Parking on the VA/WV Appalachian Trail

Section 44 - Elk Garden (VA 603) to Summit Cut (US 58) 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

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Elk Garden (VA 600)
  Poor            Great

3 miles north of US 58 and 3.5 miles south of VA 603 on VA 600. Note that there is more than one intersection of VA 600 and US 58 in the area, but only one where VA 600 goes north. This is the proper one. It is near the community of Whitetop. 2/8/2006
From Damascus go 11 miles east on US 58. At the intersection with VA 603, continue straight ahead on VA 603. Go 2.6 miles to the intersection with VA 600. Go right on VA 600 to trail crossing. Parking area is on right side of road. Alternatively go approximately 10.5 miles on VA 603 from junction with VA 16 in Troutdale. Just before correct junction, VA 600 comes in from right. VA 603 makes a left turn and the two routes are coincident for a few hundred feet. Then VA 600 goes left towards the trail crossing. VA 603 goes right. Northbound AT (to Section 43) crosses road and starts to climb through open field. Southbound (to Section 44) enters woods from parking area. 06/13/07 10-12
dlcul @
The markers on the attached map show the location of the Elk Garden trailhead and parking lot. Rotate the street view to the west to see the parking area. The southbound trail to Section 44 leaves from the back of the parking area. Rotate to the northeast to see the northbound trail (to Section 43) leaving VA 100. It crosses the fence then bears left and climbs the hill in immediate background. 12/03/09 1
at @
Good road to this site. Very good trailhead with many cars parked here usually. Also information kiosk and good privy. I don't know if the vandalism problem has gone away, but parked here overnight twice in 2016 with other cars and there were no incidents. 11/27/16 10-15 1
usnowds @
Whitetop Mt. Road (USFS 89)
  Poor            Great

See directions to Elk Garden (Mile 0.0). USFS 89 (Whitetop Mt. Road) meets VA 600 1.3 miles south of Elk Garden and 1.7 miles north of US 58. Go west on gravel Whitetop Mt. Road which starts to climb the mountain of the same name. There is a parking lot on the right in 1.9 miles. The marker on the attached map shows the location of the parking lot. Note: The map labels the road to the summit of Whitetop as Mud Creek Lane, but I saw no signs with that name. The AT crosses the road 100 feet west of the parking lot. If driving from VA 600, the northbound AT goes right and soon starts the descent to Elk Garden. The southbound AT goes left contouring aroung the side of Whitetop Mt., reaches Buzzard Rock and then begins a long descent to US 58. 12/03/09 12-15 1
dlcul @
Beech Mt. Road (VA 601)
  Poor            Great

From Damascus go 11 miles east on US 58. At the intersection with VA 603 go right continuing on US 58. In 1.4 miles VA 601 (Beech Mt. Road) goes left. Follow this gravel road about a mile to the trail crossing. A small parking lot is to the left (east). (See satellite view of the attached map). VA 601 continues another 1.3 miles to meet US 58 again. This would probably be the better access if coming from the east on US 58. This second intersection is near the community of Green Cove. The southbound trail comes out of the woods after the long descent from Buzzard Rock on Whitetop Mt, crosses the parking area and the road and continues west towards US 58 and eventually Damascus. 12/03/09 4-5 1
dlcul @
Summit Cut (US 58)
  Poor            Great

.4 miles south of Summit Cut, 14 miles east of Damascus. 3/3/2006
From Damascus go 11 miles east on US 58. At the intersection with VA 603 go right continuing on US 58. The AT crossing is another 2.5 miles. The "AT Guide to Southwest Virginia" says there is no parking here. One car or possibly two could park at the trail crossing (on the east side of the highway). I also saw some pull-offs to the north, but I do not know the legality or even advisability of parking by this busy highway, especially for extended periods. At the crossing, the southbound AT goes west towards Damascus, the northbound goes east and starts the 2000 foot climb to Buzzard Rock on the side of Whitetop Mt. 06/13/07 None to very limited
dlcul @
The markers on the attached map show the trail crossing of US 58 at what is called Summit Cut. The street view to the southeast shows what might pass for parking. The northbound trail (to Section 44) goes east here. The southbound trail to Section 45 is less obvious. On the west view, look for a small plank bridge over the drainage ditch on the right. This is where the southbound trail leaves and heads for Damascus. 12/03/09 1
dlcul @

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