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Find the top rated atv trails in Bluefield, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I had a hard time rating my recent trip on the Trail. Since I began riding the Trail in 2008 I have promoted the Creeper Trail to others as Virginia's Crown Jewel of trails. After a five year lapse, we came back to bike our favorite section from Whitetop to Damascus. We always take the first morning shuttle up and enjoy taking most of the day to slowly enjoy the views with the sunlight through the trees in the woods and time along the creek. We have always avoided the crowds of the weekends and holidays.
Thursday Oct 10 was our recent visit. It looked like the weekends of earlier years with the group sizes and the families with children (not in school?). Everyone on the trail got to practice the "on your left" greeting. We heard it 1000 times and felt badly we were holding others up. Our joy was taken away. The volunteer at Green Cove said the previous Saturday set a record estimated at 3800 visitors. Whew!
I am happy to see the increased use and support for the trail and its economic benefits for Southwest Virginia. I am now saddened to find no predictable lighter use days in the Fall for those of us who 'march to a different beat' and want to experience it differently than others.
As an aside, the Tuesday after Labor Day in September, we biked our favorite section of the Greenbrier River Trail near Marlinton WV. During seven hours we saw five people and some were abutting property owners cutting grass. The Greenbrier is wonderful in so many ways, but it's not quite the Creeper Trail experience. My Greenbrier River Trail review in September, 2019 is on TrailLink.
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
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.
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.
Rode from NE trailhead, finding the first mile plus nearly impossible to bike. Treacherous descent / ascent through area of former trestle (pushed / pulled bike, cannot imagine riding it). Many downed trees and branches at intervals the entire length. Although we pulled smaller ones that we could manage, off the trail, significant more remain, most will require tools. Good signage, including reflective markers through the first section where the trail is nearly indiscernible; mileage designations would be helpful. Recommend riding from SW trailhead 3 miles to trestle site, then turn around and ride back. Those 3 miles scenic, with the trail elevated through woodlands. No mountain views while trees in leaf. Consider that elevation rises from NE to SW.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
As most of the other reviews have said, the popular thing to do is park in Damascus and take a shuttle to the top, and then coast most of the 15 mi back to Damascus. A great family outing, but it does not involve much pedaling. On the other hand, going uphill from Damascus to Whitetop is a real thigh burner only for the athletic. So don't overlook the other half of the trail. Park in Alvarado (follow signs to the winery off US58, then about 1/2 mi past) and take the gradual ride uphill 8mi to Abingdon. Then when you turn around, it is an easier gradual downhill ride back to the car. Very scenic, crossing a large trestle, farmland and woods. You can also go Alvarado to Damascus, but it runs along a road much of the way and is not as scenic. The Creeper trail is not paved, but the small gravel is very easy for a hybrid bike.
Most of the reviews you read talk about the van ride from Damascus to White Top for the long coast down. I told my wife about this and she informed me we could ride our bikes up the trail then coast down. This statement was accompanied by mutterings of burning calories and staying healthy. So I said what any good husband says...."Yes Dear". We rode the 16 miles up from Damascus to White Top. It's not that difficult. Most of the ride is only 1% or 2% grade with the last 3 miles being the toughest at a 3% grade. The slower pace allows the rider to see the more beautiful parts of the river. We continued beyond White Top to the North Carolina border (An extra mile) before doing the long coast back to Damascus and a meal. We did not enjoy the ride down, too bumpy and constantly riding your brakes. The ride up is better.
We stayed in Abingdon so we decided we would start the creeper at its most westerly point and ride to Damascus, eat lunch, then return. My wife and I both enjoyed this section of the Creeper much more than the eastern half that most people ride. Beautiful long trestle bridges, scenic overlooks and the red bud trees in their full spring pink. Be prepared to stop and open some farm gates but the ride is great with roughly a 300 foot elevation change over 16 miles.
After biking 34 miles the first day and 32 miles the second, we finished back in Abingdon with enough time to visit the local winery and then dinner at a place called "The Tavern". It's a little up-scale and expensive but we enjoyed an excellent meal, and they don't mind if you are wearing your biking clothes.
The reason for a four-star rating of the Creeper is the crowding of fast downhill bikers on the eastern half making the trail less peaceful and a very high local tax in Abingdon on top of state tax leading to 12.5% tax on your purchases.
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