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Section 15 - Rockfish Gap (I-64/US 250) to Reids Gap Displayed from North to South

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  Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club http://www.odatc.org/ Trailguymike @ aol.com Rockfish Gap to Reeds Gap

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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
 Weather  
Source
-0.1
Rockfish Gap (Hiker Parking Lot)
   Poor           Great



 
To reach this parking area from I-64 (either westbound or eastbound) take Exit 99. Either of the long exit ramps brings you to the same intersection with US 250. Go right back under the interstate. Take the second right onto VA 610. This is just past what is now (2019) a gourmet popcorn store. Continue on VA 610. Just past the defunct Howard Johnson's, go left on a short connector to a T intersection with SkylineDrive/ Blue Ridge Parkway. Go left on Skyline Drive about 0.1-0.2 miles. The lot is on the right shortly after the Drive crosses the overpass over US 250. The marker on the attached map indicates one of the entrances to the lot. GPS N38.0317 W78.85845. It is at approximately Mile 105..3 of Skyline Drive. The official southern end of Section 14 and northern end of Section 15 is at the south end of the Skyline drive overpass over US 250. This parking is thus officially in Section 14 but is included here for convenience, hence the negative mile marker. The street view to the north from the point of the map marker shows the lot and the northbound AT following Skyline Drive. In 0.2 miles it bears right into the woods. The street view to the south shows the route of the southbound AT along Skyline Drive . The trail goes left off the Drive at the end of the stone wall seen on the left in the street view. GPS at this point: N38.0310 W78.8579 06/12/19 10
  1

  1

0.0
Rockfish Gap (Welcome Center)
   Poor           Great



 
To reach the Rockfish Gap Tourist Information Center from I-64 (either westbound or eastbound) take Exit 99. Either of the long exit ramps brings you to the same intersection with US 250. Go right back under the interstate. Take the first right onto Afton Circle. This is just before what is now (2019) a gourmet popcorn store. There should be signs for Tourist Information. Follow Afton Circle up to the Welcome Center. To reach the Center from Skyline Drive (southbound) or Blue Ridge Parkway (northbound) take the road on the west side of the highway towards the commercial area. Bear right onto VA 610. Continue past a defunct Howard Johnson's and the Gourmet Popcorn store to Afton Circle. Turn left and proceed up the hill to the center. The marker on the attached map indicates the Welcome Center. GPS: N38.0305 W78.8618 According to the AT Guide for Central Virginia (2015) you should notify the center staff if planning to park overnight. The center has restrooms and a large raised-relief map of the region.The volunteer staff can arrange a shuttle to Waynesboro.
The trace on the map shows the southbound Appalachian Trail to section 15 going east then south off Skyline Drive just south of the overpass over US 250. This is accurate. GPS: N38.0310 W78.8579 The northbound trail goes north along Skyline Drive for 0.3 miles before bearing east into the woods. The AT trace north of I-64 on the map is not accurate.The first two photos in the Picture section for this section (15) may be helpful. You can follow roads from the center to this point, perhaps cutting across the wooded area between VA 610 and Skyline Drive. (See map.) I don't know if there is a shorter foot path. 06/12/19
10
  1

  1

David Cullen
0.0
Rockfish Gap Commercial Area (I-64/US 250)
   Poor           Great




At one time there were several businesses including a Howard Johnson's and a motel in the area just south of I-64. Over the years these all shut down but there was still extensive parking available. However many of the buildings have been removed and most of the parking now appears to be in front of the defunct Howard Johnson's restaurant. To reach this from I-64 (either westbound or eastbound) take Exit 99. Either of the long exit ramps brings you to the same intersection with US 250. Go right back under the interstate. Take the second right onto VA 610. This is just past what is now (2019) a gourmet popcorn store. The entrance to Howard Johnson's is about a hundred feet further. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area. GPS: N38.0308 W78.8588 To reach this point from Skyline Drive (southbound) or Blue Ridge Parkway (northbound) take the road on the west side of the highway towards the commercial area. Bear right to the parking. The trace on the map shows the southbound Appalachian Trail to section 15 going east then south off Skyline Drive just south of the overpass over US 250. This is accurate. GPS: N38.0310 W78.8579 You can follow the roads to this point or cut across the wooded area seen on the satellite view of the map. The first photo in the Pictures for this Section (15) shows a view from this point back towards Howard Johnson's. The northbound trail goes north along Skyline Drive for 0.3 miles before bearing east into the woods. The AT trace north of I-64 on the map is not accurate. See the second picture for this section to see a view in that direction.

Note: Vandalism and theft have been a problem here in the past. See Parking Safety posting for further information. Parking at the Rockfish Gap Welcome/Information Center or the hiker parking lot on Skyline Drive have been suggested as alternatives. Se the listings above. Some older sources have also suggested the Inn at Afton at the top of the hill. However this place is mercifully out of business so is no longer really an option, . 06/11/19
15-20
  1

  1

David Cullen
6.4
Jack Albright Trail
   Poor           Great



 
This blue-blazed side trail starts in the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. See Mile 7.6 for directions to this parking area or alternative parking at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. This trail goes north from the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. The first part of it was once part of the AT. It meets the AT in 2.0 miles. At the AT intersection the northbound AT goes left (north) while the southbound AT goes right. Note that it is actually a shorter distance from the parking area if you use the Howardsville Turnpike (0.25 miles) and the northbound AT (1.2 miles) rather than the Jack Albright Trail. See Mile 7.6. The Albright Trail does however work nicely as part of a loop hike. A good map of the Humpback Rocks area can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/humpback-rocks-trails.htm There are also trail maps posted in the parking area kiosk. 07/07/19
 

 

David Cullen
6.5
Blue-blazed Trail to Humpback Rocks Parking Area
   Poor           Great



 
I am including this access only because it is still listed in the current AT Guide to Central Virginia (3rd edition 2014). It was once part of the AT until a relocation a number of years ago. Before the relocation the AT led through the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. After the relocation the old route became a blue blazed trail. This trail was the northern part of the old route. Some of this northern portion is still open as part of the Jack Albright Trail (See Mile 6.4). I have been informed by the President of the Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club which maintains this section of the AT that the piece of the old route immediately west of the current AT has been abandoned and allowed to revegetate. Therefore this side trail is CLOSED. 06/16/19
 

 

David Cullen
7.6
Howardsville Turnpike (Humpback Rocks Parking Area)
   Poor           Great



 
The entrance to the parking area for Humpback Rocks (just past Humpback Rocks Visitor Center) is at Mile 6.0 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take short access road east to parking area. The position of the parking lot is indicated by the marker. Rotate the street view from this point to see the parking area. The street view to the south shows the start of the Humpback Rocks Trail. See Mile 10.6. The street view to the east shows the start the Howardsville Turnpike spur going straight ahead (behind the trash can). The start of the Jack Albright Trail (See Mile 6.4) is to the left. Note: I am not sure if the notification requirement for overnight parking applies here but it might be best to call. See Mile 18.6 When the pictures for the Google map street views were taken, the Howardsville Turnpike spur was unmarked. However this is no longer the case. The trail is signed and is blazed blue. (Thanks to WardandDA @ gmail.com for this information). The trail goes east. In a short distance it is apparent that you are on a old road (Howardsville Turnpike). Go 0.25 miles to AT. Southbound trail is straight ahead on road, northbound trail to left. A good map of the Humpback Rocks area can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/humpback-rocks-trails.htm 06/16/19 20-25
  1

  1

David Cullen
7.6
Howardsville Turnpike (Visitor Center)
   Poor           Great




This provides alternate parking for the trails radiating from the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. See Miles 6.4, 7.6 and 10.5. The Humpback Rocks Visitor Center is at Mile 5.8 (miles south of Rockfish Gap) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is on the west side of the road. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area for the Visitor Center. Rotate the street view from this point to see the parking. GPS of Visitor Center: N37.9729 W78.8992 You should probable notify the Visitor Center staff if parking overnight. The Mountain Farm Trail goes south from the visitor center towards a collection of old farm buildings. It reaches the Parkway in 0.25 miles just across from the entrance to the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. The Mountain Farm Trail can clearly be seen on the satellite view of the map. it is just to the west of the Parkway. Follow the access road to the parking area. The situation there is described in the previous listing. 06/16/19 Ample
  1

  1

David Cullen
10.5
Blue-blazed Trail to Humpback Rocks Parking Area
   Poor           Great



 
This blue-blazed side trail starts in the Humpback Rocks Parking Area. See Mile 7.6 for directions to this parking area or alternative parking at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Take blue-blazed trail to south. from the Humpback Rocks parking area. This at one time was the route of the AT. The trail climbs steeply 1 mile to the spur trail to Humpback Rocks and then 0.15 miles more to AT. There the northbound AT goes left while the southbound goes right. A good map of the Humpback Rocks area can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/humpback-rocks-trails.htm 11/23/09 Updated 06/17/19
 

 

David Cullen
13.1
Blue-blazed Trail to Humpback Rocks Picnic Area - trail head
   Poor           Great



 
The entrance to the Humpback Rocks Picnic Area is at Mile 8.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway f(miles south of Rockfish Gap (I-64)). Road to Humpback Rocks picnic area is to the east. Parking for several cars right at trail head, many others in picnic area. Note: While overnight camping or sleeping in cars is prohibited, overnight parking is apparently OK. I am not sure if the notification requirement for overnight parking applies here but it might be best to call. See Mile 18.6. This blue blazed trail leaves from the back of picnic area. It is 0.3 miles to AT. There should be a large white AT symbol painted on a rock to mark the actual trailhead. There may or may not be a sign. The marker on the attached map indicates the location of the trailhead. GPS:N37.94535 W78.9264 The street view from the point of the marker to the east shows the blue-blazed trail going off to the right.

The GPS coordinates for the intersection with the AT are N37.9442 W78.9211. At that intersection the northbound AT goes left (north) while the southbound trail goes right (south). See Pictures for this section (15) to see views of both ends of this side trail. 11/23/2009 Updated 06/18/19
6-8 at trailhead, more in picnic area
  1

  1

David Cullen
14.3
Dripping Rock Parking Area
   Poor           Great



 
Dripping Rock Springs are at Mile 106 of the Blue Ridge Parkway (miles south of Rockfish Gap). The springs are on the east (compass north right here). There is room for 4-5 cars to park in front of the springs. Note: I am not sure if the notification requirement for overnight parking applies here. It probably does. It might be best to call. See Mile 18.6 AT crosses the parkway here. The road is actually going east to west right here. The northbound AT goes north past the springs. The southbound trail goes south towards Cedar Cliffs. The marker on the attached map indicates the trail crossing. Rotate the street view from the point of the marker to the east so see most of he parking. Rotate to the north to see the northbound trail. Rotate to the south to see the southbound trail. GPS:N37.9413 W78.9367 Updated 06/18/19
  1

  1

David Cullen
18.6
Three Ridges Overlook
   Poor           Great



 
Three Ridges Overlook is at Mile 13.1 of Blue Ridge Parkway (miles south of Rockfish Gap). The overlook is on the east side of the Parkway. Note: People who wish to park overnight should be aware of the following from the Blue Ridge Parkway FAQ page.
Anyone wishing to leave a vehicle in an overlook for approved camping/hiking purposes must contact the Comm Center (828-298-2491) either the day before or the morning of their excursion to advise detailed information regarding their excursion and vehicle.
The marker on on the attached map indicates the overlook. (There is no view of Thee Ridges in spite of the name). The street views to the east and south from this point shows the overlook area. Southbound AT crosses Parkway here, cuts across the overlook parking area then goes south towards Reeds Gap GPS: N37.90745 W78.9790 11/23/2009 Updated 06/19/19 12-15
  1

  1

David Cullen
19.1
Reids Gap
   Poor           Great




The Blue Ridge Parkway intersects with VA 664.at Mile 13.1 (miles south of Rockfish Gap) in Reid's Gap (AKA Reeds Gap). Parking is on south side of VA 664 just east of intersection. See attached map. The marker indicates the intersection.GPS: N37.9022 W78.9852 Rotate the street view to the south to see the dirt parking area. . The first photo in the Pictures for Section 16 also shows the parking. Note: I am not sure if the notification requirement for overnight parking applies here but it might be best to call. See Mile 18.6. The AT crosses VA 684 just east of the parking area. The northbound trail to Section 15 goes north (left if coming from Parkway) while the southbound trail to Section 16 goes south (right). 11/22/209 Update 06/19/19 20
  1

  1

David Cullen

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