The Virginia Creeper Trail - 20 ways to play in 2020
Unexpected ways to explore the world-famous Virginia Creeper Trail
The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the most famous trails on the East Coast, popular with people of all ages for its breathtaking scenery, and gentle downhill ride. The trail is so much more than a bike trail, however, full of native flora and fauna, rich history, and unexpected places to eat and drink. For 2020, why not try one of these ways to explore the trail?
Top 20 ways to enjoy the Virginia Creeper Trail this year
- Start your ride at Mile Marker Zero in Abingdon, VA. The Virginia Creeper Trail begins in downtown Abingdon, running 34.3 mile southeast and ending at the North Carolina border. Between Abingdon and Damascus, you'll find roughly 17 miles of gently rolling hills and spectacular views, including the famous Trestle #12.
- Get in gear. Visit one of our local bike shops for bike repair, pro tips and services.
- Learn about the fascinating history behind the Creeper Trail by reading The Creeper Trail Companion by Ed Davis, available at the Creeper Trail Welcome Center and online.
- View the O. Winston Link photography exhibit at the Virginia Creeper Trail Welcome Center at the Abingdon trail head. "A Day on the Abingdon Branch" documents a time when the trail was a working railroad line.
- View “The Mollie,” the restored locomotive on display at the Abingdon trailhead, beside the Creeper Trail Welcome Center.
6. Become a Creeper Keeper! Become a member of the Creeper Trail Club by visiting vacreepertrail.org. You'll be helping the non-profit Creeper Trail Club to help maintain and preserve the trail.
7. Take a self-guided nature walk along the trail. Grab a free guide to native wildlife or native flowers at the Virginia Creeper Trail Welcome Center in Abingdon.
8. Visit Green Cove Station in Jefferson National Forest and tour this perfectly preserved former Railroad Depot, store, post office & Western Union.
9. Enjoy local brews and wines (but not on your bike!) at the Abingdon Vineyards in Alvarado, the Damascus Brewery or Wolf Hills Brewery in Abingdon.
10. Have a picnic at the Taylor Read Memorial Picnic Shelter in Alvarado or near the red caboose in Damascus Town Park.
11. Stop in at the Visitor’s Center at White Top Station in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, before you head down the mountain.
12. Kayak on Whitetop Laurel Creek just above Damascus. Access the water via the Creek Junction parking lot on Route 728.
13. Extend your trip with a ride on the Abingdon Urban Pathway, connecting at the Abingdon Trailhead. Along the pathway you'll find fun and free attractions, like Holston Mountain Artisans, the Abingdon Arts Depot, and at the terminus of the pathway, the Abingdon Muster Grounds, a major Revolutionary War historic site.
14. See if you can spot the native Virginia Creeper vine that grows along the trail. (Hint: this will be easier in the fall, when the leaves turn bright red.)
15. Fish the streams that run along and near the Creeper Trail. Whitetop Laurel Creek is home to some of the best fly fishing in Virginia.
16. Take advantage of the spectacular scenery and outdoor opportunities within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Hike, swim, rock climb and more.
17. Camp at nearby Beartree Campground in Mount Rogers NRA. Tent and RV campers are welcome.
18. Bring your horse for a unique trail experience
19. Hike the Appalachian Trail (or just a part of it!). There are several AT loops off of the Creeper Trail that make great day hikes.
20. On your way up or down, stop in for a bite at one of the small, locally owned eateries right along the trail including Damascus, Taylor’s Valley, Alvarado Station and Abingdon.
Bonus (we just can't stop!)
Share your trail stories and photos on social media with the hashtag #VAcreeper and #VAoutdoors
Attend VA Creeper Fest on April 25, 2020 in Abingdon. This festival is family and pet friendly, featuring outdoor recreation organizations, outfitters, guides and activities based in SWVA and NETN. Several on-site activities immerse you in experience, including guided bike rides, yoga for runners, kayak & paddle board demos in our on-site pool, obstacle courses, history walks and much more.
Content provided by the Virginia Creeper Trail Club
The Virginia Creeper Trail Club (VCTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the Creeper Trail corridor. The VCTC partners with other trail stakeholders to support a safe and enjoyable experience for all trail users.
Find out more about the VCTC at https://www.vacreepertrail.org/