VASW §45: Summit Cut (US-58) to Damascus

Southwest Virginia §45 spans 16.9 miles. Parking is available for ten mileposts.

Note: Although §45 is the southernmost VASW section, TNC §1 includes 3.5 mi in Virginia, between Damascus Town Hall and the Virginia-Tennessee border.

Mp 0.0/16.9: US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway]

Locate: {36.64011, -81.64861}

Orient: The AT crosses US-58 near Summit Cut 2.4 mi southeast of where US-58 meets Konnarock Road and makes a right-angle turn; US-58 W goes west, US-58 E goes south. This intersection is 11 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall (the junction of §45 and TNC §1) via US-58 [Douglas Drive becoming JEB Stuart Highway] and 2.7 mi southwest of Whitetop Road in Troutdale via Konnarock Road.

Park: Room for 3 cars in pull-off on east side of road at crossing.

Mp 2.3/14.6: VA-859 [Grassy Ridge Road]

Locate: {36.65057, -81.66353}

Orient: The AT crosses gravel VA-859 in Damascus. VA-859 branches southwest from US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway] 0.4 mi west of where US-58 meets Konnarock Road (see Mp 0.0/16.9, above) and 11.4 mi east of Damascus Town Hall (see Mp 16.9/0.0, below). From US-58: follow VA-850 for 0.8 mi to pull-off on right, opposite south end of field along east side of road.

Park: Room for 1–2 cars in pull-off on west side of road.

Connect: Walk south on road for 80 yd to AT {36.64988, -81.66355}. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 3.4/13.5: via VA-728 [Creek Junction Road]

Locate: {36.64790, -81.67154}

Orient: The AT coincides with the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail for 0.6 mi near the Creek Junction Trailhead, accessed from VA-728 [Creek Junction Road]. Gravel VA-728 branches southwest from US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway] 0.8 mi west of where US-58 meets Konnarock Road (see Mp 0.0/16.9, above) and 10.2 mi east of Damascus Town Hall (see Mp 16.9/0.0, below); signed. From US-58: follow narrow VA-728 for 1.0 mi to parking area.

Park: Large lot below Luther Hassinger Memorial Bridge; privy, kiosk.

Connect: Follow continuation of Creek Junction Road (closed to vehicles) for 0.5 mi to AT {36.64751, -81.67643} at Creek Junction; signed. For AT northbound, take hairpin turn to right. For AT southbound, continue ahead.

Mp 5.2/11.7: via Beartree Gap Trail

Locate: {36.65528, -81.69029}

Orient: The south end of Beartree Gap Trail provides a convenient link to the AT from the USFS Beartree National Recreation Area on US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway]. Beartree Gap Road branches north from the highway 2.9 mi west of where US-58 meets Konnarock Road (see Mp 0.0/16.9, above) and 8.1 mi east of Damascus Town Hall (see Mp 16.9/0.0, below); signed. From US-58: follow Beartree Gap Road north then east for 0.2 mi to (first) right onto driveway into parking area.

Park: Room for 2–3 dozen cars in Angler's Lot near south end of Beartree Lake; portable toilet, kiosk.

Connect: Follow Beartree Gap trail for 0.5 mi to AT {36.65126, -81.68915}; signed: Start at signed trailhead towards lake at northeast corner of lot, near kiosk; follow paved path passing south end of lake until it turns left; take (first) right onto unsigned footpath and expect reassuring violet blaze on post in 0.1 mi; continue 0.1 mi to cross US-58; continue 0.2 mi to AT. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Mp 9.3/7.6: via Virginia Creeper Trail

Locate: {36.62474, -81.71752}

Orient: The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail from Taylor Valley Trailhead provides access to the AT on Straight Mountain via a short connector. Taylor Valley Trailhead sits at the intersection of Taylor Valley Road [CR-725] and Waccamaw Lane. Dollarsville Road becoming Taylor Valley Road branches northeast from TN-91 [Mountain City Road] in Laurel Bloomery, TN, 2.3 mi southeast of US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway] in Damascus and 10 mi northeast of US-421 in Mountain City, TN. From TN-91: follow Dollarsville Road (TN) becoming Taylor Valley Road (VA) for 2.7 mi to T-intersection with Waccamaw Lane; turn left onto Waccamaw Lane and parking.

Park: Large lot along Waccamaw Lane; portable toilets, picnic tables.

Connect: Follow Virginia Creeper Trail north for 0.3 mi to right onto blue-blazed path, about 15 yd beyond north end of field to right; continue on path uphill for 0.2–0.5 mi to AT {36.63044, -81.71857}. Both ends of connector are signed (but give different distances between ends). For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 11.3/5.6: US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway]

Locate: {36.64505, -81.73620}

Orient: The AT crosses US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway] 4.8 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Room for 4–6 cars in pull-off on south side of road.

Mp 12.0/4.9: via Beech Grove Trail

Locate: {36.64443, -81.74091}

Orient: The south end of Beech Grove Trail in Damascus provides a short connector to the AT from US-58 [JEB Stuart Highway] 4.5 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Room for 10–12 cars in pull-off on south side of road. Room for 2–3 dozen cars in lot for Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail at Straight Branch Trailhead, down driveway; privy, kiosk.

Connect: Find trailhead across road at west end of pull-off; signed. Follow unblazed Beech Grove Trail for 0.3 mi to AT {36.64803, -81.74112}. The intersection is not signed, but AT blazes are apparent. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 16.1/0.8: US-58 [Douglas Drive]

Locate: {36.63012, -81.78069}

Orient: The AT coincides with the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail for 0.8 mi between Mp 15.8/1.1 and Mp 16.5/0.4 in Damascus. There is a parking pull-off opposite the trail 0.8 mi southeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Room for 6–8 cars in grassy area on north side of road.

Note: Parking looks permissible here in as much as there are no signs otherwise.

Mp 16.7/0.2: 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 16.9/0.0, below): 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 Laurel Avenue. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left. Or, follow Virginia Creeper Trail southeast for 0.3 mi to AT Mp 16.2/0.7 at Douglas Street. For AT northbound, continue ahead east on graded trail. For AT southbound, turn left and continue north along Douglas Drive.

Mp 16.9/0.0: 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.