Biking the Virginia Creeper Trail

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The Virginia Creeper Trail is a railway bed turned into a hiking and biking trail in southwest Virginia. It was originally the Northern and Western Railway famously photographed by O. Winston Link in the 1950s when he was documenting the last steam railroad in America. The train was called the "creeper" because a steep section of the railway limited engineers to creeping uphill and forced them to safely creep when going downhill in the opposite direction to avoid going too fast. My wife and I rode the 17-mile section (fortunately, it's all downhill!) from Whitetop Station to Damascus last week.


Photo #1
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Photo #2
This station was photographed inside and out by O. Winston Link. A couple of my favorite photos of his are of this station.
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Photo #3

We began our bike ride in the parking lot at the other end of this train station.
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Photo #4
There is lots of pretty scenery worth stopping to enjoy along the way.
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Photo #5
The bridges are always fun because you never know what scenery they are going to reveal along the river.
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Photo #6
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Butlerkid

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Nice images, Mike. Now try the New River Trail! We like it even better than the Creeper Trail! We stay in Galax and do day trips on the New River Trail.
 
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Nicely presented, Mike. I'm very familiar with that stretch from fishing Whitetop Laurel Creek which the trail parallels and crosses many times. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've fished that pool shown in photo #4. Looks like the foliage is well advanced down there. Still pretty green here.
 
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Mike, these are gorgeous! I particularly like #2 as I have a penchant for taking photos of others taking photos.

Can you explain how a bike ride can be "all downhill"? Don't you have to get back up where you started?
 
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Looks like a great bike ride. I'd better not tell my wife about this or she'll start planning a trip.
 
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Thank you to West, Karen, Jim, Dan from Alaska, Bill, Allan, Mitch, John and Dan Larson!

Can you explain how a bike ride can be "all downhill"? Don't you have to get back up where you started?

We rented bikes in Abingdon and the rental company drove us to Whitetop Station. We then rode from there downhill all the way to Damascus. The company picked us up in Damascus and drove us back to Abingdon, thus avoiding the uphill bike ride to Abingdon. Some people ride their bikes uphill to Abingdon but we knew we weren't up for it.

For anyone interested in doing the bike ride, there are also lots of rental companies in Whitetop that will drive you to Whitetop Station and return you to Whitetop after you do your bike ride.
 
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Looks like the foliage is well advanced down there.

Looks like fall is further along down there than up here.

The colorful foliage that exists further south is due to the higher elevations in that area. The color was even better at Grayson Highlands State Park, which is at the highest elevation we visited and has lots more trees that display the red tones.
 
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We rented bikes in Abingdon and the rental company drove us to Whitetop Station. We then rode from there downhill all the way to Damascus. The company picked us up in Damascus and drove us back to Abingdon, thus avoiding the uphill bike ride to Abingdon. Some people ride their bikes uphill to Abingdon but we knew we weren't up for it.

For anyone interested in doing the bike ride, there are also lots of rental companies in Whitetop that will drive you to Whitetop Station and return you to Whitetop after you do your bike ride.
Wow, that sounds luxurious!
 

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