“A little used, multi-use trail to test your skills.”
— Joey Atkins
This is a lightly traveled out-and-back trail that follows the old route of the AT. It has much to offer with lots of challenges along the way. Expect a lot of ups and downs and log crossings. Probably the best quality of this trail is how much solitude it offers.
Need to Know
This out-and-back trail starts where the AT crosses Teas Road in Smyth County, VA. Parking is limited to only three vehicles. A few feet south of its connection with the AT is where the Raccoon Branch Wilderness begins - bikes are prohibited from the wilderness area.
The Slab Town Trail follows the old route of the AT that was abandoned for several decades. It's lightly used today and can easily be lost in places due to infrequent maintenance. The trail starts with a steep climb from the valley floor. After a half-mile, its eases up but continues to climb to the top of the first ridge for one mile.
There, the trail descends along an old logging cut to cross over Slab Town Road. On the other side, it proceeds across a cow pasture before re-entering the forest. The next part of the climb begins, though not as steep as the first segment, to the top of the next ridge. You'll pass though old homesites and along an old stone walled road. Don't worry, it's still singletrack as none of these roads have been used in over 100 years.
At the 1.90-mile mark, the trail enters some old iron ore mine works that were abandoned 120 years ago. At 2.5 miles, the trail descends to its end at the Trempi shelter on the AT. There is a good source of water here that flows year round.
History & Background
This trail passes through old iron and manganese mines that were active during the late 19th and early 20th century.