The Virginia Creeper Trail is a bicycle trail converted from an old rail bed. The mostly downhill route passes through the Mount Rogers National Recreation area of Southwestern Virginia and is a fantastic adventure for the entire family. We biked this route on a cold, spring day with some of our best friends.
We started by parking and renting bikes in the town of Damascus. Because the kids were not yet confident bike riders, we opted for a trailer to take the two littlest ones…
…and bike tag-alongs for the older kids. This gave the big kids the feeling of riding a bike without the responsibility of navigating, braking, and steering by themselves. I have found this option at several bike-rental locations across the country. I cannot recommend it enough for the big [little] kids in your family.
The company that we rented the bicycles from shuttled us and our bikes up the mountain to the city of Whitetop. The trail is 17 miles of crushed gravel for the entirety of the route. For the first 14 miles, the route is mostly downhill. You don’t really need to pedal until the last three miles when the path flattens out a bit. Although the bike path does cross some streets, bikes are, for the most part, isolated from the traffic. It is the easiest, prettiest bike path that we have ever encountered.
There are several beautiful sights to see along the route. The river, with its small rapids, made a great stop for kids who needed to run for a bit. Green Cove is a former train station that sported a playground to amuse our kids. There are also bathrooms located every four miles or so along the trail. The entire ride takes between 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
This whole adventure took less than a day, but created memories that have lasted for years. If you are ever in southern Virginia, your kids will love biking the Creeper Trail.