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  1. #1

    Default Comers Creek Bridge is unsafe, do not use (SW Virginia)

    The footbridge over Comers Creek has recently been found to be unsafe and should not be used. This is at northbound mile 518.8, 1.3 miles south of the Dickey Gap trailhead near the junction of Comers Creek Road and Virginia Highway 16. Signs are posted on the bridge recommending the following alternatives:

    1. Ford the creek. Please use caution, and do not attempt if the water is high.

    2. NORTHBOUND HIKERS: backtrack to the junction with blue-blazed Comers Creek Falls Trail. Follow that trail 0.25 miles to gravel Homestead Road. Turn left on Homestead Road and follow it 0.5 miles to junction with Virginia Highway 16. Turn left again, and walk along the shoulder of Highway 16 for 0.6 miles to Comers Creek Road (VA-650). USE CAUTION WALKING HWY 16; STAY OFF THE ROAD. There is an A.T. parking lot and kiosk here, known as Dickey Gap trailhead. Rejoin the A.T. northbound where it crosses Comers Creek Road. Total reroute distance: 1.3 miles.

    SOUTHBOUND HIKERS: follow the directions above in reverse. (Backtrack to VA-16/Dickey Gap. Follow VA-16 uphill to Homestead Road, turn right. Follow Homestead Road to Comers Creek Falls parking area. Take Comers Creek Falls Trail to A.T. junction.)

    The official flyer is here.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Does anyone have any update as to whether the bridge is still considered unsafe? And is it really unsafe or just has some missing boards or something similar and is still passable with caution?

  3. #3
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    Matt, are you at the planning stage with your inquiry or actually on the trail now? Your question is very valid, but, although I live within a short distance o the Comers Creek crossing, I do not know the answer. What I do know is that I grew up in Edinburg, graduated EHS, later taught in Mission. Having said that, if going through the Highlands is still in your future, I would like to help you any way I can. Please message me if you would like a contact in this region.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SawnieRobertson View Post
    Matt, are you at the planning stage with your inquiry or actually on the trail now? Your question is very valid, but, although I live within a short distance o the Comers Creek crossing, I do not know the answer. What I do know is that I grew up in Edinburg, graduated EHS, later taught in Mission. Having said that, if going through the Highlands is still in your future, I would like to help you any way I can. Please message me if you would like a contact in this region.
    Heading there this week. I don't live in TX anymore, time to update my profile! I have hiked that section a couple of times and I'm guessing that the water level is low enough now I can rock hop across the stream, or wade in worst case. Thanks for the offer.

  5. #5
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    Good luck.The creek beside my home is flowing well, but we have gone several days with no rain. Today, a light shower, but then nothing. Have a good time out there.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  6. #6

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    Four days ago I walked across this bridge in the dark before sunrise. It wasn’t taped off or blocked in any way. There was a sign on it saying Corners Creek Bridge is unsafe. I didn’t skip a step and walked over it while wondering where Corners Creek Bridge is! Hiker brain.

    If you want to ford the creek the water is very low. Can probably do it without getting your feet wet.

  7. #7
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    We decided to use the rocks since the water was so low but others used the bridge. The bridge looked fine, so whatever is wrong with it is not obvious.

  8. #8

    Default Temporary Re-route is now the official, white-blazed trail

    The previous route of the A.T. that included the footbridge is closed and a temporary re-route has been marked with white blazes as of September 18. The A.T. footbridge has been deemed unsafe by U.S. Forest Service engineers. You wouldn't know to look at it - it's a little askew, but looks sound enough - but one of the main support stringers has a major crack in it, according to Kathryn Herndon in ATC's Central/SW Virginia regional office.

    Here is the full description:

    (9/18/19) Trail Closure & Temporary Re-Route near Dickey Gap (Mount Rogers National Recreation Area)
    The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) footbridge over Comers Creek is unsafe due to a structural fault and will be removed. The previous route of the A.T. is currently CLOSED for two miles, until a safe crossing of Comers Creek is established. The closed section is between Comers Creek Road/VA-650/Dickey Gap and the junction with the Dickey Gap Trail.

    A temporary re-reroute of the Appalachian Trail (now following VA-650/Comers Creek Road, the Hurricane Campground Road, and Dickey Gap Trail) has been marked with white blazes and is the official route of the A.T. until the closed section is re-opened. Directions are below.

    SOUTHBOUND
    Starting at Dickey Gap A.T. trailhead, mile 520.1 (near the junction of VA 16 and VA 650/Comers Creek Road):

    Turn RIGHT on gravel Comers Creek Road (VA 650), away from paved VA 16. Follow the gravel road for 1.5 miles to the paved road opposite Hurricane Campground. Turn LEFT on paved road opposite Hurricane Campground, and follow it for 0.3 miles. Look for the wooden signpost for the Dickey Gap Trail on your left. Turn LEFT onto Dickey Gap Trail and follow it 0.4 miles to where it ends at the A.T. junction. Turn RIGHT to continue southbound on the Appalachian Trail.

    NORTHBOUND
    Starting at A.T. junction with Dickey Gap Trail, mile 518.1 (please note wooden signpost at the junction reads "Hurricane Campground 0.4 miles" but does not say "Dickey Gap Trail"; also, note some sources refer to this trail informally as the “Hurricane Campground Trail.”):

    Turn LEFT on the Dickey Gap Trail. Follow Dickey Gap Trail 0.4 miles until it ends at the paved road opposite Hurricane Campground. Turn RIGHT on the paved road and follow it for 0.3 miles until it ends at Comers Creek Road/VA 650, which is a gravel road. Turn RIGHT on the gravel road and follow it for 1.5 miles until you reach the A.T. near the junction of VA 650 and paved VA 16. To continue northbound, rejoin the A.T. on the same side of the road as the parking lot and information kiosk.

    You can find this and other updates on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's website at www.appalachiantrail.org/updates.

  9. #9

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    Does anyone know exactly how much this re-route extends the distance. Im planning a section hike. Im not sure of the length of the original route

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