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The Virginia Creeper Trail

Hiking and biking the Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a well-maintained, 34.5 mile long trail that stretches from historic Abingdon, Va to the North Carolina border near Whitetop Mountain.

The trail originally began as a Native American footpath, and it was later used by Daniel Boone and other explorers as they traveled westward to open up the wilderness for settlement.

Around the turn of the 20th century, timber and iron ore operations in the region led to the development of a railroad along the path to transport these and other materials.

By the latter part of the century, the usefulness of the railroad had run its course. The Virginia Creeper locomotive made her last run on March 31, 1977, ending an era that saw southwest Virginia transformed from a relative wilderness to the wonderful place it is today.

As part of the "Rails To Trails" project, the railroad tracks were taken up and replaced with a wonderful hiking and biking trail. In the few short years of the Virginia Creeper Trail's existence, it has become one of the most popular trails in the world.

The Virginia Creeper Trail begins in Abingdon and runs generally south to the Virginia-North Carolina state line. Along the way it passes through a lot of privately owned property and several communities, including Watauga, Alvarado, Damascus, Taylor's Valley, Green Cove and Whitetop.

The scenery along the trail is among the most beautiful in the world! You'll encounter winding rivers, rushing streams, and numerous waterfalls as well as meadows filled with colorful wildflowers. And of course the autumn leaves become spectacular mosaics filled with countless shades of red, orange, yellow and purple.

One of the focal points of the Virginia Creeper Trail is the scenic town of Damascus, Va. Damascus is quite simply a hiker's and biker's paradise! In addition to the Creeper Trail, the town also features three other trails including the world famous Appalachian Trail.

There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of the Creeper trail than to take a bicycle ride from Whitetop Station to Damascus. This amazing ride is 17 miles of rugged beauty, and it's all downhill!

All you need to do is stop in and visit one of the local bike shops. They'll rent you a bicycle and provide a shuttle ride to Whitetop Station where you'll get out and take off, coasting virtually the entire 17 mile trip back to Damascus!

Yes, the Virginia Creeper Trail offers something for everyone. Whether you enjoy taking a leisurely walk through picturesque countryside or enjoying some world-class hiking and biking, you're sure to find an adventure you'll never forget!

About the author:

Rick Rouse is the owner of RLROUSE Directory & Informational Resources, one of the largest and most visited websites in the Mountain Empire.

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