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

Maintained by:
  Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club http://www.ratc.org/ RATCHikemaster @ gmail.com 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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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
 Weather  
Source
0.0
US 460 (E. End Shumate Bridge)
   Poor           Great




The official northern end of Section 34 is at the east end of the US 460 bridge just west of Pearisburg. GPS: N37.3381 W80.7565 The Celanese plant is on the other side of the New River. There is no parking possible at this point. Closest parking is the Giles Farm Bureau a bit further south on US 460. (See next listing.) Important note: Some older sources suggest parking on the grass along the entrance to the lower part of the Celanese plant. When I tried this, I was quickly paid a visit by plant security who informed me that parking there was NOT an option. The marker on the attached map 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. The view to the east shows the Farm Bureau parking lot where parking is available. 11/29/09 Updated 05/22/19
  1

 

at @ rohland.org
Parking is possible the Giles Farm Bureau (formerly a defunct shopping mall) about 0.1 miles further east (compass south) on US 460. The marker on the attached map indicates the Farm Bureau parking lot. It can be seen on the street view to the east and south. GPS of lot: N37.3375 W80.7550 This business is fine with AT hikers using the street facing parking. However, crossing 460 on foot requires caution. 04/28/19 10
  1

  1

Caroledell81 @ gmail.com
0.4
VA 100
   Poor           Great




Route from downtown Pearisburg: 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. There is a sign for the trailhead of the Pearis Cemetery/Appalachian Trail at the entrance. GPS of parking lot N37.3339 W80.7555
Route from US 460 westbound: 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.
The southbound trail follows the entrance road from the parking lot back to VA 100 which it then crosses.
The trail northbound from the parking area was a side trail which met the AT just south of the old cemetery where George Pearis is buried. It was nicely maintained complete with some benches. Due to a recent relocation (2016) this trail is now part of the AT. I don't know if the benches are still there. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area. There is a notation on the map labeled AT Crossing/Parking. This is at the point where the southbound AT crosses VA 100. Note that the map still shows the old route of the AT. 05/22/19
6-8
  1

  1

David Cullen
1.4
VA 634 (Morris Avenue)
   Poor           Great




Take US 460 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 road bank on the 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. 05/13/07
Following added by editor 05/24/19
The marker on the attached map indicates the AT crossing of Morris Avenue (VA 634). The route shown for the northbound trail on the map is no longer correct. GPS of trail crossing N37.3294 -80.7516
4-5 cars
  1

  1

Cecil.Sink @ vdh.virginia.gov
9.9
Docs Knob (S. Jct. Old Forest Road)
   Poor           Great



 
See directions to Sugar Run Gap (Mile 12.1). At the T intersection in the gap, go right on a dirt USFS Road. I was not driving so do not have odometer values. 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. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area. GPS:N37.2706 W80.8406 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 Updated 08/11/19 6-8
  1

  1

David Cullen
12.1
Sugar Run Gap
   Poor           Great



 
Follow VA 100 3 miles south from Pearisburg. Turn right (west) onto VA 665 and follow 4.8 miles. Turn right on VA 663 and follow it 3.3 miles to Sugar Run Gap. Wood's Hole Hostel is passed 0.5 miles before reaching the gap. VA 663 is gravel for most of its length from the intersection with VA 665. It is generally good but there are sometimes 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. GPS at the intersection: N37.2651 W80.8560 . The red marker indicates the intersection. 06/09/08 Update: Recent reports (April 2019) indicated that the general condition of Sugar Run Road is good and is manageable for regular passenger vehicles. There may be rough spots and some holes. Thanks to caroldell81 @ gmail.com and Fussymary @ aol.com for this information. 08/11/19 5-6
  1

  1

David Cullen
13.7
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 12.1). 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 Big Horse Gap. The AT crosses USFS 103 a few hundred feet beyond the intersection. Southbound is left, northbound is right. The marker on the attached map indicates the crossing. GPS: N37.24165 W80.86475 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 Hikers: Does anybody know the current condition of the road here? If so, please let us know. 08/11/19 3-4
  1

  1

David Cullen
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 at a T intersection in what is probably Little Horse Gap. There are no signs. After another mile 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
 

 

David Cullen
13.8
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 21.4. The northbound blue-blazed Ribble Trail follows the gated road for some distance, then turns left as a footpath. It crosses a forest road (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 slightly 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 right. The combination of the Ribble Trail and the AT makes a very nice 9 mile loop. 10/23/09 Updated 08/11/19 Several roadside at USFS 201 trailhead and at Big Horse Gap trail crossing.
 

 

David Cullen
21.4
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. When I hiked it he trail was generally adequately blazed, but some blazes were quite faded. I don not know the current condition, 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 Revised 08/12/19 Several at roadside.
  1

  1

David Cullen
21.5
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. The road may be gated at the bridge across Dismal Creek. 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. The marker on the attached map indicates the trail crossing. 12/19/15 unknown
  1

  1

grandpaharveydennenberg @ yahoo.com
If the gate is closed there is parking in a pine grove a short distance before the gate. The attached map indicates the bridge across Dismal Creek where the gate is located. GPS at bridge: N37.1993 W80.8819 GPS at crossing: N37.21295 W80.8543. These values were obtained from Google maps. 12/19/15 Updated 05/20/19 3-4 in pine grove
  1

 

David Cullen
460 to 100 to 42 to606. First right on Dismal Creek Road.
Lion's Den Road is well marked on the right.
It is a forest service road. No worse than Dismal Creek Road. It is gated about one mile from the AT intersection. The AT intersection is not signed. Their are parki by pulloffs but no real parking lot.
The parking has felt safe to us. We have parked there twice in the daytime. 04/28/19 Parking for about 5
 

 

caroledell81 @ gmail.com
27.3
Mouth of Dismal Creek (VA 606)
   Poor           Great



 
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. . GPS of trail crossing N37.1706 W80.9021 There were hiker logo signs indicating the trail crossing of VA 606 when I hiked this section.. 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. The marker on the attached map indicates the entrance to the parking area. Rotate the street view to the west from this point to see the entrance. GPS at entrance: N37.1702 W80.9019
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. Walk north along the road for a short distance to the actual trail crossing. At the crossing the northbound trail goes right and the southbound trail goes left soon crossing the Kimberling Creek footbridge. The Appalachian Trail overlay seen on the map is slightly off. 10/24/09 Updated 05/25/19
3-4 in parking area near trail
  1

  1

David Cullen
Parked here on 4/21/2019. No hiker signs along 606 - just need to look for the AT road crossing. The parking area is muddy and can hold about 3/4 cars if parked reasonably. 04/21/19 Added by editor:The marker on the map attached here indicates the actual trail crossing. GPS:N37.1706 W80.9021 The northbound trail Section 34 can vaguely be seen in the north street view from the point of the marker. It goes off to the right. The southbound trail to Section 35 is clearly visible in the west street view going of to the left. It soon crosses the Kimberling Creek bridge which is visible in the satellite view. 08/12/19
  1

 

Fussymary @ aol.com

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