VASW §34: New River (US-460) to Mouth of Dismal Creek (VA-606)

Southwest Virginia §34 spans 24.8 miles. Parking is available for ten mileposts.

Mp 0.0/24.8: VA-460 [Virginia Avenue]

Locate: {37.33737, -80.75473}

Orient: From VA-460 at Thomas Drive in Pearisburg {37.335291, -80.751169}: take westbound VA-460 for 0.3 mi to parking on right, at the Giles Farm Bureau Cooperative and closed Wades grocery store; do not cross river.

Park: Parking may be possible in lot of closed Wades grocery store. This lot is southeast of where the AT coincides with the Senator Shumate Bridge over the New River.

Connect: Cross four-lane US-460, turn right, and head for the bridge. For AT northbound, continue over the river via the bridge's pedestrian walkway abutting the eastbound lanes. For AT southbound, turn left onto footpath entering woods before reaching bridge.

Mp 0.2/24.6: VA-100 [Narrows Road]

Locate: {37.33440, -80.75620}

Orient: From N Main Street at Johnston Avenue in Pearisburg {37.330663, -80.738169}: follow VA-100 [N Main Street] for 0.8 mi to left onto Thomas Drive; follow Thomas Drive becoming Narrows Road for 0.3 mi to lot on the right (north) side of the road. Look for driveway signed as the trailhead for Pearis Cemetery and Appalachian Trail.

Park: Parking in trailhead lot for several cars (or many cars if parking on grass is allowed).

Connect: For AT northbound, join footpath entering woods at back of lot. For AT southbound, follow driveway back towards Narrows Road.

Mp 1.0/23.8: VA-793 [Cross Avenue]

Locate: {37.32923, -80.75201}

Orient: From N Main Street at Johnston Avenue in Pearisburg {37.330663, -80.738169}: follow Johnston Avenue for 0.1 mi to right onto Morris Avenue; follow Morris Avenue becoming Cross Avenue for 0.7 mi and beyond AT (signed); continue briefly around bend to pull-off on left (south) side of the road, opposite guardrail, near driveway to house.

Park: Roadside parking for several cars in pull-off.

Connect: From pull-off, walk east about 100 yd to trail crossing. For AT northbound, turn left onto footpath; signed for "Angel's Rest". For AT southbound, turn right onto footpath.

Mp 8.8/16.0: via connector to Docs Knob

Locate: {37.27107, -80.84098}

Orient: From the parking area for Mp 10.9/13.9, below, continue towards (north) on forest road for 1.6 mi. Look for parking area in clearing on right side of road, with a gate at rear. Tire rutting becomes deep; low-clearance cars may scrape medial cresting of rocks.

Park: Room for several cars in USFS dirt lot; looks to be popular with horse riders.

Connect: Follow old forest road from behind gate for less than a quarter mile to AT. For AT northbound, continue ahead bearing slightly to left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 10.9/13.9: VA-663 [Sugar Run Gap Road]

Locate: {37.25589, -80.85546}

Orient: From VA-100 [Pulaski Giles Turnpike] at VA-633, about 5 mi south of Pearisburg {37.267904, -80.713885}: follow VA-663 becoming FR-29 west for 8.7 mi to Y-intersection (albeit a warped Y) with Flat Top Mountain Tower Road [FR-612], unsigned. Paved VA-663 becomes gravel and narrow FR-29 about 1.4 mi east of this intersection, and tire rutting in road develops about a mile from pavement's end.

Park: Roadside parking for 3–4 cars in pull-off at intersection on left (south) side of road, before trail crossing. Alternative parking for a fee ($4 daily) is offered at Woods Hole Hostel, 0.4 mi east.

Connect: Walk northeast on road for about 25 yd to AT, unsigned; look for blazes on either side of road. For AT northbound, turn right onto footpath stepping up. For AT southbound, turn left onto footpath stepping down.

Mp 12.5/12.3: Flat Top Mountain Tower Road at Big Horse Gap

Locate: {37.24193, -80.86422}

Orient: From Y-intersection of Sugar Run Gap Road [FR-29] and Flat Top Mountain Tower Road [FR-612] for Mp 10.9/13.9, above: turn left (south) onto Flat Top Mountain Tower and continue 1.2 mi to FR-103 in Big Horse Gap—at sharp turn right (west) at gated road to left (east).

Park: Room for 3–4 in pull-off adjacent to gate.

Connect: From turn, walk west on road about 50 yd to AT {37.24170, -80.86470}. The crossing is not signed; look for footpath and for blazes on trees set back from road. For AT northbound, turn right onto footpath. For AT southbound, turn left onto footpath.

Mp 12.6/12.2: via Ribble Trail

Locate: {37.21724, -80.86127}

Park: See Mp 19.0/5.8, below, for directions to parking at trailhead for south terminus of Ribble Trail.

Connect: Follow blue-blazed Ribble Trail north for 2.0 mi to AT {37.24179, -80.86233}; look for "Ribble Trail" sign to left (west) and gate ahead. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 19.0/5.8: via Ribble Trail

Locate: {37.21726, -80.86120}

Orient: VA-671 [Dismal Creek Road] branches east from VA-606 [Wilderness Road] 0.9 mi northwest of VA-42 (see Mp 24.8/0.0, below). From VA-606 at VA-671 {37.176226, -80.908866}: follow VA-671 soon becoming gravel FR-201 for 4.7 mi to grass pull-off on right; look for a small gate at sharp turn left (west). The road narrows at White Cedar Horse Camp (signed) about 2.8 mi from VA-606, and it roughens with pot holes and some tire ruts from there to trailhead.

Park: Room for 8–10 cars in pull-off at trailhead and possibly in grassy area across road.

Connect: The trailhead is not signed; look for footpath and blazes to right of gate, through rhododendron. Follow blue-blazed Ribble Trail southeast for 0.5 mi to AT {37.21513, -80.85412}; unsigned. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 19.2/5.6: Lions Den Road

Locate: {37.21306, -80.85426}

Orient: From VA-606 at VA-671 [Dismal Creek Road] {37.176226, -80.908866} (see Mp 19.0/5.8, above): follow VA-671 soon becoming gravel FR-201 for 2.6 mi to right onto Lion's Den Road, after passing Walnut Flats campground (on left); continue on Lion's Den Road for 2.2 mi to AT. Both campground and road are clearly signed.

Park: Room for 2–3 cars in vague pull-off on north side of road at (unsigned) crossing.

Note: Lion's Den Road is reported to be gated outside of hunting season (somewhere between Dismal Creek Road and the AT). Limited roadside parking is available in a small pine grove near the gate.

Mp 24.8/0.0: VA-606 [Wilderness Road]

Locate: {37.17025, -80.90192}

Orient: VA-606 branches north from VA-42 [E Bluegrass Trail] about 10.3 mi west of VA-100 [Pulaski Giles Turnpike] and 13.2 mi east of US-52 [N Scenic Highway]. From VA-42 at VA-606 {37.166163, -80.899441}: take VA-606 northwest for about 0.3 mi to parking area on left (west) side of road; look for dirt driveway going down into parking area along Kimberling Creek. The lot is 50 yd south of where the AT crosses VA-606; it is not easily seen from the road. The unsigned crossing is marked by blaze posts on both sides of the road.

Park: Room for 4–6 cars in small dirt lot adjacent to AT bridge over Kimberling Creek; may be muddy in wet weather. Additional roadside parking is possible along west shoulder of VA-606 at crossing, about 0.2 mi south of crossing, and about 0.3 mi north of crossing; room for 2–3 cars in each pull-off.

Connect: For AT northbound, from bridge head towards VA-606. For AT southbound, take bridge over creek.