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The Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club

The Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club (ODATC) is an organization of individuals and trail-related organizations who meet to recreate in the outdoors in various ways as well as act as stewards of a portion of the Appalachian Trail and the public lands it runs through.  Our recreational  endeavors focus on hiking in Virginia but includes biking, paddling and touring as well.   While the majority of our events occur in Virginia our only true limits are what members wish to limit themselves to. 

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Upcoming events


ODATC Member to Hike the AT in 2018

Bruce Matson practices law in Richmond, Virginia with the law firm of LeClairRyan, where most recently he served as its Chief Legal Officer. Bruce also serves as the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Randolph Square IP, LLC and certain of its affiliates.  He is a director of Apple Hospitality REIT (NYSE: APLE), the C. S. Lewis Institute, the Virginia State Golf Association as well as a member of the community advisory boards for the Veritas School and the Bon Secours Health System.

Bruce is also the author of three regional golf histories and more recently published The Race Before Us: A Journey of Running & Faith and The Road to Find Out: A Modern Pilgrim and the Camino de Santiago.  Bruce’s desire to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail began as a dream over 40 year ago – see blog post:  “The Decision to Go.”

In February 2018 Bruce will begin a weekly blog leading up to his departure on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia and thereafter as he attempts to walk the 2,200 miles to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.

Bruce will use his hike as an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  So, please join me in supporting the ATC. In 2018, before I begin my hike, I will announce a series of ways that you can support me by supporting the ATC. So, save your pennies to make a meaningful gift in 2018 to the ATC.  Follow Bruce’s progress on returningtokatahdin.com or see the  Links  page under the Stay Informed Tab on this site.  

Wilderness Skills Institute 2018: Save the Date

As we come into the new year, the Wilderness Skills Institute's planning team has been hard at work developing the course offerings for the 8th annual Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI) in 2018. WSI is the product of a partnership between the US Forest Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), and Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) that offers shoulder-to-shoulder learning opportunities for agency staff, partners and volunteers to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to steward our country's most protected landscapes—federally designated Wilderness.

 Like past years, WSI will be held at the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah Forest, NC on the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The dates for this year's Institute are Week 1: May 21-May 25 and Week 2: May 29-June 1. WSI attendance is offered free-of-charge to participants; there is camping available free-of-charge adjacent to the Cradle of Forestry at Pink Beds Picnic Area and there are variety of lodging options in nearby Brevard, NC.

 Attendance to WSI requires a short application process and can be found at the website 

www.wildernessskillsinstitute.org. The online application period opens on Thursday, January 18th; participants will receive confirmation of their admittance into WSI before the end of March.

 The course offerings the first week of WSI 2018 are:

· Building Strong Partnerships for Wilderness Stewardship

· Crosscut A/B and Wilderness First Aid & CPR

· Crosscut C

· Griphoist and Rigging

 The courses offered during the second week of WSI are:

· Protecting Wilderness Character: Processes and Tools for Wilderness Stewardship

· Introduction to Equestrian Packing for Wilderness Stewardship

· Trail Maintenance

· Wilderness Interpretation

 We hope that you will consider attending and adding to the "esprit de corps" of the premier Wilderness stewardship training in the South. 


On February 17-18, there will be a wilderness first aid course offered in the Richmond area. An excellent course for learning how to deal with unique injuries and emergencies that can occur out on the trail away from immediate access to professional first responders.  MEDIC SoloWFA is now partnering with Walkabout Outfitters in offering courses around the east coast. Again this year ODATC has been selected as the nonprofit organization in the Richmond area to receive 10% of the course proceeds. For additional information, please check out the attached flyer or go to their website at www.solowfa.com

The ODATC Mission

The construction and maintenance of foot trails for hikers, including the Appalachian Trail between Reids Gap and Rockfish Gap.

The provision of excursions on such trails or other areas. 

Offering educational activities related to the need for preserving the great outdoors. 

Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club (c). 
P.O. Box 25283 
Richmond, VA 23260-5283
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