One of Washington County’s greatest natural assets is the Virginia Creeper Trail‚ a 35-mile multipurpose rail trail that stretches from Abingdon to Whitetop near the North Carolina state line.
The trail traces its history to the 1880s when it began as a railroad owned by the Abingdon Coal and Iron Railroad Co. The railroad company changed hands several times over the next century‚ and the track was eventually removed in 1977 after it was damaged by hard rains and flood. Today‚ the recreation trail is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service‚ the town of Abingdon‚ the Town of Damascus and area property owners.
During the spring and summer‚ hundreds of Washington County natives as well as tourists flock to Abington to bike, hike or horseback ride along the trail. Along the way, they'll encounter such Washington County treasures as South Holston Lake‚ Green Cove Station and Abingdon Winery and Vineyard as well as unique shops‚ the Abingdon farmers market, trail-side dining and picnicking‚ fishing holes‚ the Appalachian Trail and many off-road mountain biking and hiking trails.
Part of the Virginia Creeper Trail’s appeal is its outstanding scenery‚ which encompasses two geographic regions of Virginia. The Blue Ridge Mountains are situated east of the trail‚ and the ridge and valley province of Virginia extends to the west.
Bike rentals and shuttle services are available in Abingdon and Damascus. Passenger vans and trailers take people and their mountain bikes or back packing gear to the trailhead at Whitetop‚ allowing them to hike or bike the scenic 17 miles downhill to Damascus or 34 miles back to Abingdon. Several inns and bed and breakfasts are situated near the trail‚ offering a relaxing place to unwind.
Check out more interesting facts on the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon.