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  1. #1
    Registered User 10SEns's Avatar
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    Default Camping near Partnership Shelter

    I understand that tent camping is prohibited at Partnership Shelter in southern VA. Does anyone know if that refers to just the immediate vicinity of the shelter, or are there potential camping sites within say 1/4 mile south of the shelter?

  2. #2

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    If I remember right, there is no practical place to camp anywhere near the shelter (like for miles) Whitepages shows a (dry, near road) campsite about 6 miles south of Partnership.
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    My memory of that section is two years old, but I recall that a northbound hiker approaching Partnership/Mt. Rogers Visitor Center drops off a ridge, down to a creek, and then ascends gently on an old road, with a pond or lake down and to the right. I think (but I'm not positive) that camping would be possible along that creek. It's a laurel tunnel, IIRC, but usually campers being creative can find something somehow somewhere. Alternatively, the backpacker could load up with extra water there or at Partnership and then camp on the ridge top to the north - it would mean another mile or two of walking. I think there are any number of campsite on that long top. Perhaps folks who have been there more recently or who know the area well can amplify/correct.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10SEns View Post
    I understand that tent camping is prohibited at Partnership Shelter in southern VA. Does anyone know if that refers to just the immediate vicinity of the shelter, or are there potential camping sites within say 1/4 mile south of the shelter?
    I came through there Wed Aug 27 and Mt Rodgers visitor center is closed. I tented along with 3 others beside the shelter and 2 tented in front on the grass. Shower is shut off and privy is open.Water spigot to the right of the dumpster works. Plenty of room to tent. Enjoy.

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    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Face I gotta out from the shelter go down the hill word the small pond. Several times I pitched my tent, with others, on the flat top of the dam. it’s posted as a no camping area, but know one ever bothered me.
    Grampie-N->2001

  6. #6

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    I just love how some people think rules are for other people, not them.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I just love how some people think rules are for other people, not them.
    Bless you heart...I understand. But of course you have never skirted the rules.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by goatee View Post
    Bless you heart...I understand. But of course you have never skirted the rules.
    Camped where I clearly wasn't allowed? Nope not ever.
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  9. #9
    Registered User 10SEns's Avatar
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    Default

    Just to close the loop on this thread. I ended up on a different timeline and did not need to stop here, but the answer to the original question is YES, sort of.

    There is a low, flat area along the creek about 5 minutes south of the shelter. Other than that, there are not many good choices for a couple miles either direction

    Also, without getting into whether one should or should not camp at this shelter, I observed several well used tent pads immediately adjacent to the shelter, so it appears that the restriction is not being enforced or followed. Go figure...

  10. #10
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Most shelters and privies on USFS and NPS land are closed because of COVID 19.
    Last edited by Alligator; 10-01-2020 at 18:13. Reason: Quoted post removed.
    More walking, less talking.

  11. #11
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    Both of you, what happens if you're caught in the dark and don't know the terrain up ahead? Or if you are too tired to go on after a long hard day? For me there's no second thought about it. More than once I had to stay in an area like Penn. when that happened. Forget the rules in a pinch. Stealth stealth stealth !

  12. #12
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    Earlier this month, I stopped at or stayed at four shelters in SW Virginia, most or all of them in national forest. There weren't any "closed" signs at the shelters or road crossings (at roads either side of Jenkins, there were signs asking hikers to carry wood shavings to the privy at Jenkins). I stayed at Jenkins and Helvey Mill and fixed meals at Chestnut Knob and Jenny Knob. Most or all of them had shelter registers used regularly. It didn't occur to me that they might be closed and, as far as I know, they weren't.
    Last edited by Dan Roper; 09-19-2020 at 11:56.

  13. #13

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    They are still closed.

    The AT does not have signs at all shelters and privies stating they are closed, similar to stores not having signage at each aisle stating shoplifting is not allowed. The authorities responsible for the AT in NPS and USFS lands closed all shelters, privies as of April 2020 "until further notice". It's up to the hiker to determine what if any closures exist regardless of pandemic, weather, or other circumstances. and act/prepare accordingly. Some State lands and trail sections maintained by local ATC Chapters may be closed, may not have ever closed. or have lifted their restrictions. Determining if any closings will impact a specific hike can be a little confusing, but a few minutes with Google will likely get you the specific information needed. Certainly a call to the local AMC chapter or USFS office/NPS office will clear it up in a minute or two.

    Here is the posting from the NPS regarding shelter and privy closings:

    All Overnight Shelters and Privies on Lands Administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office are Closed Until Further Notice - March 2020
    Effective immediately, the National Park Service is closing all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office in the states of VA (10 shelters, 12 privies), MD (1 shelter, 2 privies), PA (8 shelters, 6 privies), NJ (1 shelter, 1 privy), NY (5 shelters, 5 privies), CT (7 shelters, 16 privies), MA (1 shelter, 4 privies), and ME (22 shelters, 29 privies). These closures are consistent with and in concurrence of our state and non-profit partners. These modifications to operations are in support of federal, state, and local efforts to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, partners, and local communities. These closures will be in effect until further notice.

  14. #14

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    Traveler,

    I’d push back a little here. Stores don’t have to post those signs because it is universally understood that theft is illegal. Shelter use is however understood to be legal. Stores ARE posting signs about mask use and distancing, because those practices are a new requirement worthy of notice. Just as highway depts usually post signs announcing new stop signs or lights.

    If the shelter closures are really worthwhile, why wouldn’t the authorities assign the minimal personnel time to post a notice at each them?

    Not arguing the efficacy of closure. Just the reasonableness of expectations.

  15. #15

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    Agreed on shoplifting signage, perhaps the better example would be someone camping on your lawn, arguing since there are no signs prohibiting it and laws of trespass are available via the internet but not on the trees of your property.

    In any event, I'm not sure its a reasonable expectation to post each shelter and maintain the postings as they are destroyed by ill informed vandals. The notices have been put up in websites most people would consider referring to during this period of time. As you point out, ignorance would not be an excuse given the circumstances. Aggressive ignorance would be a different issue.

  16. #16

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    I figure the pandemic will be pretty much over by November 3rd.

  17. #17
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    All kidding aside, most people are talking at least next march with the way things are going. I believe that could be about right and we will still have some outbreaks. Look at all the colleges and schools that reopened and were then closed again. By the way, I'm one of those that had it and recovered.

  18. #18
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    The official NPS closures seem to indicate that the shelters and privi's themselves are closed, but it still may be good to camp near them (isn't that the case in GSMNP?). It makes sense also since the idea is social distancing and shelters are close sleeping quarters and privi's can be gathering spots. Anyone know how it would apply to camping around the shelter and catholing waste?

  19. #19

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    A few States have closed the AT to overnight camping this year, which would include the areas around closed USFS and NPS shelters and closed State/ATC managed shelters. It's up to the hiker or group leader to be aware of these closures and the rules regarding use of specific campsites.

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