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Trip Report Riding the Virginia Creeper Trail

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This trail on a converted rail bed runs from White Top Mountain to Abingdon, VA. The first seventeen miles are basically downhill, requiring almost no pedaling. Virtually any person who can ride a bike, can ride this trail. I saw young and old riders, fit and not at all fit riders and everyone was having a blast. The day was grey and cloudy, but it didn't rain so it was very nice. Not too hot and not too chilly and plenty of places along the trail to take a break.

Riders generally base in either Damascus or Abingdon. There are a number of shuttle services which will take you and your bike up to White Top. From there many riders ride only the first seventeen mile leg to Damascus and have shuttle pick up there. For more experienced riders the next seventeen miles is not a terribly challenging ride but it is a bit more uphill and you never stop pedaling. I have done both and would recommend that riders of limited ability stick with just Damascus. For the really tough riders, the ride up the hill to White Top is challenging but fun.

If you go on a weekend be prepared for a crowd, many of them not well supervised children. I was amazed at the number of cyclists riding without helmets. Not smart.

We stayed in Abingdon on previous visits. There are a number of bed and breakfasts and the very elegant Martha Washington Inn located there. For this trip we stayed in the River Trail Cabins in Damascus. They are small well equpped cabins. You park in front with a none too charming view of a grocery store and some fairly run down houses, however walk through and on to your back porch overlooking Laurel Creek and the Creeper Trail and you could be out in the wilderness. They are reasonably priced, within a mile of restaurants and coffee shops and very clean. I didn't much like the bed, too soft and not comfortable. My friends had two children with them. The kids shared a pullout sofa which they did not think was very comfortable. All in all we liked it. Full review on TA along with my restaurant reviews.

Great weekend getaway!

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