Creeper Trail Biking Planner
Biking is by far the most popular activity on the Creeper Trail. Weekends are the most popular times. Holidays and summertime can also see large crowds. The most popular ride on the trail is from Whitetop down to Damascus, a distance of about 17 miles. The lowest point on the trail is just west of Alvarado Station, where the South and Middle Forks of the Holston River converge beneath the longest trestle, a beautiful site. The ride from Damascus to Abingdon is at a much slighter incline than the Damascus-Whitetop section.
The trail surface varies by section but is most commonly a combination of crushed gravel and/or cinders which has been rolled and packed after application and by the activity of trail traffic. Most cyclists use mountain bikes with wide tires, though this is mostly for traction and better gear ratios on the uphill sections. Road bikes with "slicks" risk a puncture from the trail surface. That being said, some road bikers choose to ride a section of the Creeper as part of their route with no ill effects. If you do so, you should carry a puncture kit and pump.
Adults and children of all ages ride the trail every year. Only you know your level of fitness and how far you can reasonably go. Parents often carry young children on rear-mounted seats or pull them in bike trailers made for this purpose. Older children may choose to ride a "come-along" bike which is a frame that attaches to the rear of an adult's bike that allows pedaling or coasting. All of these options are available from the various outfitters or you can, of course, bring your own.
There are nine trailheads along the length of the trail (34.3 miles) with parking at each one. Bathroom facilities are available at all but Watauga at present. Food and drink is available at Abingdon, Alvarado, Damascus, Taylors Valley, Green Cove (in season), and Whitetop (again, in season).