The Virginia Creeper Trail Region, which covers the small picturesque communities of Damascus, Abingdon, Whitetop, Konnarock, Green Cove, Taylors Valley, and Alvarado, has many wonderful attractions to offer and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the East.
The area, settled over 200 years ago by very adventurous folks, is still the perfect playground for anyone with an adventurous spirit. Today's visitors will find the most modern of amenities and the barest of necessities.
Use the Virginia Creeper Trail Info as a guide to help you experience the "heart" of the Creeper. Whether its biking the the Virginia Creeper Trail, hiking Virginia's highest peaks, fishing the best trout streams in the East, exploring the same path Daniel Boone once traveled, or watching a performance at the world famous Barter Theater, the Virginia Creeper Trail Region is a fabulous recreational destination.
Your copy of Creeper Trail Info will serve as a valuable tool in locating the area's best dining, shopping and lodging establishments, the finest in arts and entertainment, and the best in family recreation all located within minutes of the Virginia Creeper Trail.
Virginia Creeper Trail Info is available to you online and in print - both formats present the best opportunities to enjoy a fun-packed vacation here in the Southwest Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia.
Relax and enjoy your visit!
The Virginia Creeper Trail is a multi-use (mountain biking, hiking, equine) rails-to-trails conversion that stretches 33.4 miles from Abingdon through Damascus, Virginia and on through Washington County to the North Carolina line. The Va Creeper Trail links present day mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts with nature and history buffs as the trail travels along an old Indian path through some of southwest Virginia's finest countryside and highest, most gorgeous mountain scenery.
Before the biking trail and train rails were laid, Indians followed animal trails out of the Blue Ridge through the area to create a footpath westward. According to early records, Daniel Boone camped along the trail near Damascus as he traveled on his way to Kentucky.
By 1907, W.B. Mingea had constructed the Virginia Carolina Railroad from Abingdon to Damascus. In 1905 the line was extended by Hassinger Lumber Co. to Konnarock and Elkland, NC. It hauled lumber, iron ore, supplies and passengers.
The locals referred to the train that climbed eastward into the Iron Mountains as the "Virginia Creeper", a name taken from the native plant that grows along the route. A steam engine laboring up mountain grades with heavy loads of lumber, iron ore, supplies, and passengers was also a "virginia creeper" in every sense of the word.
By 1918 the line stretched 75 miles to Elkland, North Carolina, and included more than 100 trestles. Villagers out picking blackberries or elderberries along the tracks watched as stacks of red spruce, freshly cut from virgin forests high atop Mount Rogers, rumbled by on flatbed cars. Although beset by flood damage as well as economic problems associated with the Great Depression, the Virginia Creeper ran its last train on March 31, 1977.
Today thousands of people from all over the world travel to the towns along the Virginia Creeper Trail to experience an outdoor adventure; biking, hiking, birding, fishing, or just plain ol' relaxing. After a day filled with outdoor adventures vacationers find solice in the many wonderful dining, lodging and shopping opportunities in the area.
From Abingdon to Damascus, the trail right-of-way belongs to the two towns, but most of the actual land is private. While you do have the right to use the Creeper Trail across their property, please respect landowners. Stay on the Creeper Trail, close gates, keep your bicycles under control, keep dogs under control, don't frighten livestock and be friendly!
The Virginia Creeper Trail between Damascus and the North Carolina border, except for a short stretch through Taylor's Valley, is part of the Jefferson National Forest and is administered by the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area staff.
So, come to visit often, try something new, and enjoy all that the area offers. Our hometown, Damascus, is just a stones throw north of the Tennessee border, and is known as the "Heart of the Creeper Trail". Hopefully it will capture a little bit of your heart.