Looking for the best trails around Damascus?

Explore the best rated trails in Damascus, VA, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail and Guest River Gorge Trail . With more than 19 trails covering 189 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

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

By far my favorite trial

May, 2024 by tayyarahdavidson

Beautiful scenery, great hangout spots along the river, mostly downhill.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Still a favorite trail despite tree barrier

May, 2024 by bsnicholson63

Rode an out and back from Damascus to ABD Trailhead. Trail was in great shape except for a large oak tree blocking the entire trail at approx the 6.75 mile point from ABD. A challenging social path has formed on the river side of the trail. The smart move is to just turn around and ride back the way you came. We weren’t that wise today so we bushwhacked around the tree and did our out and back. The trail surface was in great shape and obvious trail maintenance is keeping the “Creeper Trail” at its “creepy” best. At least the stretch we rode today.

Mendota Trail

Trail is now complete

March, 2024 by hippykamp

Wonderful trail that still isn’t super crowded yet like the Virginia Creeper trail is. Nice trailhead in Bristol with plenty of parking. The Mendota trailhead is an open field so parking is not a problem. We like to ride from Mendota to Bristol to get the climbing over first. It is a drive to Mendota from the interstate but it is a pretty drive. Well worth the trip. You won’t regret it

Accordion

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Loved Abingdon to Damascus

March, 2024 by dh676x6zw2

I am training for the Virginia Creeper Marathon https://www.creepermarathon.org/ on 4/7/24 and love this section of the trail. It is through woods and farmland, along a river, and over more than a dozen trestles. There are good parking and restroom facilities along this route. Looking forward to the marathon!

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.

Kingsport Greenbelt

Wet trail made it treacherous

March, 2024 by dh676x6zw2

I went to the trail after having rain and before the trail was dry. Unfortunately, some sections had been flooded and, although there was no standing water, the mud on the trail was slick making it dangerous. This was around mile marker 3. Also, there is a section on the Cleek Road extension that looks like drainage is an ongoing problem. Some parts make me nervous in the downtown area. It looks like there is a homeless problem with deterrents on the park benches. The trail has the potential to be very nice, but not until some issues are dealt with.

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.

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.

New River Trail State Park

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

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.

New River Trail State Park

Fantastic trail on a Fall day. Draper is a must stop.

November, 2023 by jmebane7

Fantastic trail on a Fall day. Draper is a must stop.

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