Adventures in the Southern Appalachians & Beyond!  





Highway 421 TO DAMASCUS

April 25th & 26th, 2009 - We had another great Appalachian Trail backpacking trip with our friends Erick and Amy McMurray, which tied in a section none of us had done before, just south of Damascus.  We started at Highway 421 (called Low Gap), and went north on the A.T.  



Start of Trip at Highway 421 (Low Gap)

  Old Concrete Foundation that Once Held a Firetower Built by the CCC
Erick and Amy Rest Near McQueen's Knob   McQueen's Knob - Old Emergency Shelter

There had been a controlled forest burn the day before so the skies were very smoky, which limited our views.  It was also unseasonably hot for April, and the gnats were almost unbearable at times. 

After about 3.5 miles we passed by the old emergency shelter at McQueen's Knob, and then arrived at Abingdon Gap shelter after ~5 miles where we refilled our water supply.               

Near Abingdon Gap   Shannon at our Campsite
Erick   Amy, Shannon, and Bill Enjoying Dinner
Thunderstorms were starting to pop up all around us so we quickly set up camp on a ridge not far off the trail.  Luckily we avoided most of the rain, and had a good evening with a nice fire and dinner.    

We hiked approximately 8.3 miles on day-one (including the .3 tenths of a mile on the blue-blaze trail at Abingdon Gap to get water).        


Erick and Amy at the TN/VA State Line


In the morning we got back on the trail early and hiked on toward Damascus.  We went on past the trail to Backbone Rock, and then crossed the state line into Virginia.  We were in Damascus not long after noon.


We hiked approximately 6.5 miles on the second day for a total trip of 14.8 miles.       

Bill and Shannon at the A.T.'s Entrance Sign into Damascus  

Erick and Amy at the End of the Hike


Total Miles Hiked:  14.8

Hike Rating -


Bill's Overall Rating:

Distance:  14.8 miles

Difficulty:  MODERATE

Type: Continuous

Vista Rating: 

Waterfall Rating:  NONE

Water Crossings:  few EASY

Scrambling/Climbing:  NONE

Hazards:  slippery slopes

Significance:  Appalachian Trail, A.T. shelters (1), unofficial emergency shelter, remnants of lookout tower.

Recommendation:  average backpack


Click here for hike rating reference guide.




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