the Virginia Creeper Trail

Do you enjoy nature ...

Do you like to walk for your health? Do you like to ride a bike to build your legs and stamina? Are you tired of going round and round where all you can see is the inside of a practice field or track? Do you enjoy nature and like it’s sights and sounds? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions and live within a few hundred miles of northeast Tennessee, western North Carolina or southwestern Virginia please let me suggest the Virginia Creeper Trail for your immediate consideration.

detailed map
detailed map
the original Virginia Creeper Locomotive
the original Virginia Creeper Locomotive

An old abandoned railroad bed...

The remains of an old abandoned railroad bed with a moderate incline of just 11° that rises gently weaving in and out as it cuts through some of the most beautiful and pristine scenery in America and still remains somewhat hidden from the general public’s view and presence deeply within the Cherokee National Forest in southwestern Virginia. Just over 100 years ago this area was a thriving railway corridor used for transporting timber and iron ore out of the local forests of eastern Tennessee and before that it was no more than a Native American footpath. The pioneer and frontiersman Daniel Boone and many other early explorers are suspected of using this same trail as they traveled westward opening up new settlements as they went.

Enjoy scenic beauty as you bike?

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one of the many bridges
one of the many bridges


During the middle of the twentieth century, the railroad had lost much of its appeal in the area and the Virginia Creeper locomotive made its final run on March 31, 1977, closing the era of usefulness. The rails and ties were removed making it the wonderful hiking and biking trail that it is today which happens to be just one of the most popular trails in the world. The Virginia Creeper Trail is very well-maintained, stretching from historic Abingdon Virginia running mostly southward to the Virginia-North Carolina state line near Whitetop Mountain. A total distance of roughly 35 miles.

A markerDamascus VA -
Damascus, VA 24236, USA
[get directions]

Rent you bike here/shuttle to top of Whitetop Mtn

beautiful scenery
beautiful scenery

Rustic bridges across rushing streams...

As strange as it may sound some of the creeper trail passes through a lot of privately owned property and several communities, to include Alvarado, Damascus, Green Cove, Taylor’s Valley, Watauga, and Whitetop. All along the way you’ll find spectacular scenery that many claim is some of the most beautiful in the world as you find rustic bridges across rushing streams, meandering rivers, as well as many waterfalls and meadows in the springtime that are filled with a variety of wildflowers, and then in late summer and fall months display the beauty only the mountains can unfold with the colors of red, yellow and orange together forming a giant mural of interwoven colors.

a train use to cross this bridge
a train use to cross this bridge

Classic beauty...

I think the easiest way to view and enjoy the classic beauty of the Creeper Trail is by bicycle. If you don’t travel with your own bike you can easily rent one in Damascus VA and they will ‘shuttle’ you and the bike to the top of Whitetop Mountain, where you can then coast down the seventeen mile trail ending up back at Damascus. I mentioned the small community of Damascus in another hub recently refering to it as the ‘friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail’ which is another famous hiking trail that also passes through this beautiful and scenic region of upper east Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

© 2011 SamSonS

'Ride the Creeper...'

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Comments 13 comments

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Great hub and some "mighty purty" country.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


It sounds great. I love to be in nature. I've spent some of my best prayer times in nature. Not to worship the creation, but I think the creation can help us focus on the Creator. If I'm ever down that way, I'll have to check it out.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thank you Fiddleman, thanks for the nice comments. This is just around the corner for you, huh...

*and thank you my dear friend lifegate for you visit and read. I know what you mean, no Rom 1, just a realization that God made all this for us to enjoy. Have a great day...

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

samsons1: Voted up and beautiful! Living in the large metropolis of Toronto,Ontario,Canada we have several large botanical gardens which stretch for miles at a time. It is always my pleasure to go for a leisurely stroll through one near where I live, or to drive to one further away from home, in order to commune with nature and witness all of its marvels in the plant and animal life.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey Dave, thanks for stopping by and for your nice ratings also. So thankful I live in an area where I can get out and stroll or just drive with the windows down and hear and smell the beauty of God's green earth.


Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 5 years ago from Michigan

Great hub Samsons. I love to hike through the woods. It's God's world.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Kristeen, for your visit and your kind words...

torconstantino profile image

torconstantino 5 years ago from Maryland

Awesome hub - I live in MD, so this would make a great day trip! Voted up and useful! Be blessed!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks tor for stopping by. If you decide to make the trip look me up.

blessings to you my friend...

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I'm afraid I am past my bicycle days as my lungs are not what they used to be. However it does look inviting.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks dahoglund for your visit and your nice comments...

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Samson, fantastic pictures, story and video. Thank you for taking me on this trip of the Virginia Creeper Trail.

I showed it to my husband. Maybe I can talk him in to taking a trip out there.


clicked on ALL the button thingies

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Tina for your interesting comments and support; if you convince your husband on taking a trip in this direction, be sure and holler' back. Glad you liked the hub...

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