Imagine whipping through the peacefulness of dense woodlands on an old railway route that since turned into a peaceful bike trail. The Virginia Creeper trail is a very calming and inviting place to get outdoors for all ages! My mom and I discovered this little gem of a trail my first year here in Tennessee and now it’s our traditional getaway weekend when she comes to visit every September. My dad and boyfriend have since joined in on this yearly adventure! It is a perfect way for all of us to enjoy an outdoor activity since my dad was in a serious car accident a few years back and has lost strength in his legs, it’s easy riding and you coast most of the way.
The Virginia Creeper Trail can be divided up into two sections since it is roughly 34 miles long. I see it as the upper section and the lower section, we usually ride the upper section of 15 miles. This starts at White Top Station and takes you down into Damascus. Now you’re probably asking about what about bikes, transportation and all things in between. I will help lay out all the ways to ensure you have the information to plan a wonderful weekend in the area! From somewhere to stay, rent bikes, and places to eat!
Places to Stay Around the Virginia Creeper Trail
We usually rent out a BNB for the weekend since we usually stay Thursday through Sunday with 4 people. There are other options in Damascus in the area that you can choose from if that’s your preference. We do enjoy the BNB’s for the convenience of really being a part of the area and embracing the nature around us. We have stayed in Damascus, White Top and multiple places in between. We recently just stayed in an 1890 Farmhouse and it was absolutely gorgeous and perfect! If you want it to be an ideal location for getting to the bike rental and closer to the town, stay in the Damascus area. We have stayed in other small towns surrounding the area also like; Abingdon, White Top and Bristol.
Through out the years of making this annual trip, we have used multiple bike rental shops. There are a couple that we have really enjoyed using Adventure Damascus Bicycle and Outdoor Co. in Damascus and Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop in Abingdon. They both have been helpful with guiding us with bikes that fit us properly. Especially with my fathers injuries and getting something that’s easy for him to use. The Bike rental shops will provide a helmet, bicycle emergency tire kit and shuttle to White Top Station. I highly recommend a dramamine for the shuttle ride to the top if you get car sick. The ride is very windy and they drive pretty quick up the mountain. Make sure before you book you trip to call the Rental bike shop you have chosen to reserve your spot and bikes for the day!
With these small towns there is not much to offer in terms of variety, but if you ask the locals you will find some interesting choices. There are some cute American type diners in Damascus. My Favorite places to go eat are in Abingdon, this is a short drive there if you are staying in another area. For Breakfast I definitely enjoy “White Birch Kitchen & Juice Bar.” For lunch and dinner we have enjoyed “128 Pecan.” My all time favorite place to go for a fancy dinner is ” The Tavern.” Now if you decide to stay in Bristol there are many more options as it is a bigger town/city. A few of my favorites are; “Blackbird Bakery,” and “Quaker Steak and Lube. (Also please if you have any love for the history of Country music, or Music in general go check out ” Birthplace of County Music Museum” )
Virginia Creeper Trail Insights
There are fun little stops along the way of this wonderful trail. Places to see historically like that white top station ol’ museum. You will also find a local little market on the way you can get drinks or merchandise. They have since added an ice creamery and shack that you can get a lunch, they do have picnic tables. There are a few restrooms along the way you can use also. Keep your eye out for small look out spots you can stop to enjoy the views. Please as always what ever you “PACK IN PACK IT OUT” don’t litter our land that has given us so much. The least we can do is keep it clean! Always bring a backpack with you with plenty of water, and help pick up any trash you find on the trail.