Looking for the best trails around Blowing Rock?

Explore the best rated trails in Blowing Rock, NC, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail and Railroad Grade Road . With more than 21 trails covering 127 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

Recent Trail Reviews

Tweetsie Trail

Johnson City to Elizabethton is 5 stars!

March, 2024 by dh676x6zw2

But going through Elizabethton is noisy next to the main thoroughfare. The trail is well maintained over the full 10 miles. If you go and the Johnson City Trailhead lot is full, there is a second parking lot a 1/4 mile away on the other side of Legion Street.

Mendota Trail

Run Walk Run

February, 2024 by dh676x6zw2

Went from Benhams to Mendota to Bristol, then back to Benhams. The section from Benhams to Mendota is my favorite. It is down the gorge with the stream right near the trail. The section from Benhams to Bristol is more populated with farms and houses. I didn’t have any problems with dogs. The trail was muddy in spots. The trail was pretty empty. There were four cyclists and one walker. It may have been the weather: sleet, light rain, and windy. I really enjoyed it and will go back.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

I have biked and hiked this entire trail. Very scenic and much to see. Can be VERY busy during the weekends.

November, 2023 by wayne.walkjr

I have biked and hiked this entire trail. Very scenic and much to see. Can be VERY busy during the weekends.

Accordion

Salt Trail

Secluded and un-crowded. This is a trail with a lot less people pollution! I have biked and hiked this entire trail. Very scenic and much to see.

November, 2023 by wayne.walkjr

Secluded and un-crowded. This is a trail with a lot less people pollution! I have biked and hiked this entire trail. Very scenic and much to see.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Fewer rocks or more bum padding?

November, 2023 by trailbunny

First, let me preface this review by saying my standard to which all trails are measured is the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD. It is a high bar.
Second, I rode the VCT in less-than-idea conditions: Autumn leaves obscured much of the trail surface, temps 32-42 with some frozen ground and fallen walnuts.
I rode a road bike with 33" tires -- acceptable for the Abingdon-Damascus section, very rough for the Damascus-Whitetop section. I noticed that folks on fatter tires bumped right up over bridge decks, where I often had to stop and walk my bike over the ridge between the trail and bridge deck. On the ride to Whitetop from Damascus I averaged 7 mph, partly because of the elevation gain, but partly because the trail surface was so rocky I was afraid to bounce right off my seat. On the trip down from Whitetop I only averaged 7.5, for the same reason -- braking hard to miss as many rocks as I could see in the leaves. I was happy to have the trail almost to myself so I could weave back and forth to the best side of the trail when necessary. To take in the beautiful scenery along the trail, I stopped rather than looking up and hitting a rock. On the Damascus-Abingdon section I averaged 11mph in both directions, stopping most often to pass through pasture gates.
The scenery is worth stopping for though. I saw a trout jumping up one of the many small cascades in Laurel Creek, saw a hawk swoop down and pick a fish out of the creek, saw turkey vultures picking clean the bones of a carcass on the trail, and saw a Great Blue Heron and deer. Laurel Creek is in view for much of the Whitetop section. The Holston River (South Fork) and Berry Creek are also scenic, but not always visible from the trail. I can imagine how colourful the trail is when the rhododendron are blooming in June.
I didn't have trouble determining the trail direction, although had to stop to read the small signage at a few junctions. The info boards provided really interesting history and nature facts. Frequent, decent toilet facilities and having them marked on the trail map were very much appreciated. It is also a great trail for all the access points and available accommodations within a short drive of them.
As a community volunteer myself, I know that the work of maintaining a trail, bridges, historic stations and signage on public land is never done and is done in inches and feet when materials are finally available. Kudos to the volunteers who maintain the VCT!
If the Damascus-Whitetop section had the same type of trail surface as the Damascus-Abingdon section, I would have given this trail 5 stars.

Tweetsie Trail

Very pretty & gorgeous rock tunnel !!

October, 2023 by wmtxby8b6h

This trail was just gorgeous, well kept, & clean. The first half was very wooded and scenic. The second half was thru the town congested and had lots of streets and lights to go thru. We enjoyed it because we wanted to see what the town had business wise.

Mendota Trail

October Fall Ride

October, 2023 by rigiddishjr

We had rode the trail several times from both ends before it was completed. Finally got to ride the last section that was opened and what a delight is was to enjoy, Rode from Mendota to Benhams and back and thoroughly enjoyed it. We definitely think the northern part of the trail is the best part. Thanks to all who worked so diligently to get this trail done.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Damascus to White Top - Awful

October, 2023 by jwmca

The next day after having a great ride from Damascus to Abingdon I rode the section from Damascus to White Top and back. I had heard about poor trail conditions and many riders speeding down from White Top so I left Damascus at 8:00am. I’m an experienced rail trail rider having ridden more than a dozen Hall of Fame trails in the past two years. The trail conditions here are the worst I have ever experienced. The crushed gravel is covered with regular gravel over many of the miles which makes your bike harder to control. Hidden rocks partially protruding on the trail are a real danger to someone descending at more speed than they should while looking at scenery. The trail also has ruts from water runoff that are hard to negotiate. On the positive side going early meant that I encountered only one group of 8 going down. They looked to be experienced mountain bikers who slowed down and were courteous when we met on a rather narrow section. Other than that, I came across one other rider going up and two riders on e-bikes going down. Using an e-bike to ride down from White Top is actually a bit of an oxymoron. This trail conditions are suited for golf carts not bikes. I’ll never ride this trail again. In my opinion it is dangerous.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Damascus to Abingdon - Awesome

October, 2023 by jwmca

On a sunny fall mid-afternoon, I rode the section from Damascus to Abingdon. It’s a pleasant 34-mile round trip ride with a modest uphill grade to Abingdon. Overall, the trail is well maintained, unlike the section from Damascus to White Top. The first five miles are along the highway which is currently undergoing heavy construction which takes away from the scenery during those miles. The trail here is mostly in the sun and as a result is smooth double-track crushed gravel. Once away from the road and now along the river and through the woods the trail earns its reputation as a Hall of Fame trail with wide well-groomed crushed gravel surface, beautiful scenery, high trestles over flowing river. There is a bike repair station at Alvardo but no places to stop for refreshments. During our ride we encountered 20 other rides which is more than most trails I ride. Thirteen of them were on e-bikes which is by far the highest proportion of e-bikes I’ve come across. No wildlife other than 4 squirrels. Closer to Abingdon the trail becomes a quite a bit busier with walkers. We’ll be back again in the spring.

Mendota Trail

disappointing

September, 2023 by joglazewski

Wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the reviews, and heard that the entire trail was open. Rode my hybrid with 38 mm tires. First .6 mile was smooth, wide, asphalt. Surface changed to ballast , following natural grade , including roots, old rails and ties. and natural dirt single track. Did follow wooded setting .

Mendota Trail

Rapidly becoming my favorite trail in the area.

September, 2023 by mobitri

I've had the privilege of enjoying many rides along The Mendota Trail, and each one has been an absolute delight. This trail offers a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty that never fails to leave me in awe.

The trail is accessible to all, making it a wonderful place for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Simply the Best!

September, 2023 by lisamartel27

We rode our EBikes from Abingdon to Damascus and back to Abingdon for a total of 32 miles. The trail is wide and very well maintained. It was mostly shady and we had a fantastic time looking at the gorgeous scenery. The trestles were wonderful. Everyone we encountered was very friendly. We stopped in Damascus at the park for a picnic-break. (Most restaurants were closed due to Labor Day). We’ve ridden from Whitetop to Damascus in the past but LOVED this part of the trail too. Mostly flat with some ups and downs but no problem on our e-bikes! We will definitely return!

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