Jarman Gap is most easily reached by entering the Shenandoah National Park at Rockfish Gap; after about eight miles, the trailhead can be found at milepost 96.8 on the Skyline Drive. Another entrance is at Bucks Elbow Road and Jarman Gap (Rt. #611), but parking is limited to 1 car at park gate, with limited parking along the road.
Jarman Gap remains a cultural and physical legacy of the earliest settlers of the area. Jarman Gap was the site of the first settlement of the mountain lands. The first European settler of this section of the Blue Ridge, Michael Woods, came from Pennsylvania in 1734 and settled at Woods Gap, now known as Jarman Gap. In 1737 Michael Woods purchased 2006 acres, and settled in permanently in his mountain home he called “Mountain Plains”; he died in 1762 and was buried on the property.
Woods Gap served as the main crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains. First a buffalo trail, then a Native American path and still later, the Three Notch’d Road all passed through the gap. Three Notch’d Road ran along present-day Main Street in Charlottesville, and was marked by three notches or blazes on trees to guide travelers.
The name Jarman comes from Thomas Jarman, who had settled on Moormans River in 1762, and whose children were married to various children of Michael Woods and other earlier settlers. In about 1800, his grandson Thomas bought the land at the summit of the ridge in Woods Gap, and since then it has been known as Jarman Gap.
- Child Friendly: