Winter can be chilly in Unaka Mountain Wilderness and on the Nolichucky.  Cold weather didn’t stop community cleanup efforts at Chestoa and along Unaka Mountain Road!


Wild South has a long history of tire cleanups in Linville Gorge Wilderness.  The tires wash into the gorge during floods.  In January, these amazing folks packed tires, a toilet, and other flotsam up the infamously difficult Pinch-In Trail!


Dedicated volunteers helped prevent wildfires by repairing campsite fire rings on Bynum Bluff, Jonas Ridge, Linville Gorge, Shortoff, Spence Ridge, and other wilderness trails.  Two amazing teams — one from Southmountain Childrens Home, and another from Arch Mortage Insurance in Greensboro — cleaned up truckloads of trash and repaired dozens of campsites along Old NC 105.


Crosscut sawing is a great way to stay warm when it’s cold outside!  Community volunteers got some important practice with the big saws this winter, keeping wilderness trails clear for hikers and emergency personnel.


Wild South volunteers completed the last two sections of the new “Leadmine” trail in the lower Linville Gorge this winter.  These sections involved stream crossings, and required technical work with rock and oak logs.


Lost Cove Loop Trail restoration continues on Bee Mountain in Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area.  Two enthusiastic Outward Bound crews joined Wild South — one despite freezing rain, and the other almost overheating a week later in baking sun!


For years the Grandfather Ranger District community has been dealing with graffiti at the Brown Mountain Overlook.  A new solution was developed this winter, as volunteer crews used the boulders to practice rock-cracking techniques.


Wild South helps communities keep their wild places wild.  The challenges can be great, but that’s where communities excel.  The biggest challenge lately has been removal of the bridge wreckage on Spence Ridge Trail.  Many tons of concrete are being hammered, drilled, blasted, and hauled.


Turning lemons into lemonade, the Spence Ridge bridge wreckage is being repurposed to stop trail erosion.  Timbers and concrete rubble are being recombined as sturdy steps along steep switchbacks.


Wild South joined forces with A Clean Wilson Creek, Foothills Conservancy, and Latinos Adventureros to clean up 7 tons of trash — including over 200 tires — in a single day!  This was on the banks of the Wild & Scenic Wilson Creek, on a parcel recently protected thanks to Foothills Conservancy.  But with that came an unbelievable amount of trash illegally dumped over the decades.  What a fantastic team!


Keep these great projects coming in the spring!  Support your conservation communities today!