Things to Do - Outdoor Adventure

Southwest Virginia is a picturesque and unspoiled region.

biking on the Virginia Creeper TrailSo, the region around Abingdon is an outdoor lover’s dream come true.

 

The editors of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine chose the Virginia Creeper Trail as the best rail trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s 34 miles of scenic fun for the whole family.

 

The Virginia Creeper Trail owes its unusual name to the way locals referred to the old steam engines laboring up mountain grades with heavy loads of lumber and iron ore. Today, it is widely considered one of the finest rails-to-trails examples in the east. The trail is used by walkers, runners, horseback riders and lots of bikers.  Find out more >

 

The rivers, lakes and streams around Abingdon offer lots of opportunities for serious outdoor enthusiasts. “Float the Fork” with a kayak trip on the North Fork of the Holston River through Adventure Mendota. The clear, cool waters are a favorite for anglers hoping to hook trout, bass, walleye and more.  In fact, one of the best fly fishing streams in Virginia is White Top Laurel Creek, which runs alongside the Virginia Creeper Trail. Find out more >

 

wild ponies grazing at Grayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State Park and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area are home to the highest peak in Virginia and some of the most scenic views in the state. The famous Appalachian Trail winds through the region, where hikers can encounter wild ponies grazing in the endless meadows.  The area offers opportunities for camping and backpacking adventures, as well as a number of accessible day hikes.  Browse a list of recommended day hikes >

 

 

South Holston Lake, which spans the Virginia-Tennessee border, is a 7580-acre reservoir. Much of the shoreline is undeveloped and surrounded by mountains, making it one of the most scenic lakes in Virginia. Local sporting goods shops and outfitters can assist with fishing licenses, gear and maybe even directions to a secret fishing spot. Find out more >

  • Abingdon Muster Grounds

    1780 Muster Place

    p: 276-525-1050
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    hours: Open Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m

    The 9-acre Abingdon Muster Grounds is the premier center for Colonial Backcountry history from the American Revolutionary Period in Southwest Virginia

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    Historic Sights and SoundsThe 9-acre Abingdon Muster Grounds is the premier center for Colonial Backcountry history from the American Revolutionary Period in Southwest Virginia.

    Visit the Keller Interpretive Center, walk a short section of the Overmountain Victory Trail, or enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Throughout the year the Muster Grounds are home to historical reenactments; visit the website for more information.

    The Muster Grounds are the northern trailhead for the Overmountain Victory Trail, a 330-mile National Historic Trail. The trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780, which helped decide the outcome of the Revolutionary War.

    The Keller Interpretive Center helps visitors discover what life was like for the Overmountain Men, backcountry Women, African-Americans and Native Americans, as well as British Loyalists, and a history of Washington County — the Overmountain region of Southwest Virginia. Artifacts used at the Battle of Kings Mountain and others from the late 18th-century Overmountain region are on display.

    The Eastern National sales area provides something special and unique – for all ages – to take home to remember their experience at the Muster Grounds.

  • Adventure Mendota

    p: (276) 645-1020
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    Float the Fork. Adventure Mendota offers tubing, kayaking, and fishing on the North Fork of the Holston River, just outside Abingdon.

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    Opening for the season Saturday May 13, 2017  – Accepting Reservations Now! Get off the grid and into the river with Adventure Mendota!  Adventure Mendota offers guests an opportunity to lay their cell phones and cares aside and spend quality time enjoying a kayaking or fishing adventure on the North Fork of the Holston River in Mendota, Virginia.  Our mellow river and recreational kayaks are perfect for beginning kayakers.  Enjoy picnicking on the riverbank under the weeping willows or paddling in high-quality, sit-on-top kayaks when you "Float the Fork" with Adventure Mendota.
    Adventure Mendota offers an upriver route for those owning their own kayaks who wish to fish while they kayak.   If you wish to spend the night in a quiet, rural setting, they also offer overnight accommodations on site at RiverCliff Cottage.
  • Appalachian Trail

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    Virginia is home to 544 miles of the Appalachian Trail, more miles than any other state.

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    Abingdon was designated as an Appalachian Trail Community™ through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 2012. The trail intersects with the Virginia Creeper Trail and runs through Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

    In partnership with Front Royal and Waynesboro, Abingdon developed the Virginia Appalachian Trail Towns Smart Phone application which is available for free through Itunes and GooglePlay.

    Download the app before heading out on your journey. No need to worry about internet access- you can have VA Trail Towns Appall the towns’ resources in the palm of your hand without worrying about your smart phones connection while on the AT. The Virginia Appalachian Trail Towns app offers information about Virginia towns located along the Appalachian Trail. Hiker Resources available in these towns are highlighted with the following categories: Hiker Resources, Events, Local Businesses, Outdoor Recreation, and Packages & Itineraries. This app is a must have for any hiker, day or thru, that wants to explore the Virginia section of the Appalachian Trail and the towns supporting those hikers.

  • Backbone Rock Recreation Area

    Watauga Ranger District, Cherokee National Forest

    p: 423-735-0367
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    One of the world's most interesting rock formations. Camping on-site.

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    Backbone Rock Recreation Area is located along Beaverdam Creek in northern Johnson County. Backbone Rock gets its name from a spur ridge on Holston Mountain that abrubtly ends at a bend in Beaverdam Creek.

    A tunnel was drilled through the rock in 1901 to allow railroad access between Shady Valley and Damascus, VA. Motorists pass through what is known as "The Shortest Tunnel in the World" as they travel along TN 133. In the 1930s The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed the recreation area for day use, constructing two picnic shelters and hiking trails that incorporated native stonework. The campground was added in the 1960s and rehabilitated in the mid 1990s.

  • Beartree Recreation Area

    Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Rt. 1, Box 303 Marion, VA 24354

    p: 276-783-5196

    Enjoy the Mount Rogers Area with us!

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    Beartree Recreation Area is located within the greater Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Campground located in diverse vegetation. Facilities provided include restrooms and a playground. Iron Mountain Trail and surrounding trails open year-round. This area also offers a 14 acre lake for fishing or swimming. A Virginia state fishing license, trout stamp, and National Forest stamp are required. These can be purchased at local stores, but not at the campground.

  • Blue Ridge Highlands Fishing Trail

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    A web resource for fresh water fishing in Smyth, Wythe, Washington and Grayson Counties in the Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia. 

  • Callebs Cove Campground

    25136 Whitaker Hollow Road

    p: 276-475-5222

    For RVs and Campers, Callebs Cove Campground invites you to enjoy the great outdoors in one of Southwest Virginia's most attractive settings.

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     Located on scenic South Holston Lake, Callebs Cove offers fully equipped campsites and a bathhouse, nestled on over 12 acres. Amenities include on-site manageent and security, firewood, washer and dryer, swimming, fishing, and more. Open year-round. 
  • Clear Creek Golf Course

    Bristol, VA

    732 Harleywood Road

    p: 276-466-4833
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    A spectacular golf course

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    A newly developed golf course, designed by Chris Chrisman and Jack Sykes, offers the beautiful scenery of this mountainous region combined with challenges for golfers of all playing skills. Clear Creek Golf Course remains open year round for the public. Driving range and practice facilities are also available and instruction by PGA professional is offered.

  • Creek Side RV Park

    100 Railroad Ave, Damascus VA

    p: 276-475-5276
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    Located in the middle of the town of Damascus. Across from the Bike Station. Full Facilities.

  • Creeper Trail Campground

    Whitetop, VA

    2248 Whitetop Gap Rd

    p: 276-388-3426
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    Come ride the Creeper Trail and stay with us!

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    Creeper Trail Campground is conveniently located at the head of one of Virginia's most scenic hike and bike trails, the Virginia Creeper Trail. The Virginia Creeper Trail is an old railroad grade that was converted to a trail. It winds along the Whitetop Laurel Creek with beautiful wooded and farmland scenery. There are lots of great swimming holes along the way.

  • Creeper Trail Zipline

    1667 Old Park Road Whitetop, VA 24292

    p: (276) 388-2817
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    hours: Open daily, May - Oct, weather permitting

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    The Creeper Trail Zipline tour includes 4 cables, with over 3000 ft of cable to ride. The course runs in and out of the forest, with fantastic views of the mountains. Our last cable is 1000 ft and you can reach speeds of 35 mph as you zip your way back to your final platform. We want you to have a great time, but safety is our primary concern. Our course, equipment and procedures are ACCT, (Association of Challenge Course) inspected and certified and our continual guide training ensures you will be in great hands. You must be at least 6yrs old and weigh between 60 and 250 lbs to ride the zipline. Our harnesses can accommodate up to a 40 inch waist. Please wear shoes that strap on your feet, (no flip-flops).

  • Deer Field Golf Course

    Damascus, VA

    33517 Golfer's Drive

    p: 276-475-5649
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    Experience the most scenic golf in Southwest Virginia

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    Deer Field Golf Course offers a challenge and delight to golfers of all ages and abilities at an affordable price. Come and enjoy your play and the spectacular views.

  • Fish Virginia First

    A major part of Washington County is in the Great Valley region of Virginia, where Abingdon, the County Seat, was established. Major fishing holes include Hidden Valley Lake, Bear Creek Lake and South Holston Reservoir.

  • Fox Creek Horse Camp

    Troutdale, VA

    3078 Fairwood Road

    p: 276-783-5196
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    Provides easy access to the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.

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     What this horse camp lacks in amenities, it makes up for in unparalleled access to the most scenic trail riding in our region. Ride from your campsite and be within the Mount Rogers High Country for a spectacle day of riding that is arguably the best in the eastern U.S. Showers, water, and septic dump station are available at nearby Grindstone Campground for an additional fee. It has camping units and portable toilets. No potable water. Open field for camping. Hitching posts.

  • Grayson Highlands State Park

    Mouth of Wilson, VA

    829 Grayson Highlands Lane

    p: 276-579-7092, 1-800-933-PARK
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    "You'll feel like you are on top of the world here"

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    This mountain park is next to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in the Jefferson National Forest. Grayson Highlands State Park was originally named Mount Rogers State Park and was established in 1965. Pets are allowed in the park but not allowed inside public facilities including the bathhouses, visitor center and office.

  • Greenway Creek Golf Course

    Glade Spring, VA

    36012 Lee Highway

    p: 276-429-2626
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    18 hole regulation length golf course with three sets of tee boxes for a fun but challenging golf experience.

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    The 18-hole "Greenway Creek" course at the Greenway Creek Golf Course facility in Glade Spring, Virginia features 5,552 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 68 . The course rating is 65.6 and it has a slope rating of 98.  Designed by John Casey/Jeff Casey, the Greenway Creek golf course opened in 1995. Jeff Casey manages the course as the President.

  • Grindstone Campground

    Troutdale, VA 24378

    1946 Laurel Valley Road

    p: 276-388-3983
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    "High-Elevation Campground providing cool, shaded summer camping."

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    Located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Grindstone is in Fairwood Valley, with pastures and wooded hillsides. The valley is known for outstanding trout fishing in Fox Creek. Facilities provided include restrooms, picnic tables and two impact areas. Popular activities include fishing, hiking the nature trails, horseback riding and interpretive programs. Firewood is sold at the campground. There is a local store within 5 miles of the site. Water play area and playground equipment available.

  • Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center

    300 Stanley Street

    p: 276-623-5279
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    Whether you are visiting or a resident, the Coomes Recreation Center has something for you.

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    Finished in 1994 the Coomes Recreation Center is the hub of Abingdon Parks and Recreation Department. This modern recreation and fitness complex enhances the programs and events of the town and provides opportunities for improving the quality of life for all our residents and visitors. Special events are held year round with the July 4 celebrations being one of the highlights. The facilities offer visiting families the opportunity to swim, play, and just relax during the day.

  • Hidden Valley Lake

    US-19 and US-58 N Jefferson, VA 24210

    A lazy roll through a section of Virginia's Highlands has been known to make visitors want to stay forever.

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    This 61-acre Department-owned impoundment is in the Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Area in Washington County. Hidden Valley Lake is located in the mountains at about 3,500 feet of elevation. The south side of the lake is almost completely forested, and the north side is a mixture of woods and open lands. These open lands provide good bank access for anglers. Hidden Valley Lake supports populations self-sustaining populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, and black crappie. Channel catfish and northern pike are stocked.

  • Highlands Ski & Outdoor Center

    909 East Main Street

    p: 276-628-1329
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    hours: MONDAY - FRIDAY 10am-7pm, SATURDAY 9am-7pm, SUNDAY 12pm-6pm

    "The Region's Choice in Quality Outdoor Equipment"

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    Highland Ski & Outdoor Center, located in Abingdon, Virginia, is a specialty retail shop that can furnish you in outdoor equipment and clothing to suit any kind of weather for all of your favorite outdoor activities.

  • Hurricane Campground

    Mount Rodgers Recreation Area

    2021 Hurricane Campground Road, Sugar Grove, VA

    p: 800-628-7202
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    Hurricane Campground provides an excellent base camp from which to explore the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area by foot, horse, or mountain bike.

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    Hurricane has 30 camping units with parking spurs, picnic tables and fireplaces. Hurrican Knob Trail is a 1.5 mile trail in the campground and access to the Appalachian Trail is within a half mile.

  • Iron Horse Campground

    Damascus, VA

    30460 Blossom Road

    p: 276-475-6008

    Campground, Bike and Rental Shuttle, Restaurant and Dance Hall

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    Ironhorse Campground is a family owned full service campground, including cabins on the river. Its restaurant has a menu that includes everything from pizza to steak dinners. They have a large dance hall, with a variety of music and artists every Friday and Saturday nights. Bike Rental and Shuttle Service.

  • Lakeshore Campground

    19417 County Park Rd, Abingdon, VA 24211

    p: 540-628-5394; 276-628-5394
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    Located on beautiful South Holston Lake.

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    Located on South Holston Lake 200 camp sites, sanitation facilities,swimming, boat ramp, boat storage, game room, fishing and telephones. Open April-November
  • Laurel Creek RV Park

    812 Orchard Hill Rd. Damascus,VA 24236

    p: (423) 440-3042 or (276) 492-1040
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    The Laurel Creek RV Park is a full-service, RV-based campground.

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    The 16-site RV park, located along the scenic Laurel Creek in Damascus Virginia is open year-round. The RV park provides a great spot from which to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and the many attractions of Damascus which is also the gateway to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and is a destination for families wanting to experience the out-of-doors in a relaxing setting. In addition, many campers enjoy the convenience of Laurel Creek RV Park as a base of operations in order to take time out and explore this amazing tri-state area!

  • Mahoney's Outfitters

    825 Cummings Street

    p: 276-628-6249
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    hours: M - W 9am - 6pm Thurs - Fri 9am - 9pm Sat 9am - 6pm

    Everything you may need for your Outdoor Recreation Experience

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    Retailer of the finest outdoor adventure equipment available. Including: Hunting, Camping, Hiking, Climbing, Fly Fishing, Running, Casual, Kayaking, Work, Guns, & Knives

  • Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

    A 200,000 acre mountain recreation wonderland within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  The highest point in the state of Virginia as its centerpiece, Mount Rogers.

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    The Mount Rogers Recreation Area includes facilities for hiking, camping and fishing. The old rail bed trail called the Virginia Creeper runs along the Whitetop Laurel Creek from Abingdon, VA to West Jefferson, NC. It is part of the Appalachian Trail that extends from Maine to Georgia.

  • Riverside Campground

    18496 N. Fork River Rd., Abingdon, VA 24210

    p: 276-623-0340
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    Riverside Campground is nestled over 15 beautiful acres with 2000 feet of scenic river frontage on the North Fork Holston River.

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    We offer new updated bath house facilities, an in ground pool, basketball court, volleyball court, horse shoes, arcade, on site laundry, full service store, propane fill station, and some of the best fishing in Virginia.
     
    We have 94 hook up sites with 30 amp access, overnights, monthly, and permanent. (Pull through sites available) We have 38 sites with 20 amp electric and water for tents and pop-ups. Most are located right on the river.
     
    We are located minutes from beautiful, historic Abingdon, Va. home of the Barter Theater, the Virginia Creeper Trail and just a short drive to Bristol Motor Speedway. New to the area is Adventure Mendota, for hours of tubing and Kayaking fun.
     
    We are an easy 15 minute drive from Interstate I-81 (Approximately 10 miles).
  • South Holston Lake

    Exit 17 to VA-75 S

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    Activites near and on the lake include; boating, jet skiing, canoeing, whitewater rafting, skiing, fishing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, caving and hiking

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    South Holston Lake was named for the river that bears the name Steven Holston, an early settler of the Tennesee Valley. The lake is situated on the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains and extend from northeastern Tennessee into Virginia. About 60 % of the shoreline is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest.

  • South Holston Loop - Birding and Wildlife Trail

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    Driving trail that links some of Virginia's best wildlife watching areas with walking and biking trails.

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    Straddling the border between Tennessee and Virginia, the brick red shores of South Holston Lake offer endless surprises including migrant shorebirds, nesting cliff swallows, and bald eagles soaring high overhead. The area's history is highlighted along the Virginia Creeper Trail, an exemplary rails-to-trails project leading from downtown Abingdon onto the scenic slopes of Whitetop Mountain in the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. Such a high diversity of habitats results in prolific wildlife and numerous opportunities for the wildlife enthusiast. The open fields and rolling hills that surround South Holston Lake resound with the songs of indigo bunting and eastern kingbird, which are easily encountered along the Virginia Creeper Trail. Wood duck, muskrat, green heron and painted turtle can be found in the deepest recesses of South Holston Lake's swampier sections. Climbing upwards away from the heat, visitors will encounter cool, clear streams teaming with trout as black-throated blue warbler sing overhead and Louisiana waterthrush chip from stone to stone. Careful exploration is sure to unveil further treasures and add to the memorable experiences.

  • Virginia Creeper Fly Shop

    16501 Jeb Stuart Highway

    p: 276-628-3826
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    A Full Service Full Line Shop for Southwest VA and Northeast TN.

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    The fisheries of our area offer some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the Southeast region. Our guiding waters include in high country first order creeks for wild brookies, browns and rainbows in medium size mountain and foothill streams and the Holston and Watauga TVA tailwaters in nearby NE Tennessee. We also offer Hyde Boat drift trips on the tailwaters for trout and for smallmouth bass on the New and James Rivers. We hold US Forest Service Special Use permits to guide in The Mt Rogers NRA - Jefferson Forest and the Watauga District of the Cherokee Forest. Our guided trips are catch & release only. Offering a full line of the wonderful stuff of fly fishing equipment to meet your angling needs, be it high country creeks, highland streams, tailwaters, smallmouth rivers or saltwater. Fly bins offer a wide variety of patterns for each season and fishery type. If you tie your own, then check out our tying department. Our apparel section has great gear from Simms, Columbia and Filson.
  • Virginia Creeper Trail

    Abingdon Trailhead is on Pecan Street

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    "The most scenic bike ride you will ever encounter"

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    Virginia Creeper Trail

    The Virginia Creeper Trail is open to hiking, jogging, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The former rail bed passes through the beautiful back country of Southwest Virginia.

    Forty seven trestles and bridges provide scenic views of the region's creeks, farmland, and mountain forests. The Virginia Creeper Trail is rich in beauty and regional history. From the trail head right in the historic district of Abingdon, VA, it stretches 35 miles through the trail town of Damascus, VA, and up to the North Carolina State Line near Whitetop, VA.

    Bike rentals and shuttle arrangements can be made at the the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop. Adventures that will leave long lasting memories for your friends and family await. 

  • Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop

    201 Pecan Street SE

    p: 276-676-2552
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    Just blocks from the trail head of the Virginia Creeper Trail, the shop offers bike rentals and a shuttle service, as well as bike sales and repairs.

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    Virginia Creeper Trail Bike ShopVirginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop is a full-service, family owned and operated bicycle shop & shuttle service for the Virginia Creeper Trail. 

    Located just two blocks from the trail head, on Pecan Street.

    We have a friendly and knowledgeable sales staff that can answer your questions and help you choose the bike that is right for you.  We build lasting relationships with our customers by providing superior service and the highest quality products.

  • Walking Trail at the Coomes Center

    300 Stanley Street Abingdon, VA, 24212

    p: 276-623-5279

    Two-thirds of a mile rolling terrain located at the Coomes Recreation Center

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    The Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center is designed as a service facility for the entire community. As such it will strive to provide a wholesome atmosphere where persons of all ages can meet, enjoy the benefits of physical fitness, leisure time activities and general group/individual exercise, including social and special event programs.

  • Washington County Park

    19482 County Park Rd

    p: 276-628-9677
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    Located on the scenic South Holston Lake

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    140 camp sites with electric , water, and sanitation facilities. 10 tent sites, playground, picnic shelters, fishing, boat ramp with courtesy dock, and telephone access. Open April- September.

  • Whitetop Yoga

    122 Wall Street, Abingdon VA 24210

    p: (276)-492-6901
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    As Abingdon, Virginia's premier yoga studio, Whitetop Yoga strives to offer the community a spacious, serene studio and multiple quiet comforts. With highly trained instructors and 20+ classes a week, Whitetop offers something for yoga enthusiasts of any skill level.

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    Located in the heart of Abingdon’s historic district, whitetop description pictureWhitetop Yoga offers classes for any skill level, and with their highly trained instructors and serene studio, you’re sure to find comfort there. Whitetop Yoga’s studio falls within easy walking distance of other attractions such as the Barter Theater and Martha Washington Inn, as well as a wide selection of local restaurants making it the perfect place to relax after enjoying the sights and sounds of Historic Abingdon. Check the website for info on class times or to sign up, or come by and see the studio!

  • Wolf Lair Campground

    19091 County Park Rd

    p: 276-492-8024 or 276-492-4645
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    "South Holston Lakes Friendliest Campground"

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    Located .5 mile from South Holston Lake with gorgeous lake views. 44 full hook-up sites, numerous tent sites. Full hook-ups have sewer, electric and water. Sanitation Facilities, public boat launch, bathhouse, pool. Laundromat, video arcade, ice cream shop, market with deli& camping supplies, and a 9 hole miniature golf course. Open year-round.