Appalachian Trail: Petites Gap to James River

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Jefferson National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Petites Gap to James River is a 15.0 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Big Island, Virginia that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 15.0 km Elevation Gain: 416 m Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash






Sat Aug 11 2018

Good exercise but that’s about it

Sat Jul 28 2018

I hiked this section the first full weekend in July 2018 with a great group of young boys from TrailLifeUSA troop NC-0834. The first portion was uphill and the second portion had a large downhill grade. It was a great hike and would take another patrol through this section.

Mon Jan 29 2018

As a Randolph College student in Lynchburg, this is one of my favorite places to go when I need some time outside. I've put my hammock up along this trail before as well. Beautiful views along the bridge as well as the trail. Not very strenuous at all and trail is relatively clear of rocks and debris. Would recommend!

Mon Jan 15 2018

Recommend especially during the winter months when the foliage is down. Lots of views of surrounding peaks and views looking down on the James River that would likely be limited when the trees have all their leaves. A number of feeder trails cross the AT here so pay attention at these intersections so you don't end up like yours truly and get off track :)

Wed Jul 05 2017

Good solid hike with some nice views. First time on the AT so that was very cool. We started at the Thunder Ridge Wilderness area and finished at the James River. Like 16.9 miles. If you have never had the opportunity to hit any sections of the AT I would highly recommend it. We met a couple from Denmark and a cook from Switzerland. Very cool hearing their stories. Also enjoyed how the folks at the camping areas help each other...We were being offered mac and cheese and hadn't even put our gear down. Lol.

Wed Jan 20 2016

A scenic, winding portion of the AT. Nice views from the mountain ridges. Trail trends in descent from west to east after first half along the ridge is then would recommend a west to east route if wishing to avoid extended climbs. An AT hut is about a mile from the river/bridge. The Foot bridge is also a nice place to stop for views.

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Sun Jul 05 2015