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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.
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?
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.
Rent you bike here/shuttle to top of Whitetop Mtn
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.
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