The Virginia Creeper Trail in Southwest Virginia is a classic rail-to-trail that is a major destination for area cyclists. The full length trail travels between Abingdon and Whitetop while most riders elect to travel the Damascus to Whitetop segment. In fact, Damascus VA thrives as a result of the vibrant shuttle business designed to shuttle tourists to the top of the trail at Whitetop where they then cruise down the 17 miles to Damascus with hardly a pedal stroke of effort.
For tandem teams seeking a challenge the better choice is to park in Damascus, climb the Creeper to Whitetop, and then return down the same trail. The round trip 35 mile ride is a true experience with amazing views of the adjacent stream and multiple trestle crossings. Riding a tandem on this trail it is very easy to begin imaging days gone by when steam trains chugged up the mountain hauling supplies to the top and returning with logs to the bottom.
Caution is suggested for teams that ride the trail on weekends. A number of the shuttle tourists are weak bike handlers and with the aid of gravity they become dangerous obstacles. The Virginia Creeper Trail is composed of packed dirt and gravel, tandem teams should only ride the trail with a tandem equipped to travel on the dirt surface. Find more info on the Virginia Creeper Website.