VASW §40: Great Valley (US-11 and I-81) to Brushy Mountain (VA-16)

Southwest Virginia §40 spans 11.5 miles. Parking is available for five mileposts.

Mp 0.0/11.5: US-11 [Lee Highway]

Locate: {36.88652, -81.37075}

Orient: The south terminus of §39 and the north terminus of §40 coincide at the T-intersection of VA-683 [Windsor Road] and US-11 in Groseclose, adjacent to I-81 at exit 54.

Park: The Barn Restaurant at the trailhead reportedly offers hiker parking for a small fee; ask for permission to park in its large lot.

Mp 0.1/11.4: US-11 [Lee Highway]

Locate: {36.88549, -81.37382}

Orient: The south end of the 0.5 mi road walk between §39 Mp 11.6/0.2 and §40 Mp 0.1/11.4 joins the footpath near the Relax Inn off I-81 at exit 54 in Rural Retreat. From Mp 0.0/11.5, above: follow US-11 southwest for 0.2 mi to the motel on right (north) side of road.

Park: The Relax Inn reportedly offers parking for a small fee; ask for permission to park in its large lot.

Connect: From lot, turn left (northeast) onto US-11 and walk about 200 feet to AT {36.88556, -81.37316}, at (first) gas station. For AT northbound, continue on road walk for 0.1 mi to left onto VA-683 [Windsor Road]. For AT southbound, turn right onto footpath meeting south side of road, at end of guard rail; signed.

Mp 2.2/9.3: VA-729 [Kegley Lane]

Locate: {36.87509, -81.35952}

Orient: The AT crosses gravel VA-729 in Atkins 0.3 mi northeast of VA-615 [Rocky Hollow Road] at the Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia and 0.4 mi southwest of VA-682 [Knight Road]; signed on northbound side. From Mp 0.0/11.5, above: follow US-11 N [Lee Highway] for 0.8 mi to right onto VA-682 [Knight Road]; follow VA-682 for 1.0 mi to right onto VA-729; continue on gravel VA-729 for 0.4 mi to trail crossing.

Park: Room for 1–2 cars along north shoulder just west of trail crossing; tight fit.

Mp 2.7/8.8: VA-615 [Rocky Hollow Road]

Locate: {36.87034, -81.35565}

Orient: The AT crosses VA-615 at the Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia in Atkins, 2.2 mi from I-81 at exit 54 in Groseclose. From Mp 0.0/11.5, above: follow US-11 S [Lee Highway] for 0.3 mi to left (south) onto VA-683 [Phillipi Hollow Road]; follow VA-683 for 1.5 mi to left (east) onto VA-615; continue on VA-615 for 0.4 mi to museum parking lot on right (south) side of road.

Park: Room for dozens of cars in lot for Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia; no fee or registration required; not gated; public restrooms.

Connect: From lot, walk west on VA-615 to trail crossing adjacent to one-room schoolhouse; signed. For AT northbound, turn right ("AT" painted on road locates footpath into field). For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 11.5/0.0: VA-16 [Sugar Grove Highway]

Locate: {36.81149, -81.42124}

Orient: The AT crosses VA-16 in Marion at the Pat Jennings Visitors Center of the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area. From I-81 at exit 45: follow VA-16 southeast for 6 mi to visitors center.

Park: Room for a half dozen cars in pull-off on north side of road opposite the entrance to the visitors center. Parking is also allowed at the visitors center during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM; weekends from Memorial Day through October, 9 AM to 4 PM); get free but required permit from office. Lot is gated when visitors center is closed.