Friday, October 24, 2014

Creepin' In Virginia

I spent yesterday bike riding on the Virginia Creeper Trail which runs 34 miles from Whitetop Station to Abington. It's possible to do the whole trail by bike in one day, unless you're making frequent stops for pictures. We took all day to get to the half way point at Damascus, VA. One of our party, Jimmy Wilson, did the second half from Damascus to Abington in 1 hour 41 minutes, which gives you an idea of what a leisurely pace we were maintaining.

The trail follows the route of an old railroad spur through the mountains. The train got the nickname "Virginia Creeper" from it's slow pace over the mountainous terrain. The Creeper carried freight and passengers from the 1880s to 1977. The route is now a popular trail for bikers and hikers, although bikers definitely outnumber the hikers by a huge margin. It's especially popular at this time of year among leaf lookers like me. Here's some of yesterday's photo take (click on photos to enlarge):

We used one of several shuttle services in Damascus to take us and our bikes up to Whitetop Station, the eastern end, and highest point of the trail.

My biking companions for the day, Jimmy and Glenda Wilson, and my neighbor, Ken Johnson.

Glenda took this photo of me and the guys: Ken, me, and Jimmy. These photos were made in a pumpkin patch that was filled with harvested, but yet to be collected pumpkins.

A view of the trail near Whitetop Station. We found the trail to be very well maintained in spite of heavy traffic and recent wet weather.

Some of the pretty rural scenery along the trail

Green Cove Station, a railroad station about a quarter of the way to Damascus. Inside were artifacts and pictures from the railroad's heyday.

One of the many trestles along the route viewed from below

Having another photo bug with me allowed me to get into some of the pictures for a change. Ken took this one near one of the original mile markers - 23 miles from Abington.

Another trestle - Number 18 - with some fall foliage

An "action" shot Ken wanted to try. Actually, I was trying to maintain balance on a stationary bike. I think it came out good, so maybe I shouldn't have given away how we really did it.

Many of the trestles looked like footbridges to me. This was my favorite one because it looks like what I think train trestle should look like.

One more of me, at a pretty spot along a mountain stream.


  1. You certainly live in a beautiful part of the world John.
    I love the carpet of leaves on the trail.
    Wish my knee would allow me to ride. It is such a wonderful way to see the countryside.

  2. Great pictures John, I've heard this is a really cool trail. I like the action shot.