Something for Everyone
A day on the Creeper Trail is perfect for all members of the family, young and old. Bicyclists feel the wind in their hair as they coast down 17 miles from Whitetop to Damascus. Anglers use the trail to access some of the best trout fishing in Virginia. Equestrians take advantage of the easy footing and wide path available to horses (a code of conduct mandates that cyclists yield to horses so they don't get spooked). Railroad historians search for date spikes and relics from the days when the trail was a working line that hauled people and timber from deep in the southwest Virginia mountains.
The Creeper Trail plays hosts to several running races each year at varying distances. There's even a Creeper Trail Marathon each February for those who want to test themselves at longer distances. Naturalists and birdwatchers watch for the migrations of species each spring and fall and for the beautiful autumn crimson of the namesake Virginia Creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Look for the bluebird boxes just off the trail in the Abingdon section.
Stop at Green Cove Station where you'll be greeted by friendly Forest Service volunteers working in the General Store. You might even get to meet Lawrence Dye, the "Legend of the Creeper Trail" and VCTC's own official Trail Ambassador. Lawrence is nearing his eightieth birthday and still rides the length of the trail and back most every day. Be sure to get a picture; if you can catch him.
Pause near Alvarado, on the longest trestle, spanning the banks of the confluence of the Middle and South Forks of the Holston River, and take in an awe-inspiring view while perched above the two rivers, meeting for the first time in a swirl of foam during the spring thaw. One drains farmland, carrying sediment from the Great Valley of Virginia. The other is from the clear-flowing mountains of the nearby Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
Interpretive signs at trailside offer opportunities for learning about the natural history of the region and its people. School classes and Scout groups enjoy finding the many geocaches hidden along the route, using their GPS units.
Winter months bring opportunities to cross-country ski in the higher elevations near Whitetop. Leashed pets are always welcome for a stroll with their owners. The trail even plays host to a dogsled race each January where mushers from around the region come to participate.
In short, there's very little that happens outdoors that doesn't happen on the Creeper Trail. The people of southwest Virginia are deservedly proud of all the Virginia Creeper Trail has to offer. We think you'll agree.