Ice Storm Damage Report*
(Updated 12/6/2018) Downed trees and broken limbs may be blocking the Trail or creating overhead hazards in areas in the wake of an ice storm on November 14-15. Some areas may be impassible; access roads to the Trail may be blocked. Downed trees can create a variety of hazards. Hikers are advised to choose areas that have been cleared or where there is no suspected damage. If you do hike affected areas, be prepared for your pace to be much slower than normal, or to backtrack. Volunteers have begun to clear sections but some areas remain inaccessible to conduct assessments.
*Expect areas below with no reports to have damage
734.2 - 740.4 Fullhardt Knob Shelter to Wilson Creek Shelter - Heavy damage (hiker report 11/23/18)
742.8 - 750.8 Blackhorse Gap to Cove Mountain Shelter - Cleared (updated trail club report 12/6/18)
757.4 - 761.2 Jennings Creek/Va. 614 to Bryant Ridge Shelter - a couple blockages involving multiple trees, but not widespread ice damage (trail club report 11/29/18)
761.2 - 768.8 Bryant Ridge Shelter to Parkers Gap Road/USFS 812; BRP mp 78.4 - Some damage (hiker report 11/27)
768.8 - 771.6 Parkers Gap Road/USFS 812; BRP mp 78.4 to 1/4 mile north of Thunder Hill Shelter - Heavy damage (hiker report 11/27)
771.6 - 773.0 - Thunder Hill Shelter to Thunder Hill Overlook; BRP mp 74.7 - Cleared (trail club update 12/6/18)
773.0 - 777.3 Thunder Hill Overlook to Highcock Knob - Heavy damage (hiker report)
778.8 - 785.8 Sulphur Spring Trail (south junction) to James River Foot Bridge - Cleared except for one large tree (trail club update 12/6/18)
785.8 - 816.3 James River Foot Bridge to Salt Log Gap (north) – Cleared (trail club update 12/4/18)
824.6 - 826.6 Spy Rock 1 mile north - Fair amount of blowdowns (hiker report 11/22/18)
826.7 Cash Hollow Road – Large Blowdowns in both directions (trail club report 11/20/18)
843.9 - 852.5 Reids Gap to Humpback Rocks side trail - most major blowdowns cleared (trail club report 12/2/18)
852.5 - 863.0 Humpback Rocks side Trail to Rockfish Gap - Extensive damage (club report 12/2/18)
Blue Ridge Parkway Real Time Road Open-Close Status (this does not necessarily correlate with trail conditions for A.T. sections in the vicinity). Many portions paralleling the A.T. from Rockfish Gap to Roanoke are closed.
Blue Ridge Parkway Facebook Page - Check here for additional updates. A.T. conditions may differ from the nearest parkway conditions.
Brown Mountain Creek - Temporary Relocation
A 0.7-mile section of the A.T. has been temporarily relocated due to damage to the lower Brown Mountain Creek bridge. The relocation is blazed and signed at both ends. The relocation is approximately 0.1 shorter, on an old roadbed. The bridge is expected to be replaced in 2020.
Pearisburg/Peters Mountain – Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction
(6/29/18) A.T. hikers should be alert for construction-related activity in the vicinity of Pocahontas Road (mile 640.9) and Symms Gap Meadow (mile 648.3), on Peters Mountain north of Pearisburg, VA. The Appalachian Trail will remain open during construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Parking at the junction of Clendennin Road/Va. 641 and Pocahontas Road (mile 640.8) is more limited than usual, and hikers may be approached by a security guard with information about construction activities.
Shenandoah National Park
Ice Storm Damage from Jarman Gap to Simmons Gap and possibly in North District; South District of Skyline Drive closed to vehicles
(Updated 3/1/19) In the south district of the park, numerous downed trees and broken limbs are blocking the Trail or creating overhead hazards between Jarman Gap (mile 872.4) and Simmons Gap (899.7) in the wake of a major ice storm on November 14-15 and subsequent storms. Many areas of the A.T. in this section are likely to be impassible or hazardous. Skyline Drive remains closed to vehicles in the South District (which has substantially delayed volunteers' ability to clear the damage).
Long-distance hikers are advised to walk on Skyline Drive between Jarman Gap and Simmons Gap instead of the A.T. until further notice.
Some sections of the A.T. in the north district of the park may have also sustained damage in recent storms.
Hikers are advised to consider alternate sections of the A.T. as hiking and camping conditions can be dangerous. If you are injured, help may not be able to reach you. For more information on the status of Skyline Drive, the Appalachian Trail, and other trails in the park, click here.
Big Meadows Wayside Seasonal Re-opening will be delayed in 2019
(February 5, 2019) The historic wayside, which offers meals, groceries, and other services, is undergoing comprehensive renovation and rehabilitation. Due to delays caused by winter weather, the facility which was scheduled to re-open March 29 could remain closed as late as May 15, 2019. The gas pumps will still be accessible but no parking will be available. A.T. hikers should have back-up plans for the Big Meadows area, in the event the Wayside is not operational during their trip. Check goshenandoah.com/dining/food-groceries to confirm whether or not the Big Meadows Wayside is open. The facility is located at Skyline Drive Milepost 51, A.T. mile 926.2 from Springer Mtn. (0.9 east of the A.T.)
Calf Mountain Shelter to Jarman Gap - Temporary Relocation
(Updated 12/10/18) About one mile of the A.T. has been temporarily relocated in the southern section of the park due to construction in a powerline right-of-way. Starting approximately 1/4 mile north of the Calf Mountain Shelter side trail (mile 870.7) and rejoining the A.T. where it crosses dirt Jarmans Gap Road (mile 871.7) this detour uses two dirt roads and is signed at both ends and at several places along its length. Hikers are urged to stay on the detour as a portion of it crosses private property. Hikers may be delayed for up to 15 minutes at both boundaries of the right-of-way corridor for safety reasons during construction activities. The detour is expected to be in place until May of 2019.
Bear Advisory at Huts in the Park
There has been increased bear activity reported in the park, especially at lean-tos (called "huts" in Shenandoah National Park) with a heightened potential for encounters with wildlife. Habituated bears have sometimes learned to associate tents and backpacks with food, so if you do stay there, be especially diligent about properly storing food and toiletries with scents, leaving no crumbs or wrappers in your tent or backpack, and do not leave your pack unattended.
Click here for the Park's facility schedule.
This includes opening and closing dates for lodges, campgrounds, camp stores, waysides (snack bars, limited groceries, souvenirs, and gasoline), and visitor centers. Note this year the opening of Big Meadows Wayside will be delayed; the website goshenandoah.com/dining/food-groceries may have more current information on the status of this facility.
Skyline Drive Updates
Skyline Drive is a 2-lane scenic highway following the ridgecrest and traversing the length of the Park. It roughly parallel and frequently crosses the Appalachian Trail. It is open year round; however, the Drive may be temporarily closed on short notice for indefinite periods due to weather related conditions. For the most current Skyline Drive status, call (540) 999-3500, choose Option 1, and then Option 1. Park staff also post opening and closing information on Facebook and Twitter.