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34 Miles of Country Bliss

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a crushed gravel trail that runs 34 miles from Abingdon, VA to the North Carolina-Virginia state line. Once an Indian footpath, it was also used by European pioneers and a railroad was built along the path in the early 1900s. They say the trail got its name “Virginia Creeper” from the steam engines that struggled to make their way up the steep grades carrying lumber, iron ore, supplies, and passengers to the area. It could also be attributed to the plant of the same name that used to grow along the railroad tracks. The last train ran the route back in 1977 and the path is now used as a multi-purpose recreation trail for hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders.

The town of Damascus is considered the halfway point along the trail and is where most decide to stop for the day, however many do continue onto the town of Abingdon to experience the trail in its entirety. Damascus is a great location to consider for staying the night and to launch your bike ride adventure as it has numerous bike shops that rent bikes and will take you to White Top Mountain, or the beginning of the trail. For a fun filled family adventure, consider being transported with bike in tow by one of these bike outfits for the 30-minute drive up to White Top where you will begin your 17 mile downhill ride back into town. That’s right, it’s downhill all the way back into town where there are some great places to grab lunch, a cold drink, and share stories about your epic journey on two wheels with your family and friends.

The trail itself is made up of crushed gravel and is mostly a smooth ride back into the town of Damascus. You will ride over at least 40 wooden bridges along the way and even cross over the infamous Appalachian Trail that runs over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. The views along the way are stunning and perhaps some of the best in Virginia with everything from open fields, farmlands, lush green forests, and pastures, to creeks, streams, and lots of rushing water sounds that are certain to sooth the soul. Keep your eye out for wildlife along the way too, as you may see deer, fox, turkey, rabbits, squirrels, or maybe even a black bear.

This is a surely a family trip worth taking and one that will leave long lasting memories for years to come.

For more specific details about the trail and/or for trip planning information check out this link or go to the VA Creeper Trail Club’s site here.

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