JUNE 16-22, 2017

Doug Wood

          Peters Mountain is one heck of a prominent ridge serving as a boundary between the two Virginias, providing the steep topographic relief necessary to create lift for migrating birds, and hosting the Allegheny Trail for many miles.  We WVSTA volunteers will gather on the southeast side of the escarpment in the village of Waiteville at the mountain home of David Ferrell.  David’s own words describe our trail maintenance headquarters for this year’s W5:

“I have 2 bedrooms.  The Master has a King Size Bed plus enough floor space for one or two air mattresses.  I have plenty of air mattresses.  The guest room has a Queen Size bed and I have a loft with 2 twin beds and a couch that makes into a single. In the great room is a Kitchen, Dining Room and two living Rooms.  One of the couches makes into a Queen Size Bed and 2 other regular couches.  I have 3 1/2 baths, so plenty of bath for people to share.  I can generally sleep about 10 people in the house.  I have hosted more in the house up to 15. Sometimes people can camp in tents in the yard.  I also have hook-ups for trailers next to my barns.  I do have internet and Wi-Fi in the house.  The house phone number is 304 772-3524.”

My (Doug Wood’s) recommendation is that you bring your own sleeping bag so that David does not have to perform maid service with bed sheets after our stay.  With comfortable quarters like that, we should have no problem clearing 20 miles of trail a day…I’m only joking folks.  The pleasant retreat will allow us to feel more refreshed each day we ascend the mountain for our work effort.  We will likely be able to gather and prepare some wild edibles in the ample kitchen space provided to us by David.  We will plan to visit the Old Mill Restaurant in Paint Bank, VA for one of our meals.  The restaurant is supplied with bison meat from the Hollow Hill Buffalo Ranch next door.  I also plan to do some history and nature touring during the week.  There are some rare plants and animals in the area that we might have an opportunity to see, and the history of the region is pretty interesting.  My own ancestor Waite Bean gave his name to the village.  Waite was the descendant of William Bean, who was a Scottish indentured servant at the age of 13 when he came across the pond to serve his term of indenture in the British colony of Virginia.

The initial work effort will focus on the segment of the ALT that runs between the AT and the Hanging Rock Raptor Migration Observatory.  If we get that accomplished, we will begin to tackle the currently closed six-mile segment between the observatory parking lot and Crowder Road.  I counted nearly 80 must-remove blowdowns in the first 0.7 mile traveling southwest from Crowder Road a couple of months ago.  Many other step-overs were there as well, but we will leave those to discourage ATV use.  The USFS no longer has the budget necessary to fund enforcement work on dispersed recreation areas. 

You may arrive Friday eve.  We will hold our annual meeting on Saturday eve (June 17) around 7pm after our first day of work.  I hope to see you all in Waiteville (directions are below).  Please give me a call if you intend to come out and help, 304-550-1006 until Thursday, June 15.  After that date, try David’s house number.  Leave your call back number on any answering services you may get when you call.  Thanks.


“I-64 East to White Sulphur Springs, then exit right past WSS to Crows, VA on Rte 311.  Follow 311 to Crows, turn right towards Sweet Springs, WV.  At Sweet Springs turn left to continue on 311 towards Paint Bank, VAAt the General Store and Gas Station turn right onto Waiteville Road.  Go exactly 10 miles and I am on the right.  I have a couple of rock signs there with the address and "Liberty Hill Farm" I have a gate there which remains closed.  Next to the gate is a red school house and a black barn.  There is no cell phone coverage in that area fyi.”