by Joshua Beasley, Honest Abe Log Homes
Are you ready for some adventure? How about a 17 mile bike ride? Wait… keep reading! What if I told you it was all downhill, through the gorgeous Appalachian mountains, and that it’s so easy even children can do it? From time to time we like to share interesting destinations we think log home enthusiasts will enjoy. In this special, we would like to introduce you to the Virginia Creeper Trail found in western Virginia.
Representatives from Honest Abe Log Homes took a trip down a portion of the Virginia Creeper Trail in 2009. It’s an experience that had such an impression it led a few to take the 6 hour drive again to enjoy it with their families. The trail, which follows an old railway, winds through the mountains, over bridges and beside beautiful mountain streams.
The trail officially starts in Abingdon, Va., goes through Damascus, then on up to White Top at a distance of 34.3 miles. Notice the word “up”? So, most everyone runs the trail backwards. Because of the elevation, it’s often times several degrees cooler on top of its highest point at White Top Station. On the day this article was written, just after noon, in Abingdon the temperature was reported at 71.7 degrees. At White Top Station, it registered at 62.6. A trip from White Top to Damascus is about a 17 mile ride, with almost a 2,000 ft. drop in elevation.
Since the trail is most often traversed from it’s official end point to take advantage of the descent, an abundance of bike shops exist in Damascus. Each will rent bikes, then haul groups to the top of White Top Station for the ride down. Once you get back to Damascus, you simply bike back to their shop. The shops typically have an assortment of bikes for all age ranges, and even have bike trailers for small children. If you would like to bring your own bike, that is no problem, they will just charge for the haul up the mountain. Large chain hotels and motels are nowhere to be found. Instead, take in a local bed-and-breakfast, or enjoy some of the small cabins that scatter the countryside.
If a trip is planned for this area of the country, consider a day to go down the Virginia Creeper Trail. When we traveled the trail, my wife was a few month’s pregnant and I pulled our three year old son in a bike trailer. We all had a great time, and intend on returning. It’s an incredible outdoor experience, that any member of the family can go on.
Virginia Creeper Trail Resources:
VA Creeper Trail Club: http://www.vacreepertrail.org/
VA Creeper Trail Online Guide: http://www.vacreepertrail.com/
Google Maps of Damascus, VA: http://g.co/maps/d7euy
YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/jpQx5KBv-qY