Notices
Southeast Alabama | Arkansas | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Louisiana | Mississippi | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee | Virginia

Virginia Creeper trail

Old 08-19-11, 08:29 AM
  #1  
cooper34
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Virginia Creeper trail

Just did the top 17 miles of the Virginia Creeper trail (Whitetop to Damascus) with the family. For those considering the trip, below are my comments/observations:

- Top 5 miles are rutted with loose sand and fine gravel. Could be a problem for small children or the inexperienced. Both my kids took tumbles after getting a wheel caught in a rut.
- Don't depend on the availability of a late shuttle unless you have made reservations. We got to the bottom and all the drivers had gone home.
- Make certain that your tires are inflated correctly, lots of pinch flat opportunities
- Bottom part of the trail has a lot of trash at camp sites
- Look out for people who pass recklessly and inexperienced cyclists who ride erratically (most of the cyclists on the trail were inexperienced)
- Several well stocked bike shops in Damascus
- Kids had a great time and enjoyed pizza in Damascus after the ride
- The people in Damascus were generally friendly and helpful

Overall, a nice trail but it attracts a LOT of people and a lot of inexperienced people because of its "all downhill" nature. Not for those seeking solitude. Overrated by my standards.

Last edited by cooper34; 08-19-11 at 09:07 AM.
cooper34 is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 11:11 AM
  #2  
TrailViewMount
Senior Member
 
TrailViewMount's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sarasota Florida
Posts: 274

Bikes: 2013 Trek 8.2 DS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I plan on doing the Creeper Trail in 2012 Cooper. The photos online are incredible. Looks like a constant photo-op on this trail.
TrailViewMount is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 01:12 PM
  #3  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,185
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 673 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 44 Posts
It's a fantastic ride that follows a creek up a mountain valley. It's an old railroad grade, with dozens of bridge crossings of the creek, sounds of whitewater, varied forests, and mountain views.

Ride it during the week in the spring or fall ( I don't know about weekdays in the summer.) There's very little traffic on the trail. I wouldn't like it on the busy weekends, either.

I rode uphill from Damascus to the end of the trail, about 17 miles, and back. There's a few 3-4% grades, and with the soft surface, it's a fairly strenuous ride, but really worth it. There's another bridge or whitewater, or scenic scene, at least every quarter mile, so take your time. Then the 17 mile ride back down has no uphills, and only a few flat sections that require pedaling.

You really get to see the sights when riding uphill. On the downhill, you have to pay attention to the trail surface. It's very smooth and firm in most places, but there can be loose gravel or sand in spots.

I did the full 68 mile round trip from Abingdon the next year. That's a long ride! The Abingdon to Damascus section is nice, but not nearly as scenic as the Damascus to White Top half.

From Oct 2005, with a cheap camera. More at the Picasa album link (play the slideshow!)










Last edited by rm -rf; 08-20-11 at 01:31 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 04:25 PM
  #4  
cooper34
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just to clarify - we did it on a Wednesday after grade school had started and still found it to be quite busy. I would not enjoy the crowds they get in the fall. Perhaps I am jaded, but I just do not understand why people swoon over the scenery. But I respect others' opinions. Obviously, I am in the minority. Too each his own.
cooper34 is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 04:40 PM
  #5  
iconntn
Newbie
 
iconntn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Blountville, TN
Posts: 1

Bikes: 2004 Specialized Allez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The best way to ride it is to go from Damascus up the trail to Whitetop. The last couple miles are rough but you're rewarded with 17 miles of little to no pedaling. Me and some friends are planning to ride from Abingdon-Whitetop-Abingdon this fall.
iconntn is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 05:08 PM
  #6  
ahsposo 
Turgid Member
 
ahsposo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hypertonic State
Posts: 7,126

Bikes: A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4584 Post(s)
Liked 1,299 Times in 821 Posts
Yes this is a beautiful ride. I hope to be able to repeat it.

The New River trail in the same area is also a very nice ride.
ahsposo is offline  
Old 08-20-11, 11:04 PM
  #7  
zzOtherlandzz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Near Palatka Florida
Posts: 1,246

Bikes: 2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'r, 2007 Trek 1500 -- 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara -- 2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc (converted to touring bike)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
It's a fantastic ride that follows a creek up a mountain valley. It's an old railroad grade, with dozens of bridge crossings of the creek, sounds of whitewater, varied forests, and mountain views.

Ride it during the week in the spring or fall ( I don't know about weekdays in the summer.) There's very little traffic on the trail. I wouldn't like it on the busy weekends, either.

I rode uphill from Damascus to the end of the trail, about 17 miles, and back. There's a few 3-4% grades, and with the soft surface, it's a fairly strenuous ride, but really worth it. There's another bridge or whitewater, or scenic scene, at least every quarter mile, so take your time. Then the 17 mile ride back down has no uphills, and only a few flat sections that require pedaling.

You really get to see the sights when riding uphill. On the downhill, you have to pay attention to the trail surface. It's very smooth and firm in most places, but there can be loose gravel or sand in spots.

I did the full 68 mile round trip from Abingdon the next year. That's a long ride! The Abingdon to Damascus section is nice, but not nearly as scenic as the Damascus to White Top half.

From Oct 2005, with a cheap camera. More at the Picasa album link (play the slideshow!)









Wow..... Looks awesome.... I like scenery myself..... also like the challenge.... but part of the fun is getting to see new things.
zzOtherlandzz is offline  
Old 08-23-11, 10:54 AM
  #8  
20grit
Curmudgeon in Training
 
20grit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rural Retreat, VA
Posts: 1,962

Bikes: 1974 Gazelle Champion Mondial, 2010 Cannondale Trail SL, 1988 Peugeot Nice, 1992ish Stumpjumper Comp,1990's Schwinn Moab

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Ride up, then the shuttles aren't a problem. I was climbing that trail at a very early age. Your kids will be fine if you stop often enough.
It's a nice trail aside from the recent tornado damage. I've not gotten to go since that occurred but I hear it's in operation again.
20grit is offline  
Old 08-30-11, 07:40 AM
  #9  
cooper34
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
20grit,

i do not think that the average 9year old would enjoy the up and back trip - 34 miles on gravel. I am certain that some could do it, but for the average kid, it would be too much.
cooper34 is offline  
Old 09-25-11, 09:09 AM
  #10  
mawtangent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for this information, I live within 100 miles of this trail (Lee County, extreme Southwest Virginia) and have heard about it for years. The comments/pictures make me want to ride it. I guess there is a website were I can find more info (and I will look for that in a minute) but I'm wondering if this trail is closed during the winter. I like solitude and would like to ride it when most people are not generally outdoors (like in winter). I'm happy if the temperature is over 30 as long as the wind stays under 10 mph. I assume there would be not shuttle service and a rider might have to carry their own food/water (food stands closed?).
mawtangent is offline  
Old 09-26-11, 01:57 PM
  #11  
20grit
Curmudgeon in Training
 
20grit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rural Retreat, VA
Posts: 1,962

Bikes: 1974 Gazelle Champion Mondial, 2010 Cannondale Trail SL, 1988 Peugeot Nice, 1992ish Stumpjumper Comp,1990's Schwinn Moab

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
It may be closer for you to ride some of the trails around Bluefield or at the Breaks. I'm not really certain, but depending on where in Lee Co. you are, it's a long trip.
20grit is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 06:16 PM
  #12  
TrailViewMount
Senior Member
 
TrailViewMount's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sarasota Florida
Posts: 274

Bikes: 2013 Trek 8.2 DS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice shots rm -rf. Looks like 2012 I'll be able to ride here. Great info everyone.
TrailViewMount is offline  
Old 10-17-11, 12:05 PM
  #13  
IAmCosmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have a friend that lives within a 5 minute ride to the head of the creeper trail. We ride it at least 2 or 3 times a year.

I've never known the trail to be closed. Obviously if there is bad weather the shuttles might not run, but just do like we do... Pack a lunch, ride from Abington to White Top (we actually ride about a mile past the top parking lot and eat in a little clearing in the woods - just don't to too far as it goes into private property, and they don't like people riding onto it), rest for a few, then ride back.

It's a pretty easy ride. Remember, this is an old railroad bed, so it can only be so steep before the train couldn't make it up. So there are some long, gradual climbs, but nothing steep or difficult. I am by no means a strong rider, and I ride it in the big ring the whole way.
IAmCosmo is offline  
Old 10-21-11, 11:50 AM
  #14  
jhturek
Member
 
jhturek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pinellas Park, FL
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm going to try and do this ride in the spring of 2012. Judging from the trailbed, I don't think my city/road tires will handle the cinder. Can someone confirm? Also, can anyone recommend logding in the area?
jhturek is offline  
Old 10-28-11, 01:25 PM
  #15  
IAmCosmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by jhturek View Post
I'm going to try and do this ride in the spring of 2012. Judging from the trailbed, I don't think my city/road tires will handle the cinder. Can someone confirm? Also, can anyone recommend logding in the area?
They will be fine. If you go after it has rained, you may run into some mud in the flat section in the middle of the trail (especially where the cows are), but it shouldn't be too bad.
IAmCosmo is offline  
Old 11-22-11, 07:12 PM
  #16  
mtnvet
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
I have a friend that lives within a 5 minute ride to the head of the creeper trail. We ride it at least 2 or 3 times a year.
Where does your friend live? We are 6 miles from White Top.

My wife and I run up various sections several times each month while training for half marathons and ride the trail several times each year. If you want to avoid the 100,000+ folks that ride the VCT annually, just get there early. We usually start our runs around 8:30 - 9:00 and might see a dozen riders during our one hour run. The big crowds start arriving at White Top around 10:00. Currently, the trail is in VG shape. My two daughters started riding the trail at ages 7 & 9 and never had a problem.
mtnvet is offline  
Old 12-16-11, 06:46 PM
  #17  
yellowsirocco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are worried about crowds, just do the part between Damascus and Abington. I don't think the crowds are that bad though. I rode it a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
yellowsirocco is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
coffeesnob
Southeast
22
06-28-20 02:12 PM
cyclebycle13
Northeast
2
07-22-18 08:34 AM
Papa Tom
Northeast
9
05-04-13 08:00 AM
TomD77
Fifty Plus (50+)
19
04-18-12 03:37 PM
adpfishes
Pacific Northwest
2
07-03-10 03:52 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.