Parking on the VA/WV Appalachian Trail

Section 34 - New River(US 460 at Pearisburg) to Mouth of Dismal Creek (VA 606) Displayed from North to South

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  Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club RATCHikemaster @ Black Horse Gap to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, and US 460 at the New River to VA 611 U.S. 460 at the New River to Va. 611

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
US 460 (E. End Shumate Bridge)
  Poor            Great

2 miles west of Pearisburg, just east of the Celanese Acetate Plant, where US 460 crosses the New River. Cars may best be parked .3 miles north of the end of the section on the paved road east of US 460, an entrance to the Celanese-Fortrel plant, or, with permission at the plant. This parking is describe more fully at Mile 19.0 of Section 33. 3/3/2006
tmartinez @
There is little if any parking right at the official terminus of the section. The markers indicate the official southern end of Section 33 and northern end of Section 34. Northbound (to Section 33) goes across the bridge. The route across the bridge may be seen by rotating the street view to the north. The southbound trail to Section 34 enters woods. It can be seen if the street view is rotated to the west. A tree with a white blaze is in the background. 11/29/09 1
at @
Update: The access at the Celanese entrance road mentioned above should be considered as a drop-off point only. I parked on the grass on this road on 6/02/11 and soon got a visit from Celanese Security telling me I couldn't park there. I was referred to the old mall at the other end of the bridge. See below.. I would gather from this encounter that parking at the plant itself is out of the question. 06/11/11
dlcul @
US 460 (Mall)
  Poor            Great

Parking is apparently also possible at a totally defunct shopping mall about 0.1 miles further east (compass south) on US 460. Rotate the street map on the attached map to the east to see the mall. Note there are several cars parked by the road. I suspect these are hiker vehicles. I saw no signs prohibiting or regulating parking here. 07/10/10 Ample 1
dlcul @
Cemetery Trail
  Poor            Great

Going west from downtown Pearisburg, VA 100 and Business US 460 coincide. Just south of the US 460 bridge across the New River, VA 100 goes left while Business US 460 bears right, joining the limited access US 460 highway in a short distance. Follow VA 100 west about 0,3 miles. It goes around a hill. There is a field on the right. Look for a parking area at the edge of the woods in this field. The entrance road is a short distance further west on VA 100. From the parking area a very nicely maintained trail complete with benches climbs gradually about 0.2 miles to the AT. Here the northbound AT goes left, the southbound right. The old cemetery where George Pearis, founder of Pearisburg, is buried is a few hundred feet further straight ahead. 06/14/10 6-8 1
dlcul @
Follow limited access US 460 west. Look for the sign to VA 100 north. This is just before the bridge just west of Pearisburg. Go left here. It is about 0.3 miles on VA 100 to the parking area. 06/11/11 1
dlcul @
Due to a recent relocation (2016) this trail is now the route of the AT. The parking lot would be approximately 0.4 miles from the north end of the section. The most recent Google map (attached) indicates the parking area as AT Crossing/Parking. The crossing refers to the crossing of VA 100. The map still shows the old route f the AT. 02/03/18 1
dlcul @
VA 634 (Morris Avenue)
  Poor            Great

Pearisburg, VA/Angel's Rest, Giles County, VA. Take US 460 (you guessed it) West from Christiansburg, or East from Bluefield. Take the Pearisburg/Dublin exit onto Rt 100 South. Right off the ramp, you will pass a Dairy Queen Restaurant, just as you pass the DQ, turn right onto Johnston Ave., go up a short, steep, hill, and the street makes a "Y" keep right at the "Y" and the street becomes Cross Avenue (poorly marked, the sign leads you to believe you are on Morris Avenue) go 1 mile, and look closely for the AT marker on the left, and timber steps going up the roadbank onthe left. Drive just past the AT crossing, around the bend on the left there is a small parking area on the shoulder. There is a small house on the left side that overlooks the parking area. This parking area is small, only accomodates 4-5 cars at a time. It is fairly secure, weekend/overnight hikers leave cars there routinely, with little expectation of theft or damage. The trip up Angel's Rest and thru to Doc's Knob is dry, the spring at Doc's knob must not be trusted as there have been illnesses associated with unfiltered water here in the past. After Big Horse Gap there is good water all way to Dismal Creek/Wilderness Road.

This is a "trail town" indeed! I live here, and this town loves AT hikers! If the Cross Avenue lot is full, talk to the folks at ther Rendevous Motel, Holiday Motor Lodge, Poist Office, or even the Food Lion/ Magic Mart sores, someone will "hook you up" with safe parking!
05/13/07 4-5 cars
Cecil.Sink @
06/23/08 1
dlcul @
Docs Knob (S. Jct. Old Forest Road)
  Poor            Great

See directions to Sugar Run Gap (Mile 10.9). At the T intersection in the gap, go right on a dirt USFS Road. I was not driving so do not have odometer values, but according to the Google Map, go 1.7 miles, looking for a dirt parking area on the right. It is the first obvious one after Sugar Run Gap. See pictures for Section 34. With care the road is can be driven in a passenger car. A gated forest road leaves from the rear of the parking area. Follow this uphill for 0.1 - 0.2 miles to meet the AT. The northbound AT goes straight ahead on the old road, reaching Docs Knob Shelter in another 0.1 miles. The southbound AT goes right as a footpath and begins to ascend. 06/12/11 6-8 1
dlcul @
Sugar Run Gap
  Poor            Great

Follow VA 100 3 miles south from Pearisburg. Turn right (west) onto VA 665 and follow approximately 6 miles. Turn right on VA 663 and follow it to Sugar Run Gap. 3/3/06
Turn right on VA 663 (from VA 665) and follow it to Sugar Run Gap which is 3 miles from the intersection of VA665 and VA 633. 05/25/08 3-4 cars
atbits @
VA 663 is gravel for most of its length from the intersection with VA 665. It is generally good but there are some rocks in the road, so be careful. At Sugar Run Gap, it reaches a T intersection. There are no signs but the road to the left is probably USFS 103. . Roadside parking is possible. See pictures for a view of Sugar Run Gap. The AT crosses the road to the right about a hundred feet from the intersection. Coming from the intersection, northbound is right, southbound is left. 06/09/08 5-6 1
dlcul @
In Giles co. near Mechanicsburg turn onto VA 606 from VA 42. In about a mile turn N. on FR 201 and go about 6 miles, turning right on VA 612. Go about 3 miles to Sugar Run Mt. Road (VA 663). AT crosses and VA 612 becomes FR 199. From VA 612 (dirt) over Flat Top Mt. to VA 663/FS 199 is treacherous in winter. We slid down icy ruts 500 feet in late November due to a little snow several days before. Don't go if low temps follow rain or snow. 01/06/09 2
ebkaeck @
this gravel part of Sugar Run was very rough.In minivan could only go about 8 mph. Large rocks in road. Parking area OK close to Wood's hole Hostel 10/08/12 1
petking @
Big Horse Gap (USFS 103)
  Poor            Great

This would be a route from Pearisburg and the northern end of the section. See directions to Sugar Run Gap (mile 10.9). Turn left here and follow the gravel road uphill. This is probably USFS 103. Maintenance on this road, at least in May 2008, was not very good, but it can be driven with a passenger car. In approximately 1.2 miles when the climb ends, the road bears right. A gated road goes sharply left. Roadside parking possible with the best being at this intersection (do not block roads or gate). See pictures for a view of Sugar Run Gap. The AT crosses USFS 103 a few hundred feet beyond the intersection. Southbound is left, northbound is right. The north end of the Ribble Trail is about 0.1 miles southbound on the AT. The AT may be hard to see from the road. . 06/09/08 3-4 1
dlcul @
This would be a route from VA 606 and the southern end of the section. See directions to the Ribble Trail (mile 19.0). Continue on USFS 201, the condition of which deteriorates quickly (as of May 2008). It climbs steadily. The designation changes to USFS 103, probably when the road changes direction from primarily north to primarily east. There are no signs. In approximately 3.3 miles the road bears left. A gated road goes straight ahead. Roadside parking possible with the best being at this intersection (do not block roads or gate). See pictures for a view of this area (Big Horse Gap). Given a choice, I would use the route from Sugar Run Gap given above (less bad road). See comments for the previous listing. Obviously the trail crossing from this direction is a few hundred feet before the intersection with the gated road. 06/09/08 3-4
dlcul @
Distances from intersection of VA100 and VA665:
4.8 miles to VA663, turn right (sign).
6.6 miles pavement ends, single lane dirt road from here.
8.1 miles to Sugar Run Gap, turn left.
9.4 miles to Big Horse Gap.
October 2008: road in decent shape to Sugar Run Gap. Some steep and rutted sections to Big Horse Gap but made it safely with a Pontiac Vibe without bottoming out. 11/15/08
mosher86 @
Ribble Trail (North Junction)
  Poor            Great

The closest approach to the northern junction of the AT and the blue-blazed Ribble Trail is from Big Horse Gap (See Mile 12.5). Follow the AT 0.1 miles south to the junction with a blue-blazed wood road. Go right here for the Ribble Trail.

Alternatively it can be reached by following the Ribble Trail (See comments).from USFS 201 in the Dismal Creek Valley. The directions to this trailhead are given for Mile 19.0
The northbound blue-blazed Ribble Trail follows the gated road dor some distance, then turns left as a footpath. Contrary to any maps I have seen, it crosses USFS 201 twice. However there is no parking at either place. The trail is only marked at those places by a hiker logo sign. The trail climbs steadily and sometimes steeply. The blue blazes are adequate, but some turns are not well-marked. About 0.1 mile from the AT there is a very decrepit outhouse literally in the middle of the trail. Beyond that is an only slight less decrepit cabin and picnic table. From there a wood road is followed to the AT. Total distance from USFS 201 trailhead is about 2 miles. At the junction the northbound At goes left, while the southbound goes left. The combination of the Ribble Trail and the AT make a very nice 9 mile loop. 10/23/09 Several roadside at USFS 201 trailhead and at Big Horse Gap trail crossing.
dlcul @
Ribble Trail (South Junction)
  Poor            Great

From the intersection of VA 42 and VA 606, go north on the latter for about a mile to Trent's Grocery. There go right (east) on VA 671 Shortly the road becomes gravel and changes its designation to USFS 201. This passes Dismal Falls in about a mile (sign). Continue on the good gravel road. It slowly changes direction from east to north. AT 5.0 miles from VA 606 (according to my odometer) USFS 201 bears left and starts to climb. There is a gated road on the right (almost straight ahead). Roadside parking for several cars. The markers on the attached map indicate the trailhead. The gated road is the one shown going to the right. The southbound blue-blazed Ribble Trail follows a footpath just to the right of the gated road. It reaches the AT in about 1/2 mile. It is mostly a gradual to moderate descent to the AT. The trail is generally adequately blazed, but some blazes are quite faded. Just before reaching the AT, the trail reaches a dirt road. Go right here. At the junction with the AT the southbound AT goes right, the northbound goes left. There is no sign at the junction, just the blue blazes. 10/23/09 Several at roadside. 1
Lions Den Road
  Poor            Great

From AT parking on VA 606 drive past Trent's Grocery and turn right onto VA 671 which according to Google Maps is Dismal Creek Rd. Near Walnut Flats Campground the road becomes USFS 201. Take the road to the right, Lions Gap Rd. During hunting season the gate is unlocked and you can drive (road not too bad if you have all wheel or 4 wheel drive) to where it crosses AT. Guessing that from gate (if locked) to AT would be 1 to 1 1/2 miles. Hiked this on December 11th 2015 Used shuttle service from Trent's Grocery on VA 606 to get dropped at Lions Gap Rd. I didn't check to see how many parking spaces were at the gate, but where the AT crosses Lions Gap Rd looked like 2 to 3 spaces. 12/19/15 unknown 1
grandpaharveydennenberg @
If the gate is closed there is parking in a pine grove a short distance before the gate. 12/19/15 3-4 in pine grove 1
dlcu @
Mouth of Dismal Creek (VA 606)
  Poor            Great

The A marker on the attached map indicates the trail crossing. Click on the A camera icon to get a street view. The view to the northeast shows the northbound trail (to Section 34). The west view shows the southbound trail (to Section 35). The B marker indicates the parking area. Click on the B camera icon to get a street view. Rotate to the northwest to see the entrance. See next listing for more details. 11/30/09 1
dlcul @
From the west: Take Exit 52 off I-77. Go about 0.5 miles east to downtown Bland. Go left and then in a short distance go right (east) on VA 42. From this point tit is about 13 miles to the intersection with VA 606. Go left on the VA 606 for 0.3 miles (according to my odometer) to the trail crossing.
From the east: From the intersection of VA 100 and VA 42 south of Pearisburg, follow VA 42 west for about 10 miles to the intersection with VA 606. Go right 0.3 miles to the trail crossing.
There are hiker logo signs indicating the trail crossing of VA 606. Just before the crossing look for a short driveway leading down to a dirt parking area. This is on the left (west ) side of the road if coming from VA 42. Warning: In wet weather, this parking area can become a mud hole. I saw other parking pull-offs further up and down the road that might also be used.
At the crossing the northbound trail goes right and the southbound trail goes left soon crossing the Kimberling Creek footbridge. Right and left assume that you are coming from VA 42 10/24/09
3-4 in parking area near trail
dlcul @

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