The Law & Bear Den Mountain

It was a beautiful early spring Saturday for a joint trail maintenance project between the PATC Charlottesville and Southern Shenandoah Valley chapters along with the Virginia Environmental Law Forum at the University of Virginia Law School.

Mark Gatewood, PATC SNP South District co-Manager and SSVC stalwart, chose a relatively steep A.T. section on the south side of Bear Den Mountain for trail improvement and supervised the day’s work. We spent the morning rebuilding and cleaning drainage outflows from waterbars, sometimes installing stepping stones on the downhill side. The work was spearheaded by Charlottesville Chapter’s John Shannon and UVA Law’s Olivia Glasscock.

We enjoyed a pleasant and sunny lunch at the famous tractor seats on top of Bear Den Mountain (only two of the famous tractor seats remain!). Mark photographed the three towers no longer in use that are scheduled to be taken down soon. We hiked back south on the A.T. to conclude our work for the day. This involved more waterbar repair along with building several “mini” checkdams using the plentiful greenstone all around us. Time seemed to fly this day and it was 3:00 P.M. before we knew it; Mark called it a day.

Before putting away the camera, the author noticed some Bloodroot blooming on a bank just below McCormick Gap. This beautiful harbinger of spring was a nice antidote for the greening and plentiful privet, multiflora rose, and oriental bittersweet we had encountered earlier this day!