Ashby Gap

Ashby Gap

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Ashby Gap

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Ashby Gap, more commonly known as Ashby's Gap is a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountain on the border of Clarke County, Loudoun County and Fauquier County in Virginia. The gap is traversed by U.S. Route 50. The Appalachian trail also passes across the gap.


At the gap is below the adjacent ridge line to the north, and above the Shenandoah River, which flows to the north, west of the gap. To the west lies Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, which is part of the Great Appalachian Valley and to the east lies Virginia's Piedmont region. Just south of this gap is Sky Meadows State Park.

The gap serves as the western demarcation point for the border between Fauquier and Loudoun, originally marked by a "double-bodied poplar tree standing in or near the middle of the thoroughfare of Ashby's Gap on the top of the Blue Ridge." The tree has since died and the thoroughfare, modern day U.S. Route 50, realigned to the south so that Loudoun County is not entered when traveling through the gap.Head James. History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia. p. 17.


The earliest known use of the gap was as part of a trail of the Native Americans. Upon European colonization, the gap was first referred to as the "Upper Thoroughfare of the Blue Ridge". It was later named "Ashby's Bent" when Thomas Ashby received lands along Goose Creek, and settled Paris, Virginia at the eastern entrance to the gap (shown in...
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