View Full Version : Massey gap to Interstate 81 below Atkins, Va

05-05-2011, 11:04
Planning a hike later part of month from Grayson Highlands to Interstate 81 below Atkins, Va. I've looked in data book and looks roughly 42 miles. My 66 yr old father has had two knee replacements in past and done some 50 mile hikes afterwards. How is the terrain? I know the tornadoes touched down in Sugar Grove, much devastation to the trails? Would a good place to start be within the grayson highlands park at massey gap? My mother will be picking us up and thought that a good end point would be on I-81 before Atkins, Va.
Any thoughts or guidance would be much appreciated!! thanks

05-05-2011, 11:08
This is part of my favorite AT section and I would rate the terrain as easy to moderate.

Just to give you an idea, Atkins to Damascus is the first time I ever hiked two 30+ mile days in a row.

05-05-2011, 11:13
Wow 10-K, i have hiked massey to Damascus (course i was out of shape) and only got in about 15 miles per day. Thanks for your quick response man!

05-05-2011, 11:19
What I was trying to say is that it was easy enough for me to hike a long way - not that I'm a super-fast hiker. :)

Hope you enjoy your trip. Man, I sure hope I'm hiking when I'm 66 though now that I'm hitting 50, 66 sounds pretty young.

05-05-2011, 11:27
Yes, that is a beautiful section of the AT. The state park gets a bit crowded on weekends. The road (US Rt 58) to Grayson Highlands State Park does alot of winding....don't be in a rush.:D

05-05-2011, 11:28
Hey 10-K, would the overpass on I-81 next to Atkins be a good pickup point? Is 42 miles pretty accurate for the hike? thanks

05-05-2011, 11:44
Adkins would be a great place to meet someone. Just have them meet you at the Exxon. It would be pretty hard to miss.

Starting at Massey's and going North you really don't get a lot of the highlands better views. I would be tempted to hike South from Masseys Gap and then cut across the Crest Trail back towards The Scales, and pick up the AT again and start heading North. If you come up the blue blaze out of the Massey Gap parking lot you would probably get the best views. I always cheat a little and go up the horse trail just above the Massey Gap parking lot.