Parking on the VA/WV Appalachian Trail

Section 21 - Blue Ridge Parkway (Punchbowl Mt. Crossing) to James River (US 501) Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club http://www.nbatc.org/ b2wheels @ mindspring.com Tye River at VA 56 to Black Horse Gap U.S. 460 at the New River to Va. 611


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
Blue Ridge Parkway (Punchbowl Mt. Crossing)
  Poor            Great




Blue Ridge Parkway mile 51.7 which is 5.9 mile south of US 60. A park ranger should be notified if you plan to leave your vehicle overnight. 3/3/2006 ample parking
Parking area for 6-8 cars is on east side of road at the Punch Bowl Mountain Overlook. The northbound AT to Section 20 leaves from the south side of the overlook parking and descends east toward Robinson Gap. The southbound AT to SEction 21 goes west from the north side of the overlook beginning the long climb to Punchbowl Mountain and Bluff Mt. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the location of the parking area. Rotate the street view from northeast to south to see the overlook parking. 1/20/10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
3.5
Salt Log Gap Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Hercules Road (aka USFS 36 or VA 812) is a paved road which leads to a slate-processing plant. The road is gated 4 miles from the highway. There is a small dirt parking area on the left here. It can be seen on the satellite view of the attached map. The marker indicates its location. This blue-blazed SIDE TRAIL leads 3.8 miles to meet the AT in Salt Log Gap (not to be confused with the Salt Log Gap further north near Tar Jacket Ridge (VA Se. 18-19)). Coordinates at the At are 37.6538 -77.3589. While I checked out the parking here, I did not have time to find find the actual trailhead. The following information is from the AT Guide to Central Virginia: Trailhead at end of USFS 36 (VA 812) near gate to slate quarry. 1/22/10 3-4 near gate. 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Update (June 2010): I returned to the area and looked for the trailhead, walking along the road as far as the quarry. I saw a couple of blue blazes on a tree and a concrete pillar about 200 feet from the gate, but no sign of the trail. Given this, I cannot recommend this trail as an access. It might be a perfectly good exit point, since the AT end is well-marked.

Further update (July 2010) The brand-new 2nd edition of the AT Guide to Central VA confirms my observations. This states that despite the sign, the trail is not on current maps and may be difficult to follow at the bottom. 07/25/10

dlcul @ conncoll.edu
4.6
Saddle Gap Trail
  Poor            Great



 
See directions and attached map for parking for the Salt Log Gap Trail (Mile 3.5). While I checked out the parking here, I did not have time to find find the actual trailhead. The following information is from the AT Guide to Central Virginia: Trailhead about 300 yards from gate at end of USFS 36 (VA 812). Look for large berm on left of road. This blue-blazed SIDE TRAIL leads 2.5 miles to meet the AT in Saddle Gap. Coordinates at the AT 37.6446 -79.3731. 1/22/10 3-4 near gate
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Update (June 2010): I returned to the area and looked for the trailhead. If goes south along the road, ther are two wood roads which come in from the right. The second one has a faded blue blaze on a tree about 50 feet into the woods. There is no sign. I don't know is this is the Saddle Gap Trail or not. Until this is resolved, I would not recommend this as an access. It might make a possible exit, since the AT end is well marked.
Further Update (July 2010). The brand-new 2nd edition of the AT Guide to Central VA says that the trailhead is marked by a large boulder in the middle of a grassy wood road., so the faded blue blaze above must belong to this trail the AT Guide warns it may be difficult too follow at the bottom 07/25/10

dlcul @ conncoll.edu
7.2
Rocky Row Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Trailhead on US 501 3.2 miles west of AT crossing and 2.3 miles from Glasgow. Between these two points the highway climbs. At the top of the climb, it makes a sharp turn. There is a small pull off there and a view over the river. Marker A is at the location of the pull-off. Click on the camera icon for A, click on the street view and rotate to the southwest to see the pull-off.


I have not hiked this trail but have checked out the trail head. From the pull off go north on the highway (westbound) for a short distance. The B marker on the map indicate the location of the trailhead. The trail is on the right and is marked by a hiker logo sign. Click on the camera icon by B, select street view and rotate to the north west to see the beginning of this SIDE TRAIL. This blue-blazed trail goes east 2.8 miles along a rocky backbone to meet the AT at the top of Little Rocky Row. Coordinates at the At are 37.6256 -79.4030. 1/22/2010 Limited parking, 2-3 cars at most 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
9.8
Hercules Road - VA 812
  Poor            Great



 
Hercules Road (aka USFS 36 or VA 812) is a paved road which leads to a slate-processing plant. The trail crossing is 0.9 miles north of US 501/VA 130. There are some parking pull-offs in the vicinity of the trail crossing. One can be seen on the south side of the road on the satelitte view of the attached map. On the satellite view of the attached map the southbound trail can clearly be seen coming in from the north. The trail crosses the road and descends to Rocky Row Run. The green arrow indicates the trail crossing. The southbound AT rejoins Hercules Road just before the intersection with US 501/VA 130. 11/25/2009 Parking pull offs that will accommodate several cars. 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
10.9
James River (US 501/VA 130)
  Poor            Great




There is an AT parking area on the south side of US 501/VA 130 near the intersection with USFS 36 (aka VA 812). To the west it is 5.9 miles west to Glasgow. From there it is 4 miles via VA 130 to Natural Bridge Station and 6 miles to I-81 (Exit 175). To the east it is 4 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Via US 501 it is 5.6 miles to Big Island. My estimate of the number of parking spaces available approximately 25. There is a boat launch area just to the east where more parking may be available. The marker on the satellite view of the attached map is at the intersection of Hercules Road (VA 812 and US 501/VA 130). The hiker parking lot can be seen to the west of this intersection. The boat launch area can be seen just to the east. The street view to the north shows Hercules Road (VA 812) from the intersection with US 501/ VA 130. Northbound on Section 21, the trail crosses the highway east of the parking lot and starts up Hercules Road for a short distance before going right into the woods. Rotate the street view to the wet. The southbound trail to Section 22 goes left at the end of the guardrail seen in the view. 1/22/10 approximately 25 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
There is a bridge across James River on US501, there is parking there for 20-25 cars. It is west of where AT crosses US501 and then heads across James on the James River Foot Bridge. 5/25/06 20-25
tmartinez @ atconf.org
Car window smashed out while hiking. Don't leave ANYTHING in your car. 04/14/07
stacylabare @ earthlink.net
Parking safety ratings here should be for the hikers parking lot. See satellite view of the attached map. This map is similar to the one in the first listing for this mile marker, but the marker here indicates the entrance to the hiker parking area. The railroad bridge is the larger one the right, the Foot AT Bridge is the one on the left (See Section 22). Rotate the street view to the southwest to see the parking area. 11/25/2009 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu

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Page last updated: 9/19/2016 3:21:47 PM