Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of PATC
Welcome to our newsletter for May 2022.
If you have a Facebook page, be sure to look for and like our page, PATC Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter. On there, we will try to post updates as we have them. If you don't already receive them, you can also subscribe to our email blast by using the link on our home page: SSVC PATC
Hunting on Sundays in VA
Get your blaze orange out and dusted off! Be aware and stay safe! New VA state law begins on July 1.
- Legislation (VA SB8) in the 2022 session of the Virginia General Assembly proposed changes to Virginia laws related to hunting on Sundays on public lands. It passed both the State Senate (January 24, 2022) and House of Delegates (March 7, 2022) and was signed into law by Governor Youngkin on April 5, 2022. This law becomes effective July 1, 2022.
- The bill amends and reenact § 29.1-521 of the Code of Virginia and permits hunting on Sunday on public or private land, so long as it takes place more than 200 yards from a place of worship.
- Copy of law: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=221&typ=bil&val=sb8
Spring wildflowers and nature art will be celebrated during Shenandoah National Park's 35th annual Wildflower Weekend, May 14-15, 2022. Guided hikes and programs will focus on the diversity and importance of not only hundreds of species of flowering plants that are protected by the park, but other seasonal changes as well.
Special features this year include a botanical art workshop led by watercolor artist Betty Gatewood, as well as a wildflower photography workshop led by Ann and Rob Simpson. No art experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided. There will also be a presentation by Shenandoah’s current Artist-in Residence, Jillian Sico.
For more information about spring in Shenandoah and the complete Wildflower Weekend schedule of programs, visit our website at
For the second year in a row, PATC’s North River District organized crosscut saw and axe training and certification to increase capacity for Wilderness trail maintenance in the GWNF. The Forest Service requires volunteers to be certified in order to use a crosscut saw to remove blowdowns. This year, 10 additional sawyers were certified and another 3 were re-certified, bringing our total to 21 PATC B Level Crosscut Sawyers who are qualified to remove blowdowns in the National Forest. The certification workshop was supported by Community Foundation for the Central Blue Ridge and the GWNF North River Ranger District.
Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) instructor, Scotty Bowman, and PATC C Level Sawyer Paul Dickens, came from North Carolina to Hone Quarry to provide formal training and evaluate skills and knowledge before issuing certification cards. Prior to the certification workshop on April 9-10, participants completed an online University of Montana Crosscut Saw course and attended two evenings of Zoom instruction by SAWS. Paul Dickens, with help from several North River B Level Sawyers, provided two days of pre-training to give everyone hands-on experience. All the training emphasized safety, evaluation of each unique situation, and development of a safe and efficient cut plan. As you can see, getting certified is not an easy process, but all participants met the challenge and were issued cards.
Congratulations to all the new certs: Jan Orndorff, Pete DeSmit, Jeff Landis, Jen Fowler, Todd Fowler, Brian Nixon, John Burkhardt, Ron Stoltzfus, Matt Murray, and Craig Sease, and to the recerts: Stephanie Danahy, John Stacy, and Paul Boisen.
North River District is now well-equipped with qualified sawyers to remove blowdowns in Ramseys Draft Wilderness and in the 28,000 acres of new Wilderness that will be added in the North River District when the Shenandoah Mountain Act of 2022 is passed by Congress and signed into law. That may take a while, but we are ready!
Lynn and Malcolm Cameron
PATC North River District Managers
2022 is a PATC election year. The deadline for members to file to be a candidate is August 1. Eligible members are those who are in good standing, maintain a current PATC membership, and are willing to commit the time necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the office.
The following positions are open for nominations, each with a 2-year term:
• Vice President for Operations
• Vice President for Volunteerism
• Supervisor of Facilities
• Supervisor of Trails
• Supervisor of Lands
• Supervisor of Membership
• Supervisor of Outreach
• Supervisor of Marketing
• Supervisor of Communications
For more information on submitting your application for these positions can be found here:
It's approximately a 5 mile round trip to view Hone Quarry Falls. Drive through the Hone Quarry Recreation area to the parking at Hone Quarry Reservoir/Lake. The hike follows FR 62 for 1.5 miles. You will pass a marsh pond and then walk through forest and follow alongside the creek. The road is lined with wildflowers in the spring. At that time of the year, also be sure to look out for salamander eggs and tadpoles along the way.
After hiking along the fire road, turn right on Slate Springs Trail (428A) and hike 0.25 miles. Bear right at Falls sign and continue 0.4 mile to the falls on the right. The 25ft Hone Quarry Falls are the largest set of waterfalls in the Shenandoah Mountain. Beyond the main falls is another set of falls with a stone sitting area. Be sure to take time to sit on a log and enjoy the beauty of the falls before you head back. There are several nice view points along the stream. The hike to Hone Quarry Falls is a fairly easy with about 600' elevation change.
For more information: see the links below.
Located in the northern district of Shenandoah National Park, this hike begins at the Hogback Overlook near mile 21 on the Skyline Drive. Begin by hiking on the AT south to the start of the Tuscarora Trail. This is the southern terminus for the trail as it begins its 250-mile route ending in Pennsylvania. Hike on the Tuscarora Trail down to view Overall Run Falls. At 93-feet tall, Overall Run is the tallest falls in the park. You can return using the same route or create a loop using Mathews Arm Trail/Road and Traces Trail.
It's a 6.1 mile, moderately strenuous hike with approximately 1,400-foot elevation change to reach the viewpoint for Overall Run Falls. Be sure to have a snack and enjoy the beauty of the falls before making the return climb to the parking area.
Be aware: there is no trail to view the bottom of the falls. Unless rain is plentiful, Overall Run Falls may have minimal to no water flow.
More information on this hike can be found using this link: https://www.nps.gov/.../upload/MathewsArm_RoadTrail.pdf