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

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

Note: Although §45 is the southernmost VASW section, TNC §1 includes 3.7 mi in Virginia, between Damascus and the Virginia-Tennessee border.

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

Locate: {36.63863, -81.64996}

Orient: The AT crosses US-58 near Summit Cut 13.5 mi east of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Possibly room for 1–2 cars along west shoulder of road at crossing.

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

Locate: {36.64988, -81.66365}

Orient: VA-859 branches southeast from US-58 [Highlands Highway] 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 AT.

Park: Possibly room for 1–2 cars along shoulder here or 0.1 mi farther south.

Mp 3.4/13.5: via Creek Junction connector

Locate: {36.64814, -81.67214}

Orient: VA-728 branches southwest from US-58 [Jeb Stuart Highway] 10.2 northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below. Look for signs to Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail. From US-58: follow gravel VA-728 for 1.0 mi to parking area at end of road.

Park: Large lot below Luther Hassinger Memorial Bridge; shared with Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail. Privy.

Connect: Follow access trail along old railroad bed for 0.5 mi to AT {36.647493,-81.676959}(?) at Creek Junction; signed. For AT northbound, turn sharp right. For AT southbound, continue ahead.

Mp 5.2/11.7: via Beartree Gap Trail

Locate: {36.65615, -81.69083}

Orient: Beartree Gap Road branches north from US-58 [Jeb Stuart Highway] 8.1 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below. Look for USFS sign "National Recreation Area". From US-58: follow Beartree Gap Road north then east for 0.2 mi to right into parking area; continue down driveway for 130 yd to lot.

Park: Large Angler's Lot near Bear Tree Lake. Alternatively, roadside parking along shoulder may be possible where Beartree Gap Trail crosses US-58, east of Beartree Gap Road, on both sides of road.

Connect: Follow violet-blazed Beartree Gap Trail south (crossing US-58) for 0.5 mi to AT {36.6512, -81.6893}; signed. 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: 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 (south intersection) and 10 mi northeast of US-421 in Mountain City, TN. From TN-91: follow Dollarsville Road becoming Taylor Valley Road for 2.7 mi to T-intersection with Waccamaw Lane; turn left into lot. (Road name changes at VA-TN border.)

Park: Large lot for Taylor Valley Trailhead of Virginia Creeper Trail, at foot of Waccamaw Lane.

Connect: Follow Virginia Creeper Trail northwest for about a quarter mile to right onto blue-blazed path; follow path for 50 yd to AT {?}, at base of switchbacks for Straight Mountain; signed. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 11.3/5.6: US-58 [Highlands Highway]

Locate: {36.64500, -81.73641}

Orient: The AT crosses US-58 [Jeb Stuart Highway] 4.7 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Room for 3–4 cars in shoulder along south side of road.

Mp 11.3/5.6: via US-58 [Highlands Highway]

Locate: {36.64453, -81.74095}

Orient: Alternative parking for Mp 11.3/5.6 is available 0.3 mi west of trail crossing, or 4.4 mi northeast of Damascus Town Hall; see Mp 16.9/0.0, below.

Park: Large lot for Virginia Creeper Trail at Straight Branch Trailhead, on south side of road.

Connect: From lot, turn right (east) onto US-58; continue for 0.3 mi to AT. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 16.9/0.0: via N Reynolds Street

Locate: {36.63625, -81.78961}

Orient: Sections 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 N Reynolds Street, at W Imboden Avenue, 11 mi southeast of I-81 exit 19 in Abingdon. This location is two blocks from the sections' junction.

Park: Room for dozens of cars in large municipal lot on north side of road. Registration at town hall is encouraged for overnight parking.

Connect: Walk south on N Reynolds Avenue for two blocks to AT {36.635253, -81.789919} along W Laurel Avenue; town hall is to right. For AT northbound, turn left. For AT southbound, turn right.

Note: Mt Rogers Outfitters nearby advertises safe, long-term parking; fee. It is located on Laurel Avenue and S Shady Avenue, one block southeast of the town hall.