Virginia Creeper Trail, VA
Length: 33.4 miles
Surface: Most of the trail is hard packed gravel. Some short sections are single track dirt with a few pasture crossings.
- Trail is open to all non motorized uses.
- Stay on the trail surface.
- Respect the privacy of adjacent land owners.
- Travel in a consistent and predictable manner.
- Keep right as you use the trail.
- Pass on the left and give a courteous and audible signal of your intention to pass.
- Stop, look, and yield to traffic at crossings.
- Clean up your litter.
- Keep pets leashed and clean up after them.
- No alcohol, drugs or firearms.
- Cyclists and skaters should wear helmets.
- Use the buddy system.
- Use the trail only during daylight hours.
- Walkers have the right of way.
- Climbing on bridges and railing is prohibited.
- Use extreme caution while crossing bridges.
History of Trail:
The Virginia Creeper Trail, now a National Recreation Trail, began its life as a Native American footpath. Later, European pioneers and explorer Daniel Boone used the trail. Shortly after 1900 the Virginia-Carolina Railroad was constructed from Abingdon, VA to Damascus, VA. In 1905 the line was extended to Konnarock, NC and Ekland, NC. The train hauled lumber, iron ore, supplies and passengers along its 76-mile route. The railroad ran its last train on March 31, 1977.
Local people still debate how the trail got its name. Some say it comes from the Virginia Creeper vine that grows prolifically in the area. Others say it comes from the slow struggling movement of the early steam engines as they climbed the mountains. The last steam engine, #433, to struggle up the grade is now on display at the Abingdon trailhead.
The Virginia Creeper Trail is open year-round. Average snowfall in the area is 15″ per year. The best time to visit is April through October if you like mild weather. The current conditions shown on the right and the climate statistics below are for Abingdon, VA at the northwestern end of the trail.