|The view from the Purgatory Mountain Overlook on the BRP.|
The first two sections were nothing to write about, as they were within sight of the Blue Ridge Parkway and really not very interesting. (The view from the BRP itself, though, was spectacular! At least until the heat burned off the low level clouds.) I was expecting to be similarly underwhelmed with the day's third section, but was very pleasantly surprised.
|The view from the Foot Bridge of a rain-swollen James River.|
When the Foot Bridge was opened, the A.T. was rerouted to meet U.S. 501 at the bridge. Because much of my A.T. hiking in this area dates to before the bridge was completed, I needed to come back here and hike the reroute so I could say I had hiked a continuous section of the A.T. This was my last section, completing a continuous section of about 250 miles.
As I stated, I expected to be underwhelmed, because this section was designed to link two existing parts of the trail. But I could not have been more wrong. This is one of the more delightful sections of trail that I have seen in Virginia.
|First bridge, looking from the northern end of the trail.|
|Check out the construction of these steps.|
According to the current Appalachian Trail Guide for Central Virginia, the trail that parallels the creek "was part of the original 1930 A.T. [alignment]." The bridges were built in 1999 by the Forest Service, Konnarock Trail Crew (an A.T. trail crew that takes on big projects throughout Virginia), and volunteers from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club. It was a job well done.