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Section 37 - Brushy Mountain (US 52) to Garden Mountain (VA 623) Displayed from North to South

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  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

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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
 Weather  
Source
0.0
Brushy Mountain (US 52)
   Poor           Great



 
Take Exit 52 off I-77. Go about 0.5 miles east to downtown Bland. Go left and follow US 21, 52 north for 2.8 miles. The road crosses under I-77. At the point where the highway curves right and begins to descend, there is a cluster of buildings. A road comes in from the left. This is USFS 282 but it is signed as Wyrick Trail. Parking is just north of the intersection. The marker on the attached map indicates the intersection. GPS: N37.13705 W81.1330 The street view the north from this point shows the parking area on the left. The northbound trail (to Section 36) follows the highway north, soon turning onto VA 612 and crossing I-77. The southbound trail (to Section 37) follows gravel Wyrick Trail (USFS 282) west. 11/30/09 Updated 08/15/19 8-10
  1

  1

David Cullen
0.5
USFS 282 (South Junction)
   Poor           Great



 
See directions to the US 52 trailhead (Mile 0.0). Follow the gravel road (USFS 282 AKA Wyrick Turnpike) to the west for about 0.5 miles. This stretch of road is also the route for the AT. Shortly after passing a communications tower complex, the road descends into a small hollow. Here the southbound trail goes right into the woods. There is a pull off good for 1-2 cars just across from the road. The marker on the attached map indicates this point. GPS: N37.1363 W81.1393 There is a photo of this parking area in the Pictures for this section (37). The northbound trail follows the road back to US 52. 10/26/09 Updated 08/16/19 1-2
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  1

David Cullen
3.0
Side trail to FS 282 parking and primitive camp site
   Poor           Great



 
There is parking here for 2 or 3 cars in an off-road ridge-top turn-out, perhaps more along the shoulder of FS 282 (Wyrick Trail). From the parking area a short unmarked trail leads directly down to the AT, and a more well-used trail follows a woods road past two dirt mounds to obliquely intersect with the trail at a post that formerly held a sign. This parking area is not marked with a sign. It is 3.4 miles by road from the intersection of FS 282 (called Wyrick Trail - no sign identifies the number) with VA 615 in the Laurel Creek Valley. It is 3.9 miles by road from the intersection of US 52 with Wyrick Trail/FS 282, See Mile 0.0. The marker on attached map indicates the campsite. GPS:N37.1135 W81.1843 The Mile Marker for this access is estimated. There are photos both of the campsite and the AT intersection in the Pictures for this section (37). 01/23/12 Revised slightly by editor 08/16/19 2-3 with possibly more along road
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pjwetzel @ gmail.com
6.9
VA 615
   Poor           Great



 
From I-81 near Wytheville, take Exit 72 to I-77 North. Go 11.5 miles on I-77. The first exit on the far side of the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel is Exit 52. Take this exit towards US 52/VA 42 and Bland, Va. Turn left (west) onto to US 52/Va 42 and go west about 3.2 miles. Turn right onto VA 615 (AKA Suiter Road). Go 1.2 miles on VA 615 (here paved). Bear right to stay on VA 615 and go another 1.6 miles. The road becomes gravel. Go past the trail crossing. Just before the road bridge over Laurel Creek is a large graveled parking lot. It is on the right (east) side of the road. The entrance to this is designated by the marker on the attached on the attached map. GPS: N37.1039 W81.2017 The lot can be seen on the satellite view. Go left (south) from the parking lot to the trail crossing. The northbound trail goes off to the left (east). Just beyond this the southbound trail goes right (east) crossing the impressive foot bridge across the creek. This bridge can be seen in the satellite view. There are photos on the bridge, the trail crossing and the parking area in the Pictures for this section (37). GPS of the trail crossing N37.1032 W81.2021 08/17/19 15-20
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David Cullen
The trail southbound from VA 615 has undergone significant relocation in the last several years so be careful which guidebook you use. The current AT Guide to SW Virginia (6th ed.) has the correct description. Originally the AT followed what was called the Low Water route with mulltiple creek crossings. There was also the blue- blazed High Water Trail for time when the low water route was flooded. The previous bridge across Laurel Creek washed out. When it was replaced with the current one, the new route started out on the low water route but soon branched off and climbed to the old road that served as the High Water Trail. That trail, now blazed white, was followed southbound. The rest of the low water route was abandoned. 08/17/19
 

 

David Cullen
7.5
VA 615 (High Water Trail)
   Poor           Great



 
See Mile 6.9 for directions to the point where the current AT crosses VA 615 just before the road crosses Laurel Creek. Continue another 0.6 miles. There is one dirt parking area that can accommodate 4-5 cars on the left side of the road and a pull-off that accommodate another 2 cars on the right side. The trailhead is indicated by the marker on the attached map GPS N37.1100 W81.2060. At one time the High Water Trail extended over 3 miles southbound (compass west). All but the most northerly section is now part of the white-blazed AT. The trailhead for the remainder is here. The blue blazed trail starts up a set of steps on the west side of the road. It meets the AT at Mile 7.9 Nowhere is the length given but I estimate the distance to the AT to be about 0.8 miles. 08/18/19 See directions
  1

  1

David Cullen
15.3
Garden Mountain (VA 623)
   Poor           Great




VA 623 meets VA 42 10.5 miles west of the junction of 42 and I-77 near Bland It is 6.3 miles west of the intersection of US 52 and VA 42 and 11.3 miles east of the town of Ceres. Go north on remote, winding, gravel VA 623 approxi8mately 7.5 miles to the top of the ridge. The parking area is on then left (west) side of the road. The marker on this map indicates its location. GPS: N37.084 W81.30771 The northbound AT to Section 37 goes east (right if coming from VA 42). The southbound AT to Section 38 goes west (left). Note: When I drove up VA 623 in 2008, I did not find it too bad. For an opposing point of view see next posting. I know nothing of current conditions.. 08/18/19 4-6
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David Cullen
Sep. 12, 2013. Drove up road 623 from Hwy 42 --TERRIBLE road , VERY narrow barely one lane &you may meet traffic coming south--someone has to back up to a wide spot--rare. There is a 100 ft drop off one side and only 12-18 inch before culvert other sid. -I feel this road should NOT be taken. To go 15 miles up 623 to Walkers' Gap access took me 55 min. Over 20 sharp hairpin blind turns. I was constantly honking horn to not run into someone. 09/13/13
 

 

kingsue @ safe-mail.net
The trail crossing of VA 623 can also be approached from the north. The northern Terminus of VA 623 is at tis intersection with VA 61 4.5 miles east of Tazewell, specifically the intersection of VA 61 and Ben Bolt Avenue. Follow VA 623 south for 12 miles through Burke's Garden and then up to the ridge crest and the crossing. All but the last 3 miles are paved. Those 3 miles are grvel.. The parking are will be on the right. . 08/18/19
 

 

David Cullen

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