Traveling nearly 35 miles through forest and farmland, the Virginia Creeper Trail began as a railway that connected Virginia to the Carolinas. In the 1970s, the track was removed, and the path was prepared as a recreational trail for hikers and bicyclists.
The Trail starts in Abington and moves south past Damascus, ending near the North Carolina state line. About half of the Trail moves through federal land, with the rest owned by the state. However, the right-of-way crosses private property at several points, necessitating the opening and closing of several private gates.
Along the way, he Trail crosses paths with the Appalachian Trail. You will also cross a number of restored trestles and bridges once used by the railroad but now noted for their rustic beauty.
Railroad enthusiasts will find the Creeper Trail especially charming, as several former rail stations are still present along the journey. Two cabooses—one in Damascus and the other at Taylor’s Valley—are also visible. Most impressively, a rare 4-8-0 steam locomotive can be found near the trailhead in Abingdon.
Dogs are welcome but should be leashed. The Abingdon section of the Trail has numerous emergency call boxes should you or your pooch need assistance.