Published Mar 18, 2015
In an abundance of caution, the Maryland Park Service has temporarily closed all Appalachian Trail shelters and campgrounds on the Maryland portion of the Trail, following the death of Jason Parish at the Ed Garvey shelter on March 15, 2015.
That shelter is owned by the National Park Service and located six miles north of Harpers Ferry, WV.
Work began at the eight overnight areas along the trail that are on state land on Wednesday, March 18th. This action is being taken to assess the condition of trees near the sites and to conduct maintenance, as needed.
The shelters and campsites will be reopened as tree work is completed. The lone exception to the closures is the Dahlgren Campground, located on the trail about a mile south of the Old South Mountain Inn in Boonsboro.
In addition, the Maryland Park Service is operating a trail update hotline: 301-791-4767.
"As park rangers, we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss on Sunday," said Nita Settina, MPS superintendent. "As the hiking season gets underway, we are taking immediate precautionary action to thoroughly assess and address any potential hazards at AT shelters and campsites."
The assessment and maintenance program was initiated in consultation with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maryland Park Service's partners in overseeing the 40-mile segment of the trail that runs from the Potomac River to the Pennsylvania state line.
"We apologize for any inconvenience caused by these temporary closures," said Settina. "In the interim, hikers are permitted to camp along the trail on public lands. Campers are reminded to use proper Leave No Trace ethics."
We are grateful to all who strive to keep the Appalachian Trail safe.
Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, News, Accidents, Closings, Closures, Conservation, and Accident
Read the State of Maine's Medical Examiner's report of the death of Geraldine Largay here.
We regret to inform you of the death of Jason Parish, 36, of Philadelphia, PA, who died while camping along the Appalachian Trail at the Ed Garvey shelter.
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