I first learned about Virginia Creeper Trail by Jerry, another youth leader at Piedmont. We took the youth May 24, 2014. Jerry also said it got it’s name because when the train would go up the the mountain, it would creep going up it.
We took the youth again in May 2015 and also May 2016. Our youth love going here every year. I myself would love to do this during the fall to see the changing of the colors of the leaves.
Virginia Creeper Trail
The VA Creeper Trail stretches 34 miles from Abingdon, Virginia down thru the lovely town of Damascus. I believe we did the 13 mile downhill experience. We took a shuttle bus to the top and rode the bikes down. Virginia Creeper Trail is considered by many people to be the most scenic bike trail in the United States.
A rare 4-8-0 steam locomotive sits aside the trail head at Abingdon, VA and several restored stations survive along the trail itself. Two railroad cabooses are also located along the trail; one at the midpoint in Damascus and another at Taylors Valley.
One act of courtesy is calling out before you go to pass another biker or group of bikers. So that the person in front of you knows that you are about to pass them.
One thing you can do is incorporate a Bible lesson while on the trail. Share about God and his Creation, the nature around you. There is a creek you travel adjacent to. You can even see a small water fall at one spot if you stop along the trail.
We rode Shuttle and rented bikes from Blue Blaze Bicycle & Shuttle Service. According to Jerry, they take you further up the trail, to the White Top Mountain Trail Head. Plus once you descend and reach the caboose in Damascus, VA, the company is just around the corner. From where Blue Blaze dropped us off, we got to descend 18 miles. It is a gradual downhill. There was very little peddling. Some flat areas, mostly near where stations were or rest stops. Blue Blaze offers cruiser bikes and comfort bikes, I got to ride on a comfort bike and I loved it.
Blue Blaze claims to be the original and largest shuttle service. According to Google Maps, Blue Blaze is 114 miles from my house to their location in Damascus, VA. It should take about 2 hours to get there.
There is one spot just a little off the trail, where you can stop to eat. You can bring your own food to eat or eat at the facility at that location. I believe it is just before you get back into Damascus. There is a picnic area and even shade at this spot. Of course the shade may vary based on the time of day it is.
I tried to track the trail with my Sports Tracker app. I did see that I gone like 10 mph down the hill at one point in time. I wished my phone was fully charged before we descended the trail. My phone died on my 1 mile to the end of the trail. I was so close to having that trail tracked on my sports tracking app. That just gives me a reason to go back and do it again. This time with a fresh fully charged battery.
Did you also know that the Appalachian Trail is near the VA Creeper Trail? Maybe you can hop over a split moment and then you can say you been on part of the Appalachian Trail (AT).
Our youth loved this experience. They want to go back to the Virginia Creeper Trail in the fall. They want to see the color changing leaves, the foliage. I think that would be a great time to go. Well I think anytime would be. Not too sure about doing in the snow, but that may be an experience you would never forget I am sure. I enjoy this each year we do this. I look forward to my next trip to the Virginia Creeper Trail, just like our youth do too.
Have you been creeping on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Please share your experience. Did you camp along the trail? Did you do the whole trail or half the trail? Did you go down the trail or up the trail? I want to hear from you.
First Published June 17, 2014.