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  1. #21

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    My father saw a ranger hunting boar in GSMNP. When asked what he does with the boar after shooting him, he said he just leaves it there for the bears.

  2. #22
    Trail miscreant Bearpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    My father saw a ranger hunting boar in GSMNP. When asked what he does with the boar after shooting him, he said he just leaves it there for the bears.
    Chuck Hester, an aquaintance who was one of the park's zoologists and hunters for many years, explained this was the best way for the boar to "give back" what it had taken from the native species. Bears especially seem to appreciate fresh mountain pork.
    If people spent less time being offended and more time actually living, we'd all be a whole lot happier!

  3. #23
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    As bad as the horse trails are, they're nothing compared to some of the trails that used to be dirt roads. The Bote Mountain Trail comes to mind - the trail/old roadbed is eroded 4-6 FEET deep in places. And the water can be a foot deep during a summer thunderstorm.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennsylvania Rose View Post
    As bad as the horse trails are, they're nothing compared to some of the trails that used to be dirt roads. The Bote Mountain Trail comes to mind - the trail/old roadbed is eroded 4-6 FEET deep in places. And the water can be a foot deep during a summer thunderstorm.
    I think any dirt surface that a vehicle has driven on is in bad shape. I've never been on a dirt road that wasn't bumpy as hell.

  5. #25
    Registered User CaptChaos's Avatar
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    Notice the shootgun used to kills hogs
    Capt. Chaos

    Col. John "CaptChaos" Knight
    Bowling Green, KY USA

  6. #26
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    Fixing your AT through the smokies:
    Step one: get map of the smokies
    step two: highlight a route away from the white blazes, on those trails that are almost never used.
    Step three: walk highlighted path

  7. #27
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    Serious question. Is a "shootgun" a southern term? Or was this a typo?

  8. #28
    Registered User Montego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudhead View Post
    Serious question. Is a "shootgun" a southern term? Or was this a typo?
    Naw, not a Southern term. Don'tcha know, it's what Pappy use to say, "shootgun" boy, before it get away

  9. #29
    Registered User SlowLightTrek's Avatar
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    Default Bear Mt.

    The trail assending Bear Mt. in New York is alot worse than anything in the Smokies. Its an original section of the AT and has never seen horses, just alot of time and alot of foot traffic. When I went through they were building a new trail going up Bear Mt. They were bucketing fine gravel down a pulley system for a top layer. Be interesting to see how long it lasts.

  10. #30
    Can you dig it?
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    To answer the questions about the ATC Smokies Trail Crews, the SWEAT Crew is more basic maintenance in the hardest to reach places, so brush cutting, simple sidehill repair, waterbar improvements, steps etc. these folks hike 5-10 miles to get ot their weekly campsite and up to 5 miles each day to work.

    Rocky Top is a equestrian/hiker crew that was created to ease the tension between the groups and get everyone's energy pointed in the right direction. they are the heavy lifting of the trail crews, more simmilar to Konnarock, but no car camping.

    These crews are very important to keeping the AT in decent shape. As you all have noted with the volume and diversity of trail users in the park, there is alot of work to be done.

  11. #31
    Registered User Sandy B's Avatar
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    I worked a SWEAT crew in 07, it was great, there are 2-3, 8 day Rocky Top crews left this year. I wish I could go. check the ATC website,
    Sandy B

  12. #32
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikerhead View Post
    Horses, Hills, Water.....one by itself no problem. The combination of the three will result in erosion.
    The Smokies are the only rainforest in the eastern USA and receive so much water every year (80+ inches) that, along with the huge amount of traffic, erosion is pretty much unavoidable. Whenever a puddle forms in the middle of the trail the first reaction is to hike around it, thus killing the supportive vegetation and compounding the problem. What I dislike most about horses on the trail is when the hoofprints in the mud freeze rock hard in the winter, causing strange and difficult footing, torturing one's ankles.

  13. #33

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    Rainforest is an interesting point and probably factors in somewhat. I'm convinced there are multiple factors that cause these trenches, but no one, at least here, really know how all the factors add up to create these trenches. Trail erosion due to high-use is just too easy an answer and I think misses the point. Everytime the issue of trail erosion comes up people are too quick to blame human traffic.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Rainforest is an interesting point and probably factors in somewhat. I'm convinced there are multiple factors that cause these trenches, but no one, at least here, really know how all the factors add up to create these trenches. Trail erosion due to high-use is just too easy an answer and I think misses the point. Everytime the issue of trail erosion comes up people are too quick to blame human traffic.
    Trail design is a major factor. Designing a trail correctly the first time is the best way to minimize erosion. I believe the ATC is working to address this concern where they can.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOWGLI View Post
    Trail design is a major factor. Designing a trail correctly the first time is the best way to minimize erosion. I believe the ATC is working to address this concern where they can.
    I'm sure trail design is a significant factor, there are many factors and I'm not very knowledgeable in this subject. However some of those trenches I've seen were on flat ground, how do you construct a trail to prevent that. That's one reason I think (guess) the horses are the biggest contributing factor. Not complaining about horses, just curious.

  16. #36

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    You gotta build a Bob Peoples "Watah Bah" . It pweevents twail ewosion. Gotta love that man!

  17. #37
    Registered User Ickuss's Avatar
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    Let's face it, gravity is a powerful force and water always follows the path of least resistance (downhill) causing washouts. These trails we are talking about are up high and wind their way back down. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done for erosion prevention. Once nature cuts a ditch higher up there is no stopping the flow. Bummer

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I'm sure trail design is a significant factor, there are many factors and I'm not very knowledgeable in this subject. However some of those trenches I've seen were on flat ground, how do you construct a trail to prevent that. That's one reason I think (guess) the horses are the biggest contributing factor. Not complaining about horses, just curious.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ickuss View Post
    Let's face it, gravity is a powerful force and water always follows the path of least resistance (downhill) causing washouts. These trails we are talking about are up high and wind their way back down. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done for erosion prevention. Once nature cuts a ditch higher up there is no stopping the flow. Bummer
    True, but as I said in the above post, many of the trenches I saw were on flat ground.

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