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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 Appalachian forest. It’s built on the former Pea Vine Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad built to ship lumber and manganese ore more than a century ago. Very little evidence of the original railroad can be seen today – the train ceased operations and the rails were removed back in the mid 1920’s, when the metal and timber began to be depleted. But that route has received another lease on life, enhancing the economy and overall quality of life of the community of Laurel’s Bloomery.
The trail is part of a multiyear plan to develop a trail network through Johnson County. The second phase will see the trail extend north from the Virginia border to link up with the popular Virginia Creeper Trail.
The trailhead is located at Last Chance Fireworks (9393 Highway 91 N) in Laurel Bloomery. Beginning in Damascus, Virginia head south on US-51 and make a slight right onto SR 91 and cross the Virginia/Tennessee state line. Watch for signage indicating the Laurel Creek Trailhead on the right.
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