Cycling the Best Two of Virginias Railroad-converted Bike Trails

Virginias Railroad-converted Bike Trails Guide:

Trails from old railroads? Perfect. They open up otherwise inaccessible areas, and on these two there are enough shops, restaurants, and pastoral sites to make the trip both fun and beautiful.

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Virginias Railroad-converted Bike Trails; Two of Virginia’s best converted-railroad bike trails cross the history-steeped backlands in the southwest corner of the state. The Virginia Creeper Trail covers 34 mostly downhill miles from Whitetop through Damascus to Abingdon. The New River Trail is 57 miles long, from Galax or Fries to Pulaski. Both have shuttle services, are composed of asphalt or dirt, include scores of bridges or trestles, and open up otherwise inaccessible areas steeped in early musical history. The paths parallel rivers, and there are enough food stops, restaurants, and pastoral sites to make the combined 91 miles both fun and beautiful.

Virginias Railroad-converted Bike Trails Highlights

Explore these and more with your expert personal guide, available 24/7 on your schedule!

  • Introduction
  • The Creeper: Whitetop to Damascus
  • The Creeper: Damascus to Abingdon
  • New River Trail: Galax to the Shot Tower
  • New River Trail: Shot Tower to Dora Jct
Transportation Cycling
Specialty Highway/Countryside, Off the Beaten Path
Tour Type Guided Tour – play before & while you tour
And much much more…

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  • Rain is your foe on bike trails, so make sure the paths are dry. If it rains while you cycle, wait until it stops, or cover up, go slowly, and ride it out - but walk the bridges.
  • If you're new to cycling, the first half of the Creeper Trail is easy and fast - but bumpy. Good place to get your cycling legs.
  • If you're in a group, tell the shuttle office when you reach Damascus and they may adjust the return hour for you in Abingdon.
  • The New River Trail has fewer eating and bike repair stops, so bring extra water and snacks. Others are helpful with repairs if you wait at the depots or where there are access parking lots.
  • Stop and read the information signs. They are well researched and written. The Shot Tower is worth a long break too.
  • Don't race on either trail. The bumps aren't obvious, there are many inexperienced (i.e., nervous) riders, and if you get hurt it's very hard to get assistance to you. Keep a steady pace and enjoy the beauty!

Gordon L. Burgett

Gordon Burgett has published more than 1700 freelance articles and 36 books, and delivered over 2000 lectures nationwide. His book, "The Travel Writer's Guide," was twice voted a Writer's Digest Book Club Top Choice. Gordon's most recent books are "Niche Publishing" and "Your Living Family Tree."  


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