Damascus, VA Trails and Maps

281 Reviews

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 Guest River Gorge Trail and Railroad Grade Road. With more than 19 trails covering 174 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.

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Activities
Length
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19 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Beaver Creek Dam Trail

0.5 mi
State: VA
Asphalt

Boone Greenway

4 mi
State: NC
Asphalt, Gravel

City of Lenoir Greenway

7 mi
State: NC
Asphalt

Devil's Fork Loop Trail

7 mi
State: VA
Dirt

Erwin Linear Trail

4 mi
State: TN
Asphalt

Guest River Gorge Trail

5.8 mi
State: VA
Crushed Stone

Kingsport Greenbelt

8 mi
State: TN
Asphalt

Laurel Creek Trail

3 mi
State: TN
Gravel

Mendota Trail

4 mi
State: VA
Dirt

New River Trail State Park

57.7 mi
State: VA
Crushed Stone

Railroad Grade Road

10.8 mi
State: NC
Asphalt

Salt Trail

8.5 mi
State: VA
Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

South Fork New River Greenway

1.8 mi
State: NC
Asphalt

Tweetsie Trail

9.5 mi
State: TN
Crushed Stone

Wes Davis Greenway (Bristol)

0.5 mi
State: TN
Asphalt

Yadkin River Greenway

5.2 mi
State: NC
Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone

Yadkin River Trail

2 mi
State: NC
Asphalt, Dirt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Beaver Creek Dam Trail gets its name from the circa-1905 Beaver Dam Railroad, which it follows through the southwestern Virginia town of Damascus. A highlight of the route is the trail's...
VA 0.5 mi Asphalt
Boone Greenway is a hidden gem in the town of Boone, and each step traveled takes to across different settings, with nature, history and culture all on display. The trail traverses the town, winding,...
NC 4 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The City of Lenoir Greenway is a system of several loops and endpoints meandering through an urban landscape of parks and open areas, recreation centers, the library and wooded tracts. For more...
NC 7 mi Asphalt
Cautionary Note: This trail is extremely challenging, with as many as 18 stream crossings (at the height of the winter thaw), a 1,200-foot elevation change and many opportunities to lose the trail....
VA 7 mi Dirt
The Erwin Linear Trail (a.k.a. the Erwin Greenway) parallels I-26 along North Indian Creek and Nolichucky waterways for 4 miles. The trail is paved and mostly flat, coursing through the Cherokee...
TN 4 mi Asphalt
The Guest River Gorge Trail meanders along 300-million-year-old sandstone cliffs that plunge 400 feet to the pristine waters below. The deep gorge was created as the Guest River, now designated as a...
VA 5.8 mi Crushed Stone
The Kingsport Greenbelt runs 8 miles along the Holston River and Reedy Creek through the city of Kingsport. It is touted as both a historic and fitness trail, passing by Civil War sites, historic...
TN 8 mi Asphalt
The Laurel Creek Trail takes travelers into the Cherokee National Forest in Johnson County. There is no shortage of scenery in this wildlife rich-haven, where rushing waters slice through serene...
TN 3 mi Gravel
If you're looking for an easy trip, the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Jefferson National Forest is the perfect alternative to the nearby Devils Fork Loop Trail. Devils Fork Loop is...
VA 2.8 mi Dirt
The Mendota Trail will one day stretch the entire length of the former Southern Railroad corridor between Mendota and Bristol, a total of 12.5 miles. At present there are 2 segments. The northern...
VA 4 mi Dirt
Southern Virginia's New River Trail is one of America's premier rail-trails and has been designated as an official National Recreation Trail by the US Department of the Interior. It is also a state...
VA 57.7 mi Crushed Stone
The Railroad Grade Road is a 10-mile road built on an old railroad grade that was once part of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper).  This part of the Virginia Creeper line was abandoned...
NC 10.8 mi Asphalt
Virginia's Salt Trail runs for more than 8 miles between the small community of Saltville and the larger borough of Glade Spring. The trail is popular with equestrians and can get muddy and eroded in...
VA 8.5 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
The South Fork New River Greenway offers a winding, paved pathway through the town of Boone, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Brookshire Park is at the northern end of the trail...
NC 1.8 mi Asphalt
As of September 2015, the Tweetsie Trail in eastern Tennessee is now completed. The rail-trail follows the former ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”) Railroad right-of-way for 9.5 miles. It begins at Alabama Street...
TN 9.5 mi Crushed Stone
The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail offers scenic wonders from dense forests, open fields and lush waterways to railroad relics and delightful small towns. Cyclists and equestrians love the...
VA 32.7 mi Gravel
The Wes Davis Greenway follows a portion of abandoned rail line that once ran from Bluff City, TN, to Mendota, VA. The greenway crosses Beaver Creek at two points. This linear park features the...
TN 0.5 mi Asphalt
The Yadkin River Greenway is a work in progress, currently in three segments that have yet to be joined. Construction will take place during summer 2011. The first segment of the greenway begins at...
NC 5.2 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone
The multi-use Yadkin River Trail accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers in the beautiful Happy Valley area of Caldwell County. The 2-mile trail is paved and includes a walking loop near the...
NC 2 mi Asphalt, Dirt

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Trails by activity

Railroad Grade Road

NC - 10.8 miles

The Railroad Grade Road is a 10-mile road built on an old railroad grade that was once part of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper).  This part of the Virginia Creeper line was abandoned...

Beaver Creek Dam Trail

VA - 0.5 miles

The Beaver Creek Dam Trail gets its name from the circa-1905 Beaver Dam Railroad, which it follows through the southwestern Virginia town of Damascus. A highlight of the route is the trail's...

Tweetsie Trail

TN - 9.5 miles

As of September 2015, the Tweetsie Trail in eastern Tennessee is now completed. The rail-trail follows the former ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”) Railroad right-of-way for 9.5 miles. It begins at Alabama Street...

Yadkin River Greenway

NC - 5.2 miles

The Yadkin River Greenway is a work in progress, currently in three segments that have yet to be joined. Construction will take place during summer 2011. The first segment of the greenway begins at...

Accordion

Boone Greenway

NC - 4 miles

Boone Greenway is a hidden gem in the town of Boone, and each step traveled takes to across different settings, with nature, history and culture all on display. The trail traverses the town, winding,...

Erwin Linear Trail

TN - 4 miles

The Erwin Linear Trail (a.k.a. the Erwin Greenway) parallels I-26 along North Indian Creek and Nolichucky waterways for 4 miles. The trail is paved and mostly flat, coursing through the Cherokee...

Laurel Creek Trail

TN - 3 miles

The Laurel Creek Trail takes travelers into the Cherokee National Forest in Johnson County. There is no shortage of scenery in this wildlife rich-haven, where rushing waters slice through serene...

Wes Davis Greenway (Bristol)

TN - 0.5 miles

The Wes Davis Greenway follows a portion of abandoned rail line that once ran from Bluff City, TN, to Mendota, VA. The greenway crosses Beaver Creek at two points. This linear park features the...

New River Trail State Park

VA - 57.7 miles

Southern Virginia's New River Trail is one of America's premier rail-trails and has been designated as an official National Recreation Trail by the US Department of the Interior. It is also a state...

Yadkin River Trail

NC - 2 miles

The multi-use Yadkin River Trail accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers in the beautiful Happy Valley area of Caldwell County. The 2-mile trail is paved and includes a walking loop near the...

Mendota Trail

VA - 4 miles

The Mendota Trail will one day stretch the entire length of the former Southern Railroad corridor between Mendota and Bristol, a total of 12.5 miles. At present there are 2 segments. The northern...

Guest River Gorge Trail

VA - 5.8 miles

The Guest River Gorge Trail meanders along 300-million-year-old sandstone cliffs that plunge 400 feet to the pristine waters below. The deep gorge was created as the Guest River, now designated as a...

South Fork New River Greenway

NC - 1.8 miles

The South Fork New River Greenway offers a winding, paved pathway through the town of Boone, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Brookshire Park is at the northern end of the trail...

City of Lenoir Greenway

NC - 7 miles

The City of Lenoir Greenway is a system of several loops and endpoints meandering through an urban landscape of parks and open areas, recreation centers, the library and wooded tracts. For more...

Kingsport Greenbelt

TN - 8 miles

The Kingsport Greenbelt runs 8 miles along the Holston River and Reedy Creek through the city of Kingsport. It is touted as both a historic and fitness trail, passing by Civil War sites, historic...

Guest River Gorge Trail

VA - 5.8 miles

The Guest River Gorge Trail meanders along 300-million-year-old sandstone cliffs that plunge 400 feet to the pristine waters below. The deep gorge was created as the Guest River, now designated as a...

City of Lenoir Greenway

NC - 7 miles

The City of Lenoir Greenway is a system of several loops and endpoints meandering through an urban landscape of parks and open areas, recreation centers, the library and wooded tracts. For more...

Little Stony National Recreation Trail

VA - 2.8 miles

If you're looking for an easy trip, the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Jefferson National Forest is the perfect alternative to the nearby Devils Fork Loop Trail. Devils Fork Loop is...

Kingsport Greenbelt

TN - 8 miles

The Kingsport Greenbelt runs 8 miles along the Holston River and Reedy Creek through the city of Kingsport. It is touted as both a historic and fitness trail, passing by Civil War sites, historic...

Accordion

Beaver Creek Dam Trail

VA - 0.5 miles

The Beaver Creek Dam Trail gets its name from the circa-1905 Beaver Dam Railroad, which it follows through the southwestern Virginia town of Damascus. A highlight of the route is the trail's...

New River Trail State Park

VA - 57.7 miles

Southern Virginia's New River Trail is one of America's premier rail-trails and has been designated as an official National Recreation Trail by the US Department of the Interior. It is also a state...

Tweetsie Trail

TN - 9.5 miles

As of September 2015, the Tweetsie Trail in eastern Tennessee is now completed. The rail-trail follows the former ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”) Railroad right-of-way for 9.5 miles. It begins at Alabama Street...

Salt Trail

VA - 8.5 miles

Virginia's Salt Trail runs for more than 8 miles between the small community of Saltville and the larger borough of Glade Spring. The trail is popular with equestrians and can get muddy and eroded in...

Boone Greenway

NC - 4 miles

Boone Greenway is a hidden gem in the town of Boone, and each step traveled takes to across different settings, with nature, history and culture all on display. The trail traverses the town, winding,...

South Fork New River Greenway

NC - 1.8 miles

The South Fork New River Greenway offers a winding, paved pathway through the town of Boone, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Brookshire Park is at the northern end of the trail...

Yadkin River Greenway

NC - 5.2 miles

The Yadkin River Greenway is a work in progress, currently in three segments that have yet to be joined. Construction will take place during summer 2011. The first segment of the greenway begins at...

Wes Davis Greenway (Bristol)

TN - 0.5 miles

The Wes Davis Greenway follows a portion of abandoned rail line that once ran from Bluff City, TN, to Mendota, VA. The greenway crosses Beaver Creek at two points. This linear park features the...

Mendota Trail

VA - 4 miles

The Mendota Trail will one day stretch the entire length of the former Southern Railroad corridor between Mendota and Bristol, a total of 12.5 miles. At present there are 2 segments. The northern...

Erwin Linear Trail

TN - 4 miles

The Erwin Linear Trail (a.k.a. the Erwin Greenway) parallels I-26 along North Indian Creek and Nolichucky waterways for 4 miles. The trail is paved and mostly flat, coursing through the Cherokee...

Railroad Grade Road

NC - 10.8 miles

The Railroad Grade Road is a 10-mile road built on an old railroad grade that was once part of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper).  This part of the Virginia Creeper line was abandoned...

Laurel Creek Trail

TN - 3 miles

The Laurel Creek Trail takes travelers into the Cherokee National Forest in Johnson County. There is no shortage of scenery in this wildlife rich-haven, where rushing waters slice through serene...

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

VA - 32.7 miles

The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail offers scenic wonders from dense forests, open fields and lush waterways to railroad relics and delightful small towns. Cyclists and equestrians love the...

Devil's Fork Loop Trail

VA - 7 miles

Cautionary Note: This trail is extremely challenging, with as many as 18 stream crossings (at the height of the winter thaw), a 1,200-foot elevation change and many opportunities to lose the trail....

Yadkin River Trail

NC - 2 miles

The multi-use Yadkin River Trail accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers in the beautiful Happy Valley area of Caldwell County. The 2-mile trail is paved and includes a walking loop near the...

Mendota Trail

VA - 4 miles

The Mendota Trail will one day stretch the entire length of the former Southern Railroad corridor between Mendota and Bristol, a total of 12.5 miles. At present there are 2 segments. The northern...

Little Stony National Recreation Trail

VA - 2.8 miles

If you're looking for an easy trip, the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Jefferson National Forest is the perfect alternative to the nearby Devils Fork Loop Trail. Devils Fork Loop is...

Wes Davis Greenway (Bristol)

TN - 0.5 miles

The Wes Davis Greenway follows a portion of abandoned rail line that once ran from Bluff City, TN, to Mendota, VA. The greenway crosses Beaver Creek at two points. This linear park features the...

Laurel Creek Trail

TN - 3 miles

The Laurel Creek Trail takes travelers into the Cherokee National Forest in Johnson County. There is no shortage of scenery in this wildlife rich-haven, where rushing waters slice through serene...

Accordion

Beaver Creek Dam Trail

VA - 0.5 miles

The Beaver Creek Dam Trail gets its name from the circa-1905 Beaver Dam Railroad, which it follows through the southwestern Virginia town of Damascus. A highlight of the route is the trail's...

New River Trail State Park

VA - 57.7 miles

Southern Virginia's New River Trail is one of America's premier rail-trails and has been designated as an official National Recreation Trail by the US Department of the Interior. It is also a state...

Yadkin River Trail

NC - 2 miles

The multi-use Yadkin River Trail accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers in the beautiful Happy Valley area of Caldwell County. The 2-mile trail is paved and includes a walking loop near the...

Erwin Linear Trail

TN - 4 miles

The Erwin Linear Trail (a.k.a. the Erwin Greenway) parallels I-26 along North Indian Creek and Nolichucky waterways for 4 miles. The trail is paved and mostly flat, coursing through the Cherokee...

Salt Trail

VA - 8.5 miles

Virginia's Salt Trail runs for more than 8 miles between the small community of Saltville and the larger borough of Glade Spring. The trail is popular with equestrians and can get muddy and eroded in...

Boone Greenway

NC - 4 miles

Boone Greenway is a hidden gem in the town of Boone, and each step traveled takes to across different settings, with nature, history and culture all on display. The trail traverses the town, winding,...

Kingsport Greenbelt

TN - 8 miles

The Kingsport Greenbelt runs 8 miles along the Holston River and Reedy Creek through the city of Kingsport. It is touted as both a historic and fitness trail, passing by Civil War sites, historic...

South Fork New River Greenway

NC - 1.8 miles

The South Fork New River Greenway offers a winding, paved pathway through the town of Boone, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Brookshire Park is at the northern end of the trail...

Guest River Gorge Trail

VA - 5.8 miles

The Guest River Gorge Trail meanders along 300-million-year-old sandstone cliffs that plunge 400 feet to the pristine waters below. The deep gorge was created as the Guest River, now designated as a...

Yadkin River Greenway

NC - 5.2 miles

The Yadkin River Greenway is a work in progress, currently in three segments that have yet to be joined. Construction will take place during summer 2011. The first segment of the greenway begins at...

Devil's Fork Loop Trail

VA - 7 miles

Cautionary Note: This trail is extremely challenging, with as many as 18 stream crossings (at the height of the winter thaw), a 1,200-foot elevation change and many opportunities to lose the trail....

Railroad Grade Road

NC - 10.8 miles

The Railroad Grade Road is a 10-mile road built on an old railroad grade that was once part of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper).  This part of the Virginia Creeper line was abandoned...

City of Lenoir Greenway

NC - 7 miles

The City of Lenoir Greenway is a system of several loops and endpoints meandering through an urban landscape of parks and open areas, recreation centers, the library and wooded tracts. For more...

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

VA - 32.7 miles

The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail offers scenic wonders from dense forests, open fields and lush waterways to railroad relics and delightful small towns. Cyclists and equestrians love the...

Tweetsie Trail

TN - 9.5 miles

As of September 2015, the Tweetsie Trail in eastern Tennessee is now completed. The rail-trail follows the former ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”) Railroad right-of-way for 9.5 miles. It begins at Alabama Street...

Recent Trail Reviews

New River Trail State Park

Must do trail. Will be back !!!

October, 2019 by rawieland

If you start Galax you will be rewarded with great warmup to Fries Junction and fantastic bridge over New River. Go for it and ride to park headquaters at Foster Falls. The shot tower was interesting. Lots of horses on trial near Ivanoe- so ride careful ;-). Too bad you cant ride across dams on river. Relax and Enjoy. RustyWieland

New River Trail State Park

Beautiful Leisurely ride

October, 2019 by dragonstudio1

We had such a great time bike-packing the New River Trail State Park. We took the Northbound route from Galax. We parked our car in Pulaski and got a shuttle from New River Outdoors. They were fantastic! Once we arrived in Galax its a short 2-3 miles to Cliffview Campground where we spent the first night. We stayed at site #3 which was possibly the best spot in the campground. The bathrooms were clean and there was drinking water there. They even had fire wood for $6 a bundle. Each site had posts for hammocks as well and site areas were large with a picnic table and hanger for food and bags. On day two we headed out toward Foster Falls. We stopped A LOT along the way to take in views and read signs. There are bathrooms and water sources along the way. It was a VERY leisurely ride. Most of the trail is very flat and had some low grade downhills. There are a few primitive first come first served campsites near Fries. Definitely stop off at Shot Tower and take a tour. They also have heated bathrooms there. Foster Falls Campgrounds were a little bigger than Cliffview. They have two camp stores with snacks, gear and more. Firewood is also available at the store. All the sites also included hammock posts, food hook and large areas for tents. We stayed at site #9 which was right on the river and had amazing views. Water and pit toilet were available but a little walk back up to the parking area. Day 3 we headed back to the car in Pulaski. This section doesn't have as many views or bridges but the bridges it does have are higher and have beautiful trusses. You are mostly riding through properties and towns on this section. If you have a chance you should stop off at Bryson's General Store in Draper for some snacks and BBQ. It was a nice treat. The last 7 miles or so have a slight incline. So just be prepared to constantly peddle. Up until that point the majority of the trip was downhill. The entire trail is extremely easy. Oh! Also if you like to mountain bike you should definitely plan to stop off at the new mountain biking trails as well. It's definitely worth the time. We only did the first 1 mile loop but we were glad we did! We are definitely planning to come back at some point with our wives and children.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

A fine ride

September, 2019 by robert.richter89

I had high expectations for the Virginia Creeper Trail as I heard many great things about the trail. I feel the Creeper is an average trail that did not live up to my expecations but still worth my trip from Philadelphia.

I started at White Top Depot and rode to the terminus at Abingdon. I rode on Labor Day and started early to avoid the crowds I had read about. The section to Damascus is almost all down hill which I did not enjoy, I felt that I wasn't doing any work for my mileage. The path isn't in the best shape so I needed to always pay attention to my speed and the path ahead and couldn't take in the scenery as much as I would've liked to. Damascus is a cyclist town as there are multiple bike shops and places to eat and is a perfect half way point to rest.

The second half of the Creeper from Damascus to Abingdon offered a much better ride to me as I had to actually pedal and work a bit which I enjoyed. The trail seemed to be in better condition and I was able to take in the scenery more. The cattle gates do require you to stop but I didn't mind as it was a nice change of pace from the constant downhill from White Top to Damascus.

The scenry is beautiful and changes from farmland to breathtaking views from some of the larger trestles. There are bathrooms at each trail head but there is no cell service until you get close to Abingdon so plan accordingly. I was able to get ahead of the crowds if I didn't I don't think my ride would've been as enjoyable. The section from White Top to Damascus is narrow and I could see issues with unskilled riders. If you are looking for an easy 17 mile ride I would highly recommend the ride from White Top to Damascus, as an avid rail trail rider I found the Creeper to be average.

Accordion

Guest River Gorge Trail

Lots of fun on the way down July 2019

August, 2019 by cathiwells

Great shorter rail trail to ride. Pretty waterfalls along the way but don’t worry about looking at any of the views on the way down... you will need to take a lot of breaks on the way back up so disguise your breaks as photo ops!! Honestly, it is one of the steeper Rail Trails that I have been in that is an “In and Out” Trail but it is worth the ride. We just had to take a lot of breaks on our way back out because our 60 year old thigh muscles just weren’t in the best of shape yet!

Tweetsie Trail

Worth the trip !

August, 2019 by carroldockery

My wife and I travel the country to ride rails to trails.
This trails has it all , scenery, friendly people and a nice wide
trail great for hybrid bikes. Elizabethton has a cover bridge and
a small town fill. Johnson City is the place to stay and downtown
is up and coming with restaurant and breweries. The trail even has a BBQ
restaurant on the trail. The trail could use restrooms is stead of
porta johns. Other then that you will enjoy the ride ! Lattie Dockery

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Aug 3, 2019 ride

August, 2019 by rpd1

The trail sites are spectacular. We parked at Damascus our first day and biked up the mountain. We were warned by two locals that I spoke to that the trail would be of heavy use of people coming down the mountain. The ride up is not that hard. If you are in fair shape the slope is not bad. The trail itself is more dirt and rock than crushed stone. The bridges that you cross all have 1-2 inch edges that make it difficult to get on the bridge. About 5 miles up we began to meet bikers in groups of 10-12 or more. Twice I had to yell lookout. These weekend bikers do not know the rules of the trail. 2-3 wide and not moving over. These groups are bused to the top so they can coast down. We easily met over 200 bikers. We will bike this part again but not on a weekend. The next day we parked 4 miles south of Abingdon. This part of the trail is in better condition with crush stone. We rode to Abingdon first and there is an old locomotive to see. Again the scenery is nice to look at. You will also cross over a lake between mile marker 7-8. The bad part of this trail, 6 times you have to open gates to ride this trail. I talked to a local and asked why. I was told this is private property and the farmer is trying to keep his cattle out. From what I read this is not private property but owned by Abingdon. Overall this is a beautiful trail. Well worth our trip from Pittsburgh. RDD

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Five hours from Damascus to Whitetop

August, 2019 by augustwalk

I have a somewhat different viewpoint from "The Better Half" review. I found the ride up from Damascus to Whitetop to be pretty strenuous, taking me nearly five hours to go the 18 miles (not 16). This includes numerous breaks, including the nearly life-saving one at Green Cove, which is about 3 or 4 miles from Whitetop. The ride down took only about an hour and 45 minutes, not including the break for a delicious burger at the Creeper Trail Cafe. After riding uphill for hours, the ride down was a blessed relief, though it can indeed be quite bumpy. Also could be quite dangerous. I'm sure there are some epic wipeouts. On my way up a large group of people were gathered around a teenage girl (who was wearing sandals!) on the ground with an injured leg who had apparently taken a spill. But the ride up is indeed where you can really appreciate the many spectacular views of the white water rivers. So many you may become blase' about them, particularly as you become more and more fatigued, because of course the trail gets steeper the further you go. On the way down, unless you stop, you barely take in the scenery. You're too focused on not having a wreck. I think it gives an indication on how challenging the ride up is that though many, many people were going down - often in large groups - when I went downhill I met not a single person - not ONE - who was going up. Don't be fooled into thinking it's not tough. And oddly, there are very few benches along the way for resting. Between Damascus and Abingdon, there are many benches.

This elevation chart is informative. http://www.vacreepertrail.us/images/elevations.jpg

Tweetsie Trail

Half of it is good

August, 2019 by augustwalk

First half gets 4 stars, second half gets 1.

Starting in Johnson City, the first 4 1/2 or 5 miles are good, with the kind of scenery and environment you want on a trail. But then you come out of the trees and the trail runs besides a very busy highway and you're surrounded by traffic and businesses and I believe it stays that way more or less for the rest of the trail. The second half would be good for locals commuting, but hardly my idea of an enjoyable recreational trail. Go five miles and then turn around.


New River Trail State Park

Beautiful mountain trail

June, 2019 by smithc061309

My husband and I rode the New River Trail in two days / segments. We started both days at the New River Trail State Park - Foster Falls, as it is essentially the mid-point of the trail. On day 1, we rode from Foster Falls north to Pulaski. This was an easy ride with views of the river for most of the trip. We crossed several bridges and trestles on this trip including a large one near Hiwassee. Soon after crossing under I-81, we came to the split for the Dora Trail. If taking the Dora, be aware there is a somewhat steep grade with a few washout channels in it, so watch your speed. We arrived at Heritage Park in Pulaski right on time for a picnic lunch. The ride back was also pleasant and we encountered several trail users, bicycles and walkers. On day 2, we again began at Foster Falls and rode to the Galax / Fries junction. Since we had done our sightseeing in Galax earlier on our trip, we rode to and through the tunnel on the way to Galax, then turned around and continued on the Fries (pronounced 'freeze') trail spur. The trail ends in a very nice little park with a small café. We ate here with a group of other bicyclists and exchanged stories and trail recommendations. The park is right on the New River and has a beautiful view of waterfalls.

The southern half of the New River Trail is much more scenic than the northern half, in my opinion. The New River is possibly the most scenic river we have ridden to date, especially near Buck Dam and Buck Reservoir. We rode past several historical markers like the rock crusher at Ivanhoe, and a large concrete wall structure we determined to be the lead mine. We also encountered several horses on the southern half of the trail – a first for us on our biking adventures (we have our own horses at home, so dodging the ‘horse piles’ was nothing new). There is trail access to the historic Shot Tower as well, roughly 2 miles from Foster Falls (with tower tours on select dates). The entire trail was very well maintained, and we encountered maintenance crews in several places. For reference, we ride Trek bikes (his is a Merlin mountain bike and mine is a Verve2 hybrid). It was a nine-hour drive for us to get to this trail, but the mountain views and scenery were well worth it to this ‘flatlander’. We highly recommend this trail.

Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail

Weekday Ride

June, 2019 by taztlz1958

We rode the trail from Abingdon to Straight Branch Trailhead and back on Monday and from Straight Branch to NC Border and back on Tuesday. This would be an easy one day one way ride and most likely doable forward and back over entire trail for riders who are in good shape.

The trail has immense natural beauty and the trestles are cool. We saw turkeys, deer, snakes, geese, herons or cranes, ducks and many other wild birds along the way.

The trail is basically downhill from Abingdon to the Holsten River crossing and then uphill from there. The grade from Damascus to Whitetop is much steeper but not overwhelming. I would be scared to try and attempt the return from Whitetop to Damascus on a weekend due the steeper grade which allows you to drift easily to 15-20 mph. It was a little challenging getting around the downhill bikers who were bused to the top from bike rental shops in Damascus. This section of could be dangerous for inexperienced bikers such as young children or older adults who are not bike savvy.

The trail was generally in good shape with a few rough spots. The trail was primarily crushed stone. The last 1.2 miles from Whitetop to the NC border is relatively unmaintained compared to rest of trail. Quite frankly it is an incentive to ride to NC border and would encourage better maintenance, also would be nice to get NC to continue with the development (thank you Damascus and Abingdon for your efforts). I also think a short shunt to Tennessee would be cool since it is so close.

We ate lunch at the Creeper Cafe and food was good and filling.

The diversity along the trail from farm fields to falling rivers and creeks was very nice. Need to watch out for the cows in a few locations we almost had a collision. Stopping for gates was annoying but understand the need and appreciate the willingness of property owners to allow the trail to be used on their property.

New River Trail State Park

Really nice trail

May, 2019 by jstratakes

Two and a half day bike packing round trip from Pulaski to Galax (via Fries) and back to Pulaski (May 17-19).
Friday afternoon - Loaded up the bikes at the start of the Dora Trail in Pulaski. After a quick visit to the Pulaski Bike shop headed down the Dora Trail 1 1/2 miles to the junction with the New River Trail and off we went. Dora Trail was a bit of a mess. Lots of candy stretches, not much fun on loaded up bikes. Once we got on the New River Trail though it was smooth sailing.
We stopped at Draper for a late lunch at the Mercantile (recommended), then finished our 24 mile day at the Millrace Campground at Foster Falls. Great facility, we had a site right on the river. There's a camp store and a park store for little things, but there's nothing else in the immediate area, so if you overnight, bring your own food for camp. You can buy firewood there.
Saturday - Packed up and hit the trail early for a 40 mile day to Galax via Fries. The section from Foster Falls to Fries was my favorite of the trip. Very scenic and relaxing. Stopped for lunch at the Café in Fries. While the trail was worth the miles in its own right, lunch at the café was icing on the cake. Hearty helping sizes hit the spot, friendly staff and a great view of the river. Then back down the Fries spur trail to the main trail and on to Galax. At the junction, the main trail actually leaves the New River and follows Chestnut Creek into Galax. While we had been riding "uphill" most of the way so far, it had been a very gentle uphill until Fries Junction. The rest of the way into Galax was a noticeable uphill, not hard, but definitely going uphill. The state park campground was full that night so we camped at the Old Cranks RV park in Galax. The good - nice relatively clean bath house with hot showers, and within walking distance of downtown Galax (hello Creek Bottom Brewery). The bad - that was the only amenity. No trees, no fire pits, no tables (I mean come on, a picnic table is kind of a given for a campground, but not here).
Sunday - A quick bite and we were off for 52 miles back to Pulaski. Pretty much downhill until the very end. The Dora Trail conditions were much more aggravating at the end of 50+ miles, but it was a short aggravation at least, and was partially offset by a great late lunch at Al's On First in Pulaski.
Overall a great trip. The New River Trail was in fantastic shape. Way more scenic bridges and trestles than I expected. Great scenery throughout, especially between Foster Falls and Fries. Other than Pulaski, Draper, Fries and Galax, there are no towns along the way, and be sure to check the hours for the Mercantile and Fries Café if you plan to stop at either to make sure they'll be open. There are plenty of sheltered tables (some with chemical toilets nearby) along the route.
Overall a worthwhile and very enjoyable trail. It worked out well as a bike packing route and would be just as nice doing sections as day rides. Might skip the Dora Trail next time though.

Kingsport Greenbelt

Great Day on the Greenbelt

May, 2019 by ajw

We parked at Stonebrook Pl, about the halfway point. Riding east takes you through scenic woods along Reedy Creek, ending at a small waterfall just before the trail goes up the hill to Exchange Place. Turning around and heading west to Rotherwood takes you through downtown, neighborhoods, and along the Holston River. While going through downtown, you are only 2 blocks from Pals. Stop and have a peanut butter chocolate milkshake. Then take a ride on the carousel next to Food City. About 15miles round trip, mostly shaded, flat, and paved. Be aware that the trail runs right along Reedy Creek, so if there was a heavy rain, the section east of Stonebrook will be under water for a day or two.

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