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  1. #161
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    I think the bridge would be fine. But I agree the road between the bridge and to the trail does have some sections with only a 2-3 ft shoulder so that would be more of a risk than that bridge. But I suspect locals walk it or ride their bikes on it as I certainly walk on roads like that. That is about 1.5 mile walk from the trail crossing 340 to the bridge we are talking about.
    So absolutely no way for the ATC to find an off road alternative to that road walk?

    Understood it wouldn’t be easy, but preserving the AT as unbroken route never has been, right?

    Continuity has always been paramount to the ATC’s mission. Having the Trail Pass through HF is a huge plus, but in the end is nowhere near as important.

    Hopefully the pain of moving the official route away from the ATC’s headquarters won’t drive the decision and we will learn the ATC is already working on establishing (reestablishing) an acceptably safe new route. This years’s class deserves nothing less.

  2. #162
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    I am planning to thru hike this year so it will be interesting what we do. Leaving in 18 days. I've hiked that section being by passed so it is not a big concern, but I would prefer a walking route even if that means walking into HF and walking back out to go around. I was also considering if we do take a ride to the cliffs, to first backtrack on the path to the HF bridge just to complete all but the actual bridge. that is an easy walk.

  3. #163
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    I think the bridge would be fine. But I agree the road between the bridge and to the trail does have some sections with only a 2-3 ft shoulder so that would be more of a risk than that bridge. But I suspect locals walk it or ride their bikes on it as I certainly walk on roads like that. That is about 1.5 mile walk from the trail crossing 340 to the bridge we are talking about.
    The "old" AT (prior to routing via HF and across the RR bridge walkway) stayed up on the ridge and followed thru Loudoun Heights, and then it descended down to US340. From there hikers continued NOBO along US340, across the Sandy Hook Bridge, and finally connected to the C&O Canal to Weaverton.

    Today's auto and truck traffic volume is HUGE and fast compared to those days. The available space to walk, on either side, is mostly narrow, overgrown with weeds and debris -- and very close to the traffic. Undoubtedly walkable, but dangerous. The Sandy Hook Bridge has a walkway which is actually safer than the roadway before and after it.

    With the cooperation of Virginia and Maryland Depts of Transportation, with leadership of ATC and PATC, would it be possible to improve the walkway on at least one side, and install a temporary safe crossing of US340 (traffic light) where and if necessary? The AT could be temporarily blazed along this route, with signage directing hikers and other foot traffic?

    (As I understand it, re-establishing the old Loudoun Heights routing would be impractical or impossible due to private property issues between the ridge and US340 -- and rehabbing a portion of the US340 berm would still need to be done.).

    It sounds like the RR bridge will be closed for at least a year. Widening the US340 walking path, installing Jersey barriers along the edge to protect walkers from drivers, plus other improvements could be done with both safety and cost in mind. Once finished, this temporary trail could be maintained by volunteers like much of the rest of the AT is. Hikers wanting to go into or out of HF could do so following the current blazed trails, but would need to backtrack to rejoin the AT -- not unlike many other trail towns.

    It would be reasonable to expect that CSX contribute to the relatively modest costs of this emergency project -- widening the US340 walk, installing Jersey barriers, and a temporary crossing light if it is deemed necessary. It was their negligence that caused last month's derailment which damaged the AT. Meanwhile, planning and reconstruction of the RR walkway could and must proceed; the temporary solution proposed here should not become the permanent solution.

    Thus, the AT would again become an unbroken trail from GA>ME, would be safe enough, and could be easily deconstructed when the RR bridge is reopened to foot traffic. For the two DOTs, this would probably be a routine project.
    Last edited by Skyline; 01-23-2020 at 00:50.

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    The "old" AT (prior to routing via HF and across the RR bridge walkway) stayed up on the ridge and followed thru Loudoun Heights, and then it descended down to US340. From there hikers continued NOBO along US340, across the Sandy Hook Bridge, and finally connected to the C&O Canal to Weaverton.
    How would you get down to the towpath after crossing the Sandy Hook Bridge? it seems like tow path is between the river and the old canal. is there a bridge over the canal to the towpath?

  5. #165
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that's possible. But it could be with some extra work. The old AT used a short road that doesn't seem to exist any longer. But its resurrection, or something similar, might be feasible if stakeholders agree and the work on the ground could happen efficiently. Crossing the RR tracks? That could be the insurmountable issue.

    But for sure, once NOBO hikers cross the Sandy Hook Bridge, they could continue north on US340 until the right turn ramp deposits them onto Keep Tryst Rd. That road connects to the current AT near Weaverton.
    Last edited by Skyline; 01-23-2020 at 01:01.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    How would you get down to the towpath after crossing the Sandy Hook Bridge? ?
    jump, little tougher for sobo

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    I'm not sure that's possible. But it could be with some extra work. The old AT used a short road that doesn't seem to exist any longer. But its resurrection, or something similar, might be feasible if stakeholders agree and the work on the ground could happen efficiently. Crossing the RR tracks? That could be the insurmountable issue.

    But for sure, once NOBO hikers cross the Sandy Hook Bridge, they could continue north on US340 until the right turn ramp deposits them onto Keep Tryst Rd. That road connects to the current AT near Weaverton.
    Oh, right there are tracks and a canal.

  8. #168
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    I've lived in the area for 30 years and I think the biggest safety issue as that has been stated isn't the bridge. The sandy hook bridge on rt 340,it's getting to the bridge from the Hf bridge . Like skeeterpee said there's only about 2,3' of space to walk to get from 1 bridge to the other. And lots of speeding traffic , then you have in addition to that the Hf river rafting picks up the rafters right before the bridge, right across from there you have a very busy gas station as well as a road that goes up between the bridge and gas station on top of that there's the Hf outdoor center I think it's called were they have a zip line and all kinds of stuff like that. So oh I forgot right before the gas station is a parking lot were they sell popcorn and treats to the tourists. Yes indeed a very busy place in the summer time. You can see there Dilema but tictoc,tictoc.
    Last edited by JNI64; 01-24-2020 at 21:07.

  9. #169
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    So then once across the rt 340 bridge you'd have to walk up to keptryst rd. And then turn right on sandy hook rd which is a very tight no room to walk country kind of rd but not as much traffic. But still very dangerous and small rd and the old sandy hook bridge is a one way bridge barely enough for small cars. And eventually down to where the walk bridge that was destroyed and the AT , C&O canal meet.

  10. #170

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    So how much further is the 340 walk? In miles.


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  11. #171
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    Only a few miles difference
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 01-25-2020 at 12:12.

  12. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    So how much further is the 340 walk? In miles.


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    I'd say from the Hf bridge to keptryst rd is about 1.5 miles. Or if you keep walking 340 another half mile to the boonsboro exit loop ,rt 68 I think, and take that loop around about a half mile the first rd on the right will take you back to the trail. Weaverton cliffs if someone chose this route they really would only miss the 3 mile walk of the AT, C&O canal combo walk. I hope my explanation is clear if not I can try again.

  13. #173

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    Nope, that’s good!


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  14. #174
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    Nope, that’s good!


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    No no way to make a trail?

    The ATC helped find a solution for a couple thousand miles elsewhere.

  15. #175
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    Rickb. I know you're quoting Deacon and my apologies if it appears as if I'm trying to thread take over or be a know it all, but that is definitely not my intentions. My only interest here is to warn people how dangerous this diversion walk is. The thing is it's rather unique area as your stuck between 2 rivers the Potomac and the Shenandoah. I don't know if someone can Google earth and post? But a couple of posts ago I'm not exaggerating one bit all that goes on in the summer months between the 1/2 mile of the 2 bridges. That's is probably the ATC'S biggest concern. No one rides there bikes through here and the only people walking around here are walking the river side of 340 to access the river for swimming, sunbathing. And I don't think Jersey barriers are an option because one side of 340 is right against the mountain, the river side possibly but with all the activity in that area I just don't think so. The one good thing is there is no more parking on the river side of 340 between the bridges, that really got crazy crowded out of control. I hope no one gets hurt under estimating this dangerous area.
    Last edited by JNI64; 01-25-2020 at 17:51.

  16. #176

    Default Street View of US340

    Here's a link https://www.instantstreetview.com/@3....46h,-2.97p,1z that you can look at US340 along the stretch we're talking about. Hopefully, you can scroll back and forth and see what the concern is with walking this stretch. Notice the "shear" cliff on one side and the Potomac River drop off on the other.

    Scott
    Last edited by bbikebbs; 01-25-2020 at 19:50. Reason: added name

  17. #177
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    Yes awesome, thanks so much for that link. That's a great example of some of the dangers of this walk. Notice the cars on and crossing the white line, probably staring at their phones checking their Facebook status. But anyway right around that next curve is where it gets really interestingly dangerous with all that touristy stuff I described earlier.

  18. #178

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    Seems like the ATC could implement a temporary canoe crossing similar to that on the Kennebec in Maine.


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  19. #179

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    Man, there really isn't any other way across with in reason. It's either walk the 340 or swim.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  20. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Man, there really isn't any other way across with in reason. It's either walk the 340 or swim.
    Or, as suggested by the ATC, use a shuttle. Eventually the ATC will implement something else, either a rebuilt footbridge, or a reroute. It’ll happen when it happens. There’s no point to fretting about things we have no control over.

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