View Full Version : Rt 43 Buchanan, VA

08-25-2014, 22:17
I'm thinking about hiking for a few days in the Buchanan area and as always, I have questions. I'm looking at the AT between Petites Gap and Bearwallow Gap, maybe South to Black Horse Gap.

First, doesn't anyone have any negative info about parking overnight at the parking area at Bearwallow Gap? Is it possible to leave a vehicle overnight Peaks of Otter Recreation Area? Second, if anyone has been up there lately, how available is water between Petites Gap and Bearwallow Gap?

Is there anything in the area I shouldn't miss checking out while I'm down there? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

08-26-2014, 17:25
There's limited parking at the Petites Gap lot but no worse than the roadside pull off at Rt.43 (Bearwallow Gap).
I know of no vandelism at either location. The Peaks of Otter is miles from either start or end trailhead location so I'm not sure how that would work without a shuttle.

Having hiked this section(James River sobo) to Bearwallow in June I can offer a little knowledge of the area. Although water was plentiful then I suspect water through here is more scarce.
At Thunder Ridge Shelter there's a boxed spring that holds water . You will likely need to strain/ filter the water that collects tiny insects and other floatums.
According to my guidebook there also is a spring 0.1 mile from the AT down the Apple Orchard Falls Trail . I rembemer seeing the small sign " spring " off the trail.
Bryant Ridge has a small creek that runs directly in front of the shelter which was full then but probably not reliable in the late summer.
The next water source is Jennings Creek at VA614 , which is more like a river where the AT crosses the bridge there.

08-26-2014, 20:20
Thanks for info johnnybgood. I'm pretty much set on parking at Bearwallow and bicycle to Cornelius Creek Shelter, maybe Parkers Gap depending on my legs. I figure it's a 15 +/- bike ride to Cornelius and another 5ish mile hike up to Bryant Hill Shelter. By then, I should be pretty much finished and spend the night at the shelter. I will also have Cornelious Shelter as an "out" in case my legs explode while on the bike. I can hike back to 43 the next day and then head north and do a little more of the trail. I might wait until the later part of Sept to do this, cooler weather, better water and possibly scrap the bike for a shuttle and a longer hike. Again, thanks for your input.