Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Heading north out of Atkins, VA, pass under Interstate 81 and look for the trail to the right after the service road.
The trail winds through a few fields before entering back into the "green tunnel." For thru-hikers, Atkins is a key resupply point and easily-accessible from the interstate.
With few landmarks in proximity to the southern terminus of this segment, it isn't particularly popular for day hiking ventures. Roughly 10 miles into this segment, you'll pass the official one-quarter mark of the nearly 2,200-mile-long AT.
An official placard is nailed to a tree to honor the benchmark.
After crossing VA-625, a steep climb lies ahead as the trail climbs to Chestnut Ridge, one of the only day hiking options for this segment.
The ridge provides countless vistas, making it the highlight of the segment. After passing Chestnut Knob Shelter then heading through Walker Gap, the trail maintains a path along a ridgeline.
After crossing a valley and traveling an adjacent ridge, you'll reach the northern terminus of this section at Interstate 77, sometimes referenced as VA-162. A handful of water sources lie along this portion of the white-blazed AT, but there is no notable resupply point along the way.
Sources: http://homemadewanderlust.com/at-update-11-atkins-va-to-pearisburg-va/ http://www.wikitrail.org/features/view/at/25155/knot-maul-branch-shelter