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  1. #1
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    Default 81 to Pearisburg info...

    Hey all!
    It's time for my fall section, this time from the crossing of 81 at Groseclose NOBO to Pearisburg. This trip will put me over the 1000 mi mark! Looking for any helpful info on terrain, water sources/availability, can't miss places, etc... Thanks!
    Icebeard

  2. #2

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    Do you mean Atkins to Pearisburg? You only cross I81 at Atkins and Troutdale.

    Water can be scare along that ridge walk, but it is reasonably easy. Chestnut knob is nice, on top of an exposed hill. Be sure to pick up water at the pond 1.7 miles before the last climb up to the shelter. A quick detour to Trent's Grocery is worth while, they have a grill for hot lunch and snacks resupply. Dismal falls is worth the short walk over to it. Other then that, just a hand full of limited views and a very long walk in the green tunnel, nothing too exciting.
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  3. #3
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    I did a good bit of that section starting two weeks ago. From I-81 to Va. 42 has a modest climb followed by a longer one (Walker Mountain), but after that is a stout climb in an open pasture that is tough under a blazing summer sun after a long day. So take that into consideration if you arrive there on a hot day.

    It rained heavily three of the four days I was on the trail, but water nevertheless was scarce and mostly confined to the well-known sources. Reed Creek just south of Walker Mountain should have water. There are a couple of 10-mile ridge walks that basically have no water, so be sure to know where to tank up before starting those. For instance, the walk from near Chestnut Knob Shelter to Jenkins Shelter is dry except for a modest source at Walker Gap. And its dry from Jenkins to Helvey Mill Shelter, although there is the Brushy Mountain Outpost (closes at 2 p.m., so time it right if you're desperate for a Gator Aid and a burger). The source for Helvey Shelter is steeply downhill for a third of a mile, and the shelter is a third of a mile off the trail, so that's quite an effort. I stopped just short of Trent's Grocery and Dismal Creek Falls.

    This is a long, green tunnel walk with a few exceptions. The climb up Chestnut Ridge is long and steep, followed by a more moderate and long uphill through old pastures. The shelter overlooks lovely Burkes Garden. The next stretch looks easy on a profile map, along Garden Mountain, but is actually pretty hard. After Jenkins Shelter, there are sporadic steep but relatively short climbs interspersed with long, easy grades, all the way to Lickskillet Road and then beyond to Wapiti Shelter.

    There was nobody on the trail two weeks ago, but the hostel owner (Lickskillet) estimated that southbounders would begin arriving by mid-September. Mosquitos and flies were somewhat annoying at low elevation shelters. Saw a big male bear in the big gap north of Walker Gap.
    Last edited by Dan Roper; 09-12-2020 at 12:42.

  4. #4

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    You will be passing by Stronghold memorial. please pay your respects. He should not be forgotten.

  5. #5

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    The trail down into Pearisburg can be a bummer in a rainstorm but other than that It was a fairly easy trail.

  6. #6
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    I did exactly that section over 6 days about a month ago (8/8/20 to 8/13/20) and saw only 3 other hikers. The solitude was nice. The trail is not too difficult, although it was overgrown when not under the tree canopy. Water was available in the streams, but the springs were slow. It was still possible to scoop at most of them, but plan ahead.

    I plan to head back out week after next to do Daleville to Pearisburg.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Do you mean Atkins to Pearisburg? You only cross I81 at Atkins and Troutdale.
    you cross at neither of those locations. I81 is nowhere near Troutdale and you go under I81 in Groseclose

  8. #8
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    Dan Roper, had the trail been maintained yet when you went through compared to Horned Frog a month ago?

    FYI, Woods Hole Hostel is a great stop if it's along your route.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  9. #9
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Troutville/Daleville is the AT community name.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  10. #10
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    JP, for the section between Va. Hwy. 62 and Lickskillet Road, the trail was very well maintained. The woodland portions were fine. The only meadow stretch was atop Chestnut Ridge - that's 1.8 miles through tall grass and flowers. It wasn't overgrown as of August 29, but it was getting pretty thick in places, but the growing season was all but over and the plants drying out.

    I did the section from I-81 to Va. Hwy. 62 on July 14, so my information for that stretch is older than that given by Horned Frog. When I did it, the pastures north of the interstate had been recently cut and were fine. The only trouble I had was north of Walker Mountain - a big old meadow at the north foot of the mountain was nearly overgrown and had lots of briars and thistles. Then, just past a road, there was a steep climb through open pasture (well-grazed) and open to the hot July sun. That one hurt because it came at the end of the day.

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