postheadericon Creep the Creeper ~ The Virginia Creeper Trail

 

This past weekend we headed up to Virginia to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail.  This is one of the easiest and prettiest bike rides we’ve ever done.  It’s a tree covered pea-gravel trail that takes you along rolling farms and running creeks crossing over numerous picture perfect trestles.  If you’re ever in southwest Virginia you must take the time to do this ride!

We made reservations with JC’s Outdoors (an awesome bike shop) and they shuttled us to Whitetop where we started our 17 mile coast down the trail all the way to Damascus, Virginia.  People say the ride takes anywhere from 2.5 – 3 hours depending on your pace and how much you stop to enjoy the surroundings, but it actually took us over 4 hours because we really took our time “taking it all in!”  We stopped to see the waterfalls, take pictures, walk through some Christmas trees, eat, and play. 


Aside from the many trestles and water spots along the trail we stopped at the old railroad station at Green Cove.  Right next door is a really cool playground that the kids enjoyed playing on.  There are also rest rooms at this spot. 

We also stopped for snacks at Rooster’s Rest Stop and then again for dinner at the Virginia Creeper Cafe which was featured in an article by Southern Living Magazine as having amazing chocolate cake back in 2004.  They serve everything from hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches to home-made fudge, cookies, and brownies.  You can sit inside or outside!

Facts:

  • The trail is actually 33.4 miles total stretching from Abingdon, VA down thru Damascus (JC’s Outdoors Location) along to Whitetop Laurel River and up to its highest point ~ Whitetop Station near the NC State Line at Whitetop, VA
  • Our ride was from Whitetop to Damascus:  17 miles downhill.  The shuttle ride was about 35 minutes.
  • There are 47 trestles on the trail.
  • Bathrooms are available in various locations.
  • Cell coverage is poor.
  • The last 3 miles flatten out a bit.
  • Over 100,000 people visit the trail each year.

Tips:

  • Dress appropriately, it’s cooler higher in the mountain.  Hats and Gloves are good for cool windy days.
  • Pack snacks and drinks.  There are a few places to stop and purchase, but you may want to enjoy a quick picnic near a creek or waterfall. 
  • Make reservations with JC’s Outdoors for one of their many scheduled departure times!

As you can see from the pictures it is very colorful in Damascus right now!  Higher up on the trail the trees were pretty bare, but as we got lower we saw more fall foliage!  It’s a great time to go!!


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