VASW §43: Fox Creek Gap (VA-603) to Elk Garden (VA-600)

Southwest Virginia §43 spans 16.9 miles. Parking is available for six mileposts.

Mp 0.0/16.9: VA-603 [Fairwood Road]

Locate: {36.69662, -81.50636}

Orient: The AT crosses VA-603 in Fairwood Valley 4.1 mi west of VA-16 [Troutdale Highway] in Troutdale and 9.2 mi east of US-58 [Jeb Stuart Highway] in Konnarock.

Park: Room for 10 cars in lot on south side of road at crossing; signed.

Mp 4.8/12.1: FR-613 [Pine Mountain Road]

Locate: {36.67068, -81.48639}

Orient: The AT crosses the Scales corral at the end of rough FR-613, which branches south from VA-603 [Fairwood Road] 2.8 mi west of VA-16 [Troutdale Highway] and 7.6 mi east of VA-600 [Whitetop Road]. FR-613 at VA-603 is signed thus: "Forest protection road not suitable for passenger car travel". From VA-603: follow FR-613 for 4.1 mi to road's end at corral.

Park: Room for multiple vehicles outside corral. Privy.

Connect: Find AT inside corral at kiosk, about 100 yd from parking area. While facing kiosk with FR-613 and privy to your back: For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 7.5/9.4: via Wilson Creek Trail

Locate: {36.63987, -81.48750}

Orient: In Grayson Highlands State Park, Wilson Creek Trail connects the AT and at the park's country store adjacent to the campground; see Mp 9.8/7.1, below. From park entrance: follow VA-362 [Grayson Highland Lane] for 3.2 mi to right onto campground road (signed); continue for 1.3 mi to parking area on left, opposite country store.

Park: Room for 8 cars. Room for another dozen cars looks possible in lot next to the store. Rest rooms by entrance to campground.

Connect: Follow red-blazed Wilson Creek Trail for 1.8 mi to AT {36.65562, -81.49552}. (Alternatively: after 1.7 mi turn right onto signed Scales Trail {36.65460, -81.49613}; follow Scales Trail, fording Wilson Creek, for 0.2 mi to Mp 7.2/9.7 {36.65487, -81.49473}.) For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 9.2/7.7: via Appalachian Spur Trail

Locate: {36.63349, -81.50518}

Orient: In Grayson Highlands State Park, the Appalachian Spur Trail connects the AT and the backpacker's overnight lot in Massie Gap; see Mp 9.8/7.1, below. From park entrance: follow VA-362 [Grayson Highland Lane] for 3.2 mi to right onto campground road (signed); turn left into lot 100 yd ahead.

Park: Room for several dozen cars in backpacker's overnight lot on campground road at VA-362. Reservation required (at least for overnight parking).

Connect: From northwest corner of lot, follow blue-blazed Appalachian Spur Trail for 0.7 mi to AT {36.64319, -81.50071}; signed at both ends. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 9.8/7.1: via Rhododendron Trail and Horse Trail North

Locate: {36.63330, -81.50873}

Orient: In Grayson Highlands State Park, the Rhododendron Trail and Horse Trail North together connect the AT and the day-parking area in Massie Gap. The park's entrance is on US-58 [Highlands Parkway] in Mouth of Wilson 7.7 mi west of VA-16 [Troutdale Highway] in Volney and 7.5 mi east of VA-600 [Whitetop Road] in Whitetop. From park entrance: follow VA-362 [Grayson Highland Lane] for 3.4 mi to day-parking area on right.

Park: Room for over 60 cars in marked spaces on north side of VA-362 at Massie Gap and for more cars along shoulder on south side of road. Additional room for 2–3 dozen cars at parking area for Cabin Creek Trail, on road to stables west of field; privy.

Connect: From west end of parking area, follow blue-blazed Rhododendron Trail for 0.4 mi to orange-blazed Horse Trail North; continue straight ahead on Horse Trail North for 0.1 mi to AT {36.63917, -81.50935}. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Note: Grayson Highlands Sate Park charges an $8 parking fee, collected at contact station on VA-362.

Mp 16.0/0.9: VA-600 [Whitetop Road]

Locate: {36.64619, -81.58298}

Orient: The AT crosses VA-600 in Elk Garden 16.5 mi southeast of I-81 exit 35 in Chilhowie and 2.9 mi north of US-58 [Highlands Parkway] in Whitetop.

Park: Room for a couple dozen cars at crossing in lot on west side of road and along shoulder on east side of road; signed; privy, kiosk.