I found out yesterday the Virginia Department of Tourism is kinda telling a story! My wife had something she needed to tend to yesterday (a funeral) and I tagged along. It just happened to be in Marion Virginia and that's about 27 miles north of Abington Virginia.
The start or finish of the Virginia Creeper Trail. I have heard about this trail for years and always wanted to check it out. From what I understood it's supposed to be all down hill. It ain't! Now I didn't do that much checking before I went except for finding which exit she could dump me off at and where the trail started in Abington. Turns out it starts only about a mile off the interstate so that worked out great. We stopped at a gas station at exit 17 on I81 and I pedaled from there to the start.
The plan was to pedal up to Damascus and back to Abington. I knew I would be going uphill to Damascus but I didn't plan to be going uphill halfway back to Abington. Guess what, that's what you do! I hung out in Damascus for awhile killing time and then headed back to meet the wife. While I was there I learned that the half of trail I was doing is in deed kinda of bowl shaped. If you really want to do the all down hill section you take a shuttle from Damascus up to the top and then that 17 mile section is all down hill back to Damascus.
Even though it's slightly uphill it's still not hard, you only have about a 1% grade so it's easy. I ended up with a 34 mile trail ride and a couple of town miles. It was really neat to see all the old railroad trestles and to be back in the woods. I was kinda surprised at the amount of people I passed. All shapes and sizes, people where out in full force enjoying the day.
Every trail head parking lot was pretty much full! If you have never been it's worth the trip at least once. It can be ridden on pretty much any type bike. A road bike with skinny tires would suck but any thing else will work. there are sections you are literally riding through some ones backyard or a field full of cows. They have gates that you open and close on those sections but it's really cool that so many land owners have allowed the trail to come across their property.
I doubt you could ever make that happen in the Charlotte area. People around here just wouldn't do it. It works there though. I even passed a couple of properties you could actually see in the house! They are that close to the trail. There where even a few properties for sale. That would be pretty neat to own a house with that in your backyard!
Plus when you go through the little community of Alvarado there is a store and restaurant that sells beer and wine. That was neat, you could stop and have lunch and enjoy a beer if you like. Then you have the town of Damascus, Trail Town USA. That is the nickname for it, the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail plus the Trans-America bicycle route come through town. Hence the nickname!
Tomorrow I will tell ya about it!!!!! I could hang out there every weekend people watching.....