The Virginia Creeper Trail is a rails-to-trails system that runs from Whitetop, Virginia (right on the border with North Carolina), through Damascus, then back up to Abingdon. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a multi-purpose rail trail. This was one of our favorite experiences, and I will give you the conclusion first: if you have a family that loves to be outside, go do this! The Virginia Creeper Trail is a nationally acclaimed Rails-to-Trails project that draws visitors from all across the country. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a rails-to-trails system that runs from Whitetop, Virginia (right on the border with North Carolina), through Damascus, then back up to Abingdon. Required fields are marked *. The most common trip for first-timers (and what we did), is to ride from Whitetop to Damascus. Overview. The entire trail is 34.3 miles, yet read on for tips as most families and beginners do only half in a day. While we were committed to having a/c for end of July camping, it turns out the weather was so mild it wasn’t necessary! But this trip was incredibly successful and easy! The Virginia Creeper Trail runs on a rail right-of-way dating to the 1880s. Adventure Damascus Bicycles, the first full-service bicycle shop with rentals & shuttle service on the Va Creeper Trail, has been the go to service since 1998. The VCTC partners with other trail stakeholders to support a safe and enjoyable experience for all trail users. If you don’t want to camp, consider Abingdon. How Kids + Traditional Life = Travel + Adventure + Fun. It has more options for lodging, as well. Decide which portion of the trail you are going to do, and which way. Note that bikes towing trailers/child carriers are available for rent and will work (although some areas are rocky and bumpy, so be sure to cushion your little one). Sharing our road trip on Instagram a few weeks ago, I received the most questions on our family bike ride along the Virginia Creeper Trail. And so, I worried that our trip would end in bike wrecks, complaints about exhaustion, someone not being able to make the trek, sunburn, bug bites…. Both towns offer easy access to the Creeper Trail and outfitters that can rent bikes and provide shuttle services. The trail runs from The Abingdon through Damascus to Whitetop, Va, near the North Carolina state line -through National Forest and crosses numerous trestles. In addition to the VCT, there are many other outdoor adventures available including paddling and fishing on the South Holston River and hiking in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The trail is a steady climb the entire way, gaining 1600 feet in elevation. We wish we had stayed one day longer to allow for some good Mount Rogers hiking, too, but we had already made plans to move on. Tips for a Family Trip on the Virginia Creeper Trail, Family Friday Five: Back to School Humor and Hiking Tshirts, Tips on Buying a Pop Up Camper (& why they are the best!). Even novice bikers can tackle this without working up a sweat. The Virginia Creeper Trail Club is the local non-government organization that organizes clean-ups and does maintenance projects, helping to repair the 47 trestles on the trail. Click on the links below to learn all about lodging, dining and outdoor rec and cultural opportunities. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Virginia Creeper Trail, Damascus: Address, Phone Number, Virginia Creeper Trail Reviews: 5/5. Adventure Damascus, Inc./laughing dog shuttle co., inc./sundog outfitter is an equal opportunity employer and provider. The U. S. Forest Service administers the trail from the North Carolina line to Damascus. Creeper Zipline is a 4-line zipline at the top of the Virginia Creeper Trail in Whitetop; the bike shuttles will drop you off here, so you can go for a quick zipline canopy tour before hopping on your bicycle and coasting back to Damascus. CHECK YOUR BIKE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE PARKING LOT! Find lodging in Abingdon or camp in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. It's within sight of Whitetop Station, and the bike shuttles will drop you off there before your ride. A person biking on the Virginia Capital Trail by VDOT. Whether you’re visiting the region specifically for the Creeper Trail or visiting for another reason and wish to enjoy the trail while you’re here, we think you’ve made a great choice. T he Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34 mile multiple-use trail rail trail in Southwest Virginia (SWVA). You can see from this general elevation guide that Damascus (at under 2,000 ft) sits at the bottom of a “U” shape – meaning it’s the lowest elevation. from Green Spring Road (Abingdon) to Whitetop Station (Whitetop). The Creeper trail is one of the most popular rail trails in Virginia. Although the Virginia Creeper train sounded its last whistle in 1977, the 34-mile segment of the Virginia Creeper Trail near the mountainous North Carolina–Virginia border sees as much, or more, traffic today. As a travel-lover, I not only want our experiences as we roam this earth to be safe and healthy, I also want them to be rewarding and FUN. We decided to park at Whitetop and be shuttled back from Damascus when finished. In June 1987, Congress passed an act recognizing the Virginia Creeper Trail as a National Recreation Trail, and work began in earnest to repair broken bridges, remove tracks, and create what we know today. A path that crosses the Appalachian Trail, Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail runs 56 km (35 mi) through the forests of southwestern Virginia. At $25 bucks it seemed like a no-brainer. We came across the Creeper Trail Zipline while planning a bike ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail spans 32.7 mi. The Virginia Creeper Trail The Virginia Creeper Trail (VCT) is a 34-mile long rail trail with trailheads in Abingdon (elevation 2065) and Whitetop Station (elevation 3576), Virginia. Follow trail etiquette: when passing a biker, announce yourself. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a recreational trail (rails to trails) located in Southwest Virginia (SWVA). Virginia Creeper Trail, Damascus: Address, Phone Number, Virginia Creeper Trail Reviews: 5/5. It has terrific restaurants, walkable streets, and a craft brewery. Read more about us and our philosophy here. Pack provisions, and wear layers (it can be cold in the mornings at Whitetop). The elevation at Whitetop Station is 3500 feet (1.07 km), descending … It’s important to ensure your group is set up with the right equipment. The railroad was originally built in the 1880’s, but ran its last train in 1977. Whether you want to ride the now famous 17 mile downhill ride from Whitetop Station to our front door or continue the ride to historic Abingdon, we can arrange a trip to suit your needs. John rode the trail for two days and enjoyed all of those attributes. A trestle bridge along the Virginia Creeper Trailer, Whitetop Station Section. If you are good with a set start time (we weren’t), you can shuttle to your start point, and have your car at the end. Upon its demise as a successful train operation, there was significant litigation and general argument about what would happen to the miles upon miles of trestles, bridges, and green space. Abingdon and Damascus are unique and charming towns that welcome visitors through all four seasons. Your email address will not be published. This was a great family trip. Virginia Creeper Trail, Damascus: 1.066 yorum, makale ve 746 resme bakın. And thanks for following The Trip! In addition to endless outdoor experiences, Southwest Virginia is also known for its hospitality and its traditional mountain music scene. Be thorough and make sure everything is good to go before starting your ride. Before going, you need to decide which portion of the Creeper Trail you want to do, and in which direction. The trail, built along the foundation of the Norfolk and Western rail line winds its’ way through the Mount Rogers Recreational Area. The trail from Whitetop to Damascus eventually parallels the Holston River, and there are wonderful places to stop and wade. Set up bike rentals and a shuttle. As I mentioned, the entire trail today is 34.3 miles. The wash and bathroom facilities weren’t great, but they were adequate and available. The Virginia Creeper Trail offers an outstanding cycling experience for everyone from families with small children to advanced riders. Wear a helmet!! a day year round, that does not mean that all bike shops or shuttle services are operating year round, many businesses associated with the trail close for the Winter, it is always a good idea to call ahead for info. However, the grade is gentle and never exceeds 5%. (honestly, being in my head is exhausting). Creeper Trail merchandise makes great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers! You will have to arrange a shuttle. © 2020 Virginia Creeper Trail Club. It owes its popularity to outstanding scenery, encompassing two geographic regions of Virginia. The 33.4-mile Virginia Creeper Trail follows an old railway corridor built in the early 1900s for the Virginia-Carolina Railroad. Do not ask private residents for water, use of phone or bathroom MM31 MM32 46 MM33 But usually, Damascus has a brewery open on the weekends, ice cream shops and diners. We rode during COVID-19 pandemic days and on a Monday, so not much was open along the way (including the bathrooms) or once we got to Damascus. Our kids has a wonderful time exploring the little trails around the site. This was nearly entirely downhill, with beautiful places to stop (we packed a picnic and enjoyed a spot under a bridge). And yes, you can arrange a shuttle with your own equipment if you choose. View amenities, descriptions, reviews, photos, itineraries, and directions on … Damascus is the most popular point to enter the Virginia Creeper Trail. But by going on a Monday, we didn’t have to deal with crowding on the trail. If you read all of that text, I am incredibly grateful (and impressed). RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY! The terrain changes, and seats with shocks, bikes with gears and water cages for easy access were important. It is a combination of packed direct, gravel, bumpy rock, and some paved areas. The Virginia Creeper Trail Club (VCTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the Creeper Trail corridor. Either way has pros and cons, but expect a 20 minute shuttle ride (and perhaps a wait for your shuttle) into your planning. This article was first published on October 1, 2019. The bike shops will provide this service, you just have to decide which way you want to be shuttled! Visit our online shop here!. But if you want the Cliff’s Notes version, here’s what you need to know: Learn more about the Virginia Creeper Trail National Trail here. It reaches to the second highest mountain peak in Virginia in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (which is where we camped, more below). Welcome to the Virginia Creeper Trail. Bicycle wheels, feet and hooves now replace rail cars, today allowing everyone to enjoy this wooded, pack-gravel route. Even though we have bikes at home, we rented using this company with a Whitetop location, but there are many outfitters throughout the area (see a list). Even so, the Virginia Creeper Trail has remained popular because people are looking for outdoor recreation in a small-town, safe community, Livingston said. The Virginia Creeper Trail is open 24 hrs. Whitetop is the highest point (nearing 4,000 ft). It changes and makes for an interesting ride the whole time. Abingdon, Va is a beautiful, quaint town in southwest Virginia. Riding the Virginia Creeper bike trail from Whitetop Station to Damascus, VA. 20 miles of nicely graded and maintained trail through some awesome scenery. As plans for the trail move forward, and with a growing need for more recreational space, especially during the pandemic, we thought we would share this piece with you again.. We chose Grindstone as it had hookups. Your email address will not be published. 1667 Old Park Rd., Whitetop, VA, 276.388.2817, creeperzipline.com Well, we were thrilled to use it yet again (and we’re pretty committed to social distancing recommendations). using this company with a Whitetop location. When the US Forest Service entered and offered to purchase chunks of the trail, the remaining sections to be under the ownership of various towns, it became possible to see a vision for this long swath of land. We had to make a few tweaks and make sure everyone was comfortable and safe before pulling out on our 20 mile ride. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a picturesque path that is not only beautiful but historical. Read more about us and our philosophy here. Plan to take over 2 hours and enjoy the journey. Southwest Virginia is a great place for a relaxing getaway. shuttle services to portions of the virginia creeper trail are authorized under permit from the US forest service, george washington & Jefferson National forests. In summer of 1989, the Virginia Creeper Trail opened to the public. While going from Abingdon, VA to Damascus can be relatively flat, Damascus to Whitetop is definitely NOT. Visitors on foot and horseback follow Laurel Creek up to the elevated town of Whitetop. Damascus (elevation 1930) is known as “Trail Town, USA”, as it … (Note: a global pandemic does NOT help with this.)Â. See more ideas about virginia creeper trail, virginia creeper, trail. The Virginia Creeper Trail is open to hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. The Virginia Creeper Trail is the retired corridor of the Virginia - Carolina Railroad. The Virginia Creeper stretches 34 miles from Abingdon, Virginia down through to the lovely town of Damascus, Va (known as the Heart of the Va Creeper) along the Whitetop Laurel River and up to its highest point Whitetop Station near the NC State Line at Whitetop, Virginia. The Mount Rogers National Recreation Area has plenty of options. It is an easy, four line run, … The Blue Ridge Mountains lie to the east, and the Ridge and Valley province of Virginia extends to the west. (Bike shops will rent them but we brought our own.). Not only that but, it offers access to great dining, theater and accommodations. Abingdon is much larger than Damascus, with a cute, vibrant, downtown historic area. The Family Trip is our online magazine dedicated to supporting and encouraging families in an active, healthy, and traveling life. The trail passes through some of the most beautiful, rugged, untouched landscape; hugs a mountain river; weaves through historic towns; and opens up onto majestic Virginia farmland. Read on for what you need to know to take your family on the Virginia Creeper Trail. For my family, we go to Abingdon for two reasons: biking the Virginia Creeper Trail (a 34 mile rails to trails pathway) and hiking the trails at Grayson Highlands State Park, famous for its soaring views and wild ponies. Setup Your Trip Planning Widget For best results, use the customized Trip Planning Widget for Virginia Creeper Trail Club on your website.It has all the advantages mentioned above, plus users to your site can conveniently access it directly on your site. Why not stay a while? Also, some shops will rent child seats or third wheel bikes. Whether you’re visiting the region specifically for the Creeper Trail or visiting for another reason and wish to enjoy the trail while you’re here, we think you’ve made a great choice. From there, it's 17 miles of continuous downhill back to Damascus. The Creeper Trail received its name for the methodical way the train moved up the gradual incline to the top of the mountain. All rights reserved. T he Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile-long former railroad bed that has become a multi-purpose trail stretching from the mountains to the valleys. Damascus is much smaller and caters to the Appalachian Trail through-hikers. There are numerous outfitters in Damascus where visitors can rent bikes and get shuttled to the trail head on White Top Mountain. Visitors to your site will appreciate you offering them help with planning their vacation. The midpoint of this rail trail is the town of Damascus, Virginia. Biking without stopping would have taken us just over 2 hours, but we took our time and enjoyed the journey. This trail runs from Whitetop, Virginia, near the North Carolina state line through National Forest and crossing numerous restored trestles and crossing the Appalachian Trail at several trail junctions through Damascus, VA (Trail Town USA) and onto its end point in Abingdon, VA. But my mom-mind always runs into dark places, and I tend to worry a lot. Planning and conflict resolution among the primary stakeholders is handled via Trail Advisory Board. In the early part of the last century, the rail line carried lumber to feed the busy sawmills of Virginia and North Carolina. ABINGDON, Va. — The Virginia Creeper Trail — which closed in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic — reopened Tuesday, but facilities and services along the trail will remain closed. We decided to camp – remember that pop up we bought that we shared on Instagram? This 17-mile section of the trail runs from Damascus, VA to Whitetop Station. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a nationally acclaimed Rails-to-Trails project that draws visitors from all across the country. The Damascus to Abingdon section is administered by the two towns. Yet the campsites were big, with a lot of privacy, and moss covered boulders under towering pines made the whole place feel magical. Apr 7, 2013 - Photos taken on the Virginia Creeper Trail in Southwest Virginia. Portions of the trail are laid atop reconstructed train trestles through the trees and over rolling hills. The entire trail is 34.3 miles, yet read on for tips as most families and beginners do only half in a day. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a downhill biking trail suitable for almost any age. Let’s be safe! Grindstone was, by far, the prettiest campsite we’ve stayed at as a family. Where visitors can rent bikes and provide shuttle services beautiful places to stop ( packed... 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