ALDHA Newsletter is posted - Click to Read Fall/Winter 2018 issue!

Coordinator's Corner
January 2019
As the new year begins, ALDHA is hard at work in preparation for a busy year.  Your ALDHA Board has committed itself in furthering our presence and leadership along the Appalachian Trail, and 2019 will reveal some positive changes in terms of presentation, outreach, and preservation.

Along with our new and improved website, award winning newsletter, and growing outreach programs, ALDHA members will notice additional positive changes throughout the coming year.  With these changes, volunteer opportunities for the ALDHA members will also increase, and we need your help as ALDHA’s leadership potential grows.

ALDHA is further committed to hiker safety on all trails and providing direct assistance in preserving the long-distance hiking experience.  To be successful, ALDHA needs your help as our outreach, trail work, and volunteer opportunities continue to expand from Georgia to Maine. 

As always, it’s an honor to be the ALDHA Coordinator, and I look forward to working with you as the new year gets underway.
Jim Chambers
ALDHA Coordinator

Happy New Year from the ALDHA’s 2019 Gathering Team!
I hope you had a chance to read the latest issue of the ALDHA Newsletter.  The many fun-filled articles about the ALDHA Gathering in Shippensburg reminds us about all the new and old trails that we heard about throughout the weekend.  Are you ready to enjoy this upcoming hiking season?  It is fast approaching.  In fact, many of us cannot wait and are taking advantage of the warm weather in Florida and hiking on the FNST (Florida National Scenic Trail).
This year’s Gathering promises to whet your appetite for adventure as well.  It is not too early to register for this year’s Gathering.  You can register by clicking on:  http:// . Be sure to visit all the Gathering information pages throughout the coming months for updates.

nce again, thanks to all who helped make the 2018 Gathering in Shippensburg a success.  Isn’t it great to gather with old and new trail friends?  We're always looking for volunteers to help with activities and contests at the Gathering. If you're interested in volunteering, email us at:
Hikers and Volunteers take time to pose for photo at the 2019 Florida Trail Kick-off at Trail Lakes Campground.
Florida Trail Kick-off
What do hikers do when they want to hike in the winter? Well, they head south to hike the Florida Trail.  This year, it is warm and dry…the perfect time to hike Big Cypress Swamp.  One way to start a hike on the FT (Florida Trail) is by attending the Florida Trail Kick-off weekend, January 4 – 6, 2019. 

This year, 35 plus Florida Trail hikers gathered at Trail Lakes Campground for this annual event sponsored by the Florida Trail Hikers Alliance.

One of the highlights of the weekend included a campfire talk/discussion about trail conditions, leave no trace ethics and how to find water on trail.  Chris Bell, an FTHA board member, led this informative session giving hikers a head’s up about the rigors and joys of hiking the Florida Trail.

Hopeful thru hikers were put on trail at the Oasis trail head on Saturday and Sunday. While waiting to depart, hikers and volunteers were treated to great food provided and cooked by FTHA volunteers.  Thru hikers filled up, hoping that these last meals would sustain them until their first resupply.

Many who were put on trail during the Kick-off weekend are headed straight for another FTHA gathering, Billy Goat Day held this year on Jan. 26, 2019.  This annual event brings together all interested parties for a celebration of 50,000 trail miler, Billy Goat’s birthday. 

More details about Billy Goat day can be found below in the Upcoming Events section.  All hikers and friends of the trail are invited to attend the pitch-in picnic where sharing experiences and renewing friendships made during the Kick-off are at the top of the agenda.


Due to the government shutdown, an additional trail work day on State Land has been added in Roan Mountain State Park for next week.  SAWC and ALDHA members will be working on the Cloudland Nature Trail on 22 January in order to install cribbing and water diversions in Roan Mountain State Park.  Contact Jim Chambers, (423)440-2518 for details.
Upcoming Activities
Are you looking for an activity to motivate you to stay in shape?  Are you missing trail family?  Would you like to give back to the trail? Here is the latest info on upcoming activities. 
Southern Ruck - Jan. 18 - 20, 2019, Vogel State Park, Blairsville, GA,      Annual hiker get together moves to a new location this year.  A time for dreamers, hikers and trail friends to gather in a southern location for fun, food  and camaraderie. 

Northern Ruck - Jan. 25 - 27, 2019, Bear's Den Hostel,                    Annual hiker get together for hikers, dreamers  and trail ends to gather in a northern location for fun, food and camaraderie.

Billy Goat Day - Jan. 26, 2019, Lake Mills Park, Chuluota, FL.        
Annual celebration for trail legend, Billy Goat.  See link for all information concerning how to register and for camping information.

Appalachian Trail Kick-Off (ATKO) - March 1 - 3, 2019, Amicolola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA. More information coming. Watch the Amicolola Falls State Park website.

ALDHA Work Trips -
South Work Trip 
Jan 22, 2019,  Cloudland  Nature Trail, Roan Mountain State Park                                           
March 4, 2019, Greasy Creek area, 
Jim Chambers,, (423) 440-2518 

Mid-Atlantic Work Trips
Correction to December Blaze dates:
 First work weekend is MARCH 28-30, 2019, lodging until Sunday at PATC Blackburn Trail Center, Virginia.  Volunteers are needed to walk the boundary lines and COOK!
May 8 - 10, 2019, Harriman State Park, Ramapo, NY. Follow link to ALDHA webpage and for more information contact, 

Northeast Work Trips
April 6 - 7, 2019 
Clean up for the RPH Cabin and grounds .Details to follow in future Blaze editions.  Painting and a general clean up of the Appalachian Trail are usual activities. Due to the tornadoes of May 15, 2018 there may be tree work also.
July 19,20, 21 - Annual work weekend at RPH Cabin
For more information about these two events contact:
Tim Messerich at, 84
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