Several years ago our family visited The Virginia Creeper Trail, in Abingdon Virginia. I blogged about it here. I absolutely loved that trip and for years wanted to go back. Not only did I want to go back because it was beautiful and exciting but also because my oldest child wasn't able to go with us. We came home telling him about how much fun it was but simply telling someone doesn't do it justice. For years he promised to go back with me on a special son/mom trip. I figured with him graduating and getting ready for collage that was just a pipe dream....so I was more that surprised when he said he wanted to take "our trip" following graduation instead of the traditional week at the beach with his friends.
The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34 mile rail to trail in Abingdon Virginia. Both private and federal land make up the trail that passes straight through the town of Damascus. And that is where Tommy and I started our adventure.
About half way along the trail, Damascus hosts several bike/shuttle/adventure shops that can help you get out on the trail. They aren't necessary though. You can just hop on the trail and take off. But depending on which direction you are going you might have a pretty big hill to climb! What the shuttles do is allow you to be dropped off at the peak of the trail so that all you have to do is coast down. And by coast I mean zoom! Don't have a bike? Don't worry. Most of the shops rent bikes along with offering the shuttles. We used Adventure Damascus for our shuttle-for the two of us it was $28 to be carried up to the top at Whitetop Station. From there we coasted (zoomed) down back to Damascus. I think, don't hold me to it, that it's 17 miles back down to the town.
Most of the trail runs along the Whitetop Laurel River. You cross 17 (again don't hold me to that number) trestles before getting back to Damascus from Whitetop Station. The Appalachian Trail intersects with the trail at least once that we know of. Tommy and I stopped biking for a while to hike a small portion of the AT. I think both Tommy and I grinned the entire way down we were biking.
After about 3 hours of biking/hiking we were back in town. It occurred to both of us that it was so much fun we should get a shuttle right back up to the top and do it again! But we had other adventures to get to! I'll post more on that soon!
It was easily one of my favorite trips. Thank you Tommy for keeping that promise.