Max Patch Destruction Patched

Published May 13, 2013

Max Patch 2

Last winter, vandals attacked one of the most scenic and fragile sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest: Max Patch.

ATVs & off-highway vehicles were used to destroy property and the surrounding land. Those responsible for the crime were brought to justice.

According to this website, the bald was used almost 100 years ago as an airfield for barnstormers. Thankfully, this precious treasure is now cared for by the US Forest Service.

The Forest Service, however, is not alone in protecting this unique resource. A number of volunteers from several area groups pitched in to patch up Max Patch.

Max Patch 1

Max Patch Vandalized ~~ Photo by Dwayne Stutzman

"Working with Forest Service personnel, dozens of volunteers donated close to 300 hours of service to help restore this popular site, and we're grateful for their help," said Acting District Ranger David McFee. "This partnership between the Forest Service and cooperating volunteers shows the combined commitment to protect, restore and improve the beauty of Max Patch."

The Appalachian Ranger District had help from:

  • the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Carolina Mountain Club and
  • the Appalachian 4x4 Club.

The assistance from the Appalachian 4x4 Club is most welcome and proves that not all those who enjoy ATVs are rotten apples.

The Forest Service and volunteers worked together to design a parking area that provides pedestrian access. The repair work also included the creation of a perimeter using native stones and plantings of Catawba rhododendron and mountain laurel.

Funding for the three-week project was provided by the Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Carolina Mountain Club.

The Carolina Mountain Club and Appalachian 4x4 Club provided 50 volunteers who donated almost 300 hours to restore the site with native plantings and soil stabilization. Portions of the project that could not be completed with volunteers were solicited through a contract administered by the Forest Service and awarded to a local contractor.

Max Patch is in the Harmon Den area, near the TN state line. The 360-degree views from the 4,629 elevation are spectacular. Although camping is not allowed, Max Patch is the perfect spot for a picnic or for a moment's rest for thru-hikers.

Click Here for More News from the US Forest Service

Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, US Forest Service, and Appalachian Trail Clubs

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
Related Articles

Published Jul 11, 2013.

Published Feb 15, 2013.

Published Jun 1, 2016. Four individuals will be honored at the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame 2016 banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, PA, on June 3rd.