Virginia Creeper Trail, VAWhitetop to Green Cove (3.0 miles)
This point is one mile to the Virginia-North Carolina State line. Many people walk or ride (very rough road) down to the line, then return. Whitetop has a large parking area, and the old train depot. A visitor center is planned there in the future.
Most people obtain the services of one of the excellent bike shuttle services in Damascus, or Abingdon. See the directory listing page for Bicycle Shuttle services. These services will transport you and your bike (and rent you a bike, if needed) for the trip. Once at the top, you can cruise down, as it is almost all downhill into Damascus.
When starting at this point, make sure you dress in layers, the temperature can vary greatly as the elevation drops nearly 1600 feet.
Green Cove to Creek Junction (2.3 miles)
Snacks and visitor information is available at Green Cove during Summer months.
This continues downhill through the beautiful Taylor’s Valley.
Creek Junction to Straight Branch ( 7.5 miles)
This section goes through the National Forest.
Caution: Cross VA 91/ US Hwy 58 at intersection at mile 16.3
Damascus to Alvarado (7.0 miles)
Damascus is an interesting place to visit. It is home to Trail Days in May, celebrating through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. It is home to several Bed and Breakfasts, a hostel, restaurants and several bicycle-shuttle companies (who will take you and your bike to Whitetop).
As you leave Damascus you travel along the banks of Laurel Creek often crossing driveways and well kept front yards. You begin entering dense forest as the creek flows into the South Fork Holston River. There are several privately owned gates that must be opened and closed as you pass through pastures and farmlands.
Alvarado to Watauga (4.5 miles)
When you reach the South Holston Trestle stop and have a drink and snack before tackling the last 7-mile uphill stretch. The view of the River Knobs and the Great Knobs is excellent any time of the year. Wildlife, birds and farm animals are abundant in this area.
Before you get to Glenrochie Country Club you’ll come to the memorial bench for Walter Hendricks. The stainless steel plaque is embedded on the bench. It reads: "In Loving Memory, Walter Hendricks, a trail founder". Mr. Hendricks is listed as one of the several initiators of the trail in the book The Virginia Creeper Trail Companion by Davis and Morgan (1997, The Overmountain Press).
Watauga to Abingdon (4.0 miles)
As you enter Abingdon you will probably encounter several local folks walking the gentle slopes; they love to talk about their trail.