TNC §1: Damascus, Virginia, to US-421 (Low Gap, Tennessee)

Tennessee-North Carolina §1 spans 15 miles. Parking is available for six mileposts.

Note: The northernmost 3.5 mi of §1 are in Virginia, between Damascus Town Hall and the Virginia-Tennessee border.

Mp 0.0/15.0: via N Reynolds Street

Locate: {36.63625, -81.78961}

Orient: VASW §45 and TNC §1 meet at the Damascus Town Hall, near the corner of W Laurel Avenue [US-58, CR-878] and N Reynolds Street. The Town of Damascus provides a hiker lot nearby at the north end of Reynolds Street. The lot is 11 mi southeast of I-81 exit 19 in Abingdon.

Park: Room for two dozen cars in municipal lot on north end of Reynolds Avenue; signed "Public Parking".

Connect: Walk south on Reynolds Avenue for two blocks to AT {36.635253, -81.789919} along south side of Laurel Avenue. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 0.0/15.0: via Trestle Street

Locate: {36.63252, -81.78655}

Orient: The Town of Damascus provides a public lot on Trestle Street near the road walk through Damascus. From Damascus Town Hall (see Mp 0.0/15.0, above): follow Laurel Avenue east for 0.2 mi to right onto Trestle Street; continue on Trestle Street for 0.1 to lot at end of street.

Park: Use municipal lot at end of Trestle Street and tangent to Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail.

Connect: Follow Trestle Street north for 0.2 mi to left onto Laurel Avenue (here VASW §45); continue for 0.2 mi to town hall. Or, follow Virginia Creeper Trail northwest for 0.4 mi to AT Mp 0.1/14.9 at Beaver Dam Avenue. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 0.2/14.8: S Beaver Dam Avenue

Locate: {36.63403, -81.79176}

Orient: Between Mp 0.1/14.9 and Mp 0.3/14.7, the AT passes through Damascus Town Park on a gravel path parallel to Beaver Dam Avenue, where time-limited parking is available.

Park: Room for many cars along the east side of Beaver Dam Avenue; two-hour limit; restrooms, vending machines, shade/rain shelters.

Mp 0.4/14.6: Wilson Street

Locate: {36.63117, -81.79057}

Orient: The Town of Damascus provides a hiker lot near the intersection of Water Street and Wilson Street, across from the Damascus Public Library. This location is a few steps away from where the AT meets the intersection of Water Street and Beaver Dam Avenue, adjacent to the south end of Damascus Town Park.

Park: Room for 2–3 dozen cars in municipal lot on east side of street. (Overnight parking requires registration.)

Connect: Walk north on Wilson Street to left onto Water Street; continue briefly on Water Street to AT {36.63140, -81.79147} at Beaver Dam Avenue. For AT northbound, turn right onto gravel path through park along Beaver Dam Avenue; signed (welcome arch). For AT southbound, continue west on Water Street towards footpath at road's bend into Mock Avenue; signed.

Mp 4.8/10.2: via Backbone Rock Trail

Locate: {36.59372, -81.81507}

Orient: Backbone Rock Trail (USFS #53) connects the AT to TN-133 in Johnson County, TN, 3.6 mi southwest of Laurel Ave [US-58] in Damascus, VA, and 9.6 mi northeast of US-421 in Shady Valley, TN.

Park: Room for two-dozen cars in paved USFS lot on west side of road, just south of tunnel through Backbone Rock; pit toilet. Room for another 6–10 cars on east side of TN-133 along shoulder opposite driveway into lot and in pull-off a hop, skip, and jump south of driveway. Additional parking for many cars in picnic area 0.4 mi north, on west side of road; pit toilet, picnic tables.

Connect: From signed trailhead at back of lot, follow blue-blazed Backbone Rock Trail for 2.3 mi to AT {36.60465, -81.84084}; signed. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Note: Northbound TN-133 becomes Shady Avenue where the road crosses into Virginia, 1.8 mi north of trailhead lot and 1.8 mi south of Laurel Ave.

Mp 11.3/3.7: McQueen Gap Road [FR-69]

Locate: {36.57446, -81.91523}

Orient: McQueen Gap Road branches northwest from TN-133 in Shady Valley 3.1 mi northeast of of US-421, TN, and 10.2 mi southwest of Laurel Ave [US-58] in Damascus, VA. From TN-133 {36.547182, -81.896305}: follow gravel McQueen Gap Road for 3.1 mi to AT; unsigned.

Park: Room for 3–5 cars along shoulders of McQueen Gap Road at trail crossing.

Mp 15.0/0.0: US-421

Locate: {36.53889, -81.94833}

Orient: The AT crosses US-421 in Low Gap at the border of Sullivan County and Johnson County 2.8 mi northwest of TN-133 in Shady Valley, TN, and 21.3 mi southeast of I-81 at exit 1 in Bristol, VA. The winding road runs east-west at the diagonal crossing, and parking is available at both ends of this diagonal. The trail is not signed. Instead, look for a green county-line sign on south side of road—either for Sullivan County via US-421 from Shady Valley or for Johnson County via US-421 from Bristol. The parking areas are obvious.

Park: Room for two-dozen cars in pull-off on north side of road. Room for a half dozen cars in pull-off on south side of road; concrete-boxed spring, picnic table.

Note: Coordinates above locate the pull-off at the northbound trailhead (§1), on the north side of the road, the larger parking area.