Pugh Mountain Road, Smyth County, Virginia
Here is my first attempt at a route completely in Smyth County Virginia. I do have to say this turned out nice. According to the VDOT map, Smyth County does not have a lot of gravel roads. I was worried if this was going to be a waste of time.This one is only 38 miles long but with approximately 4700 ft of climbing, it is plenty long enough. It has 20 miles of gravel/dirt roads (54%) and 18 miles of paved and tar and chip roads (46%). Once you get away from Atkins/Marion this route is beautiful country, mountainous and National Forest riding.
This route, Atkins/Sugar Grove/Glade Mountain starts in Atkins at the elementary school on Rte 11. The first 7 miles are paved and you are in the land of the trailer home. Then you turn on Pugh Mountain rd which starts out paved then turns to dirt a little ways up. Pugh Mtn rd is a 2.1 mile 747ft nice climb. Then this road shoots downhill for 2.8 miles into a beautiful valley. On the way down the road changes from dirt to gravel then pavement at the very end. It has several banked turns which makes the climb up worth it. The route then turns towards Sugar Grove. You hit 2 short gravel roads before hanging left and heading up Hwy 16 (Sugar Grove Hwy). Shortly after you get on Hwy 16 the only water stop is on you left, Shirley's Market. You climb up and hit Nick Creek rd which is a nice climb. You are again rewarded with an awesome curvy paved top notch downhill. You then hang a right on Glade Mountain rd. *Special Note* just after the intersection with Mulberry Lane at mile 20.3, there are private property signs. I got permission 2 years ago to go through from the owner. I do not know if the road is really private or not. But the owner claims a short section is. So please stop and ask permission to go though. Don't worry if he says no. Go back to the intersection and go right on Mulberry Lane. This road will take you back into Atkins. Hang a right on Rte 11 Lee Hwy. The elementary school where you started is on the left about a 1/4 mile or so. Glade Mountain road is a 3 mile 1050ft forest road climb, Nice! At approximately mile 26 be sure and go left onto Forest Road 86. If you hit a gate around then, go back you missed the turn. Follow Forest Rd 86 (which is a nice up and down forest road) for about 9 miles before hitting Denzle Lane and Kiawana rd back into town.
Again, the only water stop is at mile 15.3, Shirley's Market. Enjoy!