abutters have abused the AT Corridor. Driveways, junk piles, tree cutting, trash piles, hunting shacks, junk vehicles. Not a few of which were the result of neighbors not being aware that they were abusing the lands surrounding a National Scenic Trail. A National Park, if you will.

Please spend a few minutes here: (a private blog)

http://www.atcboundary.blogspot.com/

Finally, back to the monument found. An increasingly rare find, it is a "Centerline Monument" existing from the initial survey. Re-locations and souvenir hunters have made them fairly scarce. They were initially placed right on the trail.

LIhikers
12-02-2009, 19:53
As a volunteer corridor monitor myself, I can say that weary and Hillwalker have given you some good info. If you enjoy bushwacking through the woods, seeing things most AT hikers never will see, then look into becoming a corridor monitor

Old Hillwalker
12-02-2009, 20:10
Currently there are four orphaned AT Corridor sections located in Eastern Vermont that have no monitors. These are all within a few miles of the AT crossing of the Connecticut River approaching Hanover. Each is around 5 miles in boundary length and requires two to three monitoring days annually at a minimum. If you live close by and are interested in learning more, send a query to atcorridor@gmail.com.

Mocs123
12-02-2009, 20:29
First off, thank you both for volunteering your time to the trail we all enjoy. Also, thank you for the information into what I noticed. This marker was right in the middle of the trail on Pearis Mountain about five or six miles south of Pearisburg, Va. I found it interesting because it is the first that I have seen and I have a habit of taking pictures of all of the survey markers that I see.

sasquatch2014
12-02-2009, 20:39
There is one just south of the Morgan Stewart Shelter in NY drilled right into the bedrock. I know that the monitors up in my area are almost always busy locating and marking the boundary blazes. This time of year they are on extra duty to watch for hunting infractions. Often times someone will cross, knowing or unknowing, into the corridor and set up a tree stand. They take it down leave it at the base of the tree with a note that it was placed on federal land. That is about all it takes most times.

I think that there are a few slots open around me as well. Any of you City (NYC) Dwellers who want to come up and play around in the bush can take the Metro North up. Make a weekend out of it a few times a year.

Bulldawg
12-02-2009, 20:44
Currently there are four orphaned AT Corridor sections located in Eastern Vermont that have no monitors. These are all within a few miles of the AT crossing of the Connecticut River approaching Hanover. Each is around 5 miles in boundary length and requires two to three monitoring days annually at a minimum. If you live close by and are interested in learning more, send a query to atcorridor@gmail.com.


Jack, sounds like a cool gig...........:cool::cool:

Lone Wolf
12-02-2009, 20:45
i'm lookin' at one of those markers right now

Hikerhead
12-02-2009, 20:56
i'm lookin' at one of those markers right now

Ha, I was waiting for that.

schnikel
12-02-2009, 20:57
i'm lookin' at one of those markers right now
How? you got one in your living room ?:rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
12-02-2009, 21:01
How? you got one in your living room ?:rolleyes:

no. bedroom

warraghiyagey
12-02-2009, 21:02
i'm lookin' at one of those markers right now
Me too. . . I've got three of them I dug up so that nobody would disturb them . . . .

srestrepo
12-04-2009, 00:28
amen!:clap

glad to know i wasn't the only one...


Seen lots of them in the northeast. . . they always say 'do not disturb' so I always poke them with my stick. . . repeatedly. . . :)