VAC §31: Sinking Creek Valley (VA-42) to Johns Creek Valley (VA-632)

Central Virginia §31 spans 7.4 miles. Parking is available for four mileposts.

Mp 0.0/7.4: VA-42 [Cumberland Gap Road]

Locate: {37.35418, -80.39154}

Orient: From VA-42 [Blue Grass Trail becoming Cumberland Gap Road] at US-460 [Virginia Avenue] in Newport: Follow VA-42 E for 7.7 mi to crossing, a little southwest of fork for VA-629 [Lugar Hill Road]. Find roadside parking in shoulder on right or 0.1 mi farther ahead at intersection with VA-629.

Park: The ATC guide reports very-limited roadside parking along the grass shoulder at the crossing, on east side of road only. But parking in this narrow, pitched, and gullied shoulder looks tight and dicey. Do not park alongside driveway on west side of road. Alternative parking for 2-3 cars looks to be permitted 0.1 mi farther northeast at the intersection of VA-42 and VA-629 {37.35538, -80.39050}.

Mp 4.9/2.5: via Johns Creek Mountain Trail from VA-658

Locate: {37.38643, -80.39338}

Orient: From VA-42 [Blue Grass Trail becoming Cumberland Gap Road] at US-460 [Virginia Avenue] in Newport: Follow VA-42 E for 9.8 mi to left onto VA-658 [Johns Creek Mountain Road]. Follow VA-658 for 1.8 mi to Fire Trail forest road on left; gated.

Park: Looks like roadside parking along shoulder or a small pull-off at Fire Trail forest road.

Connect: Follow Johns Creek Mountain Trail southwest along ridge for 3.5 mi to AT. The junction with the AT is clearly signed. Turn right for AT southbound; turn left for AT northbound.

Mp 5.4/2.0: VA-601 [Rocky Gap Trail]

Locate: {37.37281, -80.44642}

Orient: From VA-42 [Blue Grass Trail becoming Cumberland Gap Road] at US-460 [Virginia Avenue] in Newport: Follow VA-42 E for 1.0 mi to left onto VA-601. Follow VA-601 for 6.7 mi to crossing, at crest of hill. VA-601 is variously named Clover Hill Road (paved), Laurel Springs Road (unpaved), and Rocky Gap Trail (unpaved). AT crosses road at crest of hill. Find parking pull-off to left. Alternatively, follow directions to Mp 7.4/0.0 below until VA-601; turn left on VA-601 and continue for 3.1 mi to parking pull-off on right.

Park: Small parking pull-off for 2 or 3 cars at crossing, on northwest side of road. Somewhat tight parking nearby along road shoulder may be possible for additional 2 or three cars.

Mp 7.4/0.0: VA-632 [Hutchison Road]/USFS-156

Locate: {37.38799, -80.46894}

Orient: From VA-42 [Blue Grass Trail becoming Cumberland Gap Road] at US-460 [Virginia Avenue] in Newport: Follow VA-42 E for 9.8 mi to left onto VA-658 [Johns Creek Mountain Road]. Follow VA-658 for 4.2 mi to left onto VA-632 [Johns Creek Road becoming Hutchison Road]. Follow VA-632 for 5.1 mi to parking on right. Paved VA-632 becomes gravel USFS-156 at VA-601 [Rocky Gap Trail], about 0.8 mi before crossing. Alternatively, follow directions above to Mp 5.4/2.0; continue on VA-601 for 3.1 mi; turn left onto VA-632 and continue 0.8 mi to parking area on left.

Park: Small parking area for 4-6 cars near crossing, on right (north) side of road; unsigned. Look for utility pole on right about 0.8 mi beyond VA-621 [Rocky Gap Trail].

Connect: Follow road southwest a few yards farther to trail intersection. For AT southbound, turn right at blazes; trail heads northwest initially. For AT northbound, turn left at AT sign; trail heads southwest initially.