Sorry it’s taken so long to get this out; was waiting to get photos. We biked on the Virginia Creeper Trail! It is 17 miles long, all downhill, on an old railbed. It’s gravel & dirt, not paved. A couple of us rented bikes for $28 and one just got their shuttle for her own bike, from The Bike Station in Damascus, VA http://www.thebikestation.net/ We camped at Creek Side RV Park right across the street, so that was convenient to just walk across the road in the morning. My next door neighbor at the RV park is a trail volunteer so she went along with us to guide us for the first bit. We got dropped off at the trailhead at Whitetop Mountain; the trail runs within a block or so of the store so we were to drop the bikes off there when we were done. I had read that it took 2 hours to do the trail, but our neighbor Marsha said it would take much longer because we’d want to stop often for photos and maybe eat at the cafe. Hahaha, you might get through in 2 hours if you never touched the brakes!! We rode at a sedate pace and stopped often to take photos or check out the views from the trestles, etc. (Certainly not to rest our butts at all, of course not!) Jeanne opted not to ride because her back has been bothering her, but she drove her car to some of the meeting points.
Janis, Marilyn & Dixie starting out on the trail
The trail goes through gorgeous woods, along streams and over many trestles. There are several places to stop and rest & use the outhouse, etc. and we saw signs to watch out for bear and elk! This “lodging” apparently didn’t make it….I don’t think I’d want to stay here!
The first stopping point we came to was an old restored train station/museum which is really interesting but it was closed today.
Here I am, coming in to the first meeting point. About half way through there’s the Creeper Trail Cafe and Marsha was right, we were starving when we got there! And she was right about the timing also, it took us 3 hours to get there and that was only 1/2 way. We had lunch (burgers are great!) and got a couple pieces of their famous 3-layer double chocolate cake to take home.
One of the many streams we crossed on trestles
Marilyn and Dixie decided not to continue on from there but I want you all to know that I really was game for going on, but not by myself. I am still pretty shocked that I was willing to keep going. We called The Bike Station and they said to leave the bikes there and someone would pick them up., and we put Dixie’s bike on Jeanne’s bike rack and drove back to the campground….in the rain. If we’d continued on, we would have gotten soaked! So while I really wanted to be able to say I did the whole trail, I’m glad we decided to stop.
The trail is not QUITE all downhill, there are a few places where it’s level and you do have to pedal, including the last 3 miles or so. The first 3 miles are the steepest, but they are not wildly steep, you can easily slow yourself down. We all thought it was gorgeous and I’m really glad I did it.