Total miles 27,+/- 1,010/1453 elevation. Total miles so far 451. Weather low 50’s and rain. Highlights: Riding in the rain, a lot of downhill, the Creeper Trail, meeting some Appalachian Trail hikers, Damascus trail town, big dinner at local diner.
Forecast called for rain ending by 10 a.m. We started in light drizzle about 10:15 and about half a mile later we ran into a pretty good rain shower. At this point we stopped and put on our rain gear and it rained at varying intensity for the next 3 hours or so.
The Virginia Creeper Rail Trail that is 35 miles long. The name comes from a vine that grows on the trail. It follows Laurel Creek and was all downhill for the 11 miles that we were on the trail. Many outfitters run a shuttle to the eastern end at Whitetop so riders can do a 17 mile downhill ride back to Damascus.
The trail crosses the Appalachian Trail several times. We met some hikers and talked about their hike and our trip. The hikers do not see many touring cyclists so were curious about where we were going, etc.
Everything you need to hike the Appalachian Trail can be purchased in this store.
Damascus is a major re supply point for hikers on The Appalachian Trail. Northbound hikers have hiked almost 500 miles when they reach Damascus. There are many restaurants and outdoor stores catering to hikers.
Trail days is a big festival with over 2000 hikers attending. Concerts, contests, seminars and hanging out with other hikers. Hikers will shuttle from where they are hiking to this event. They are having the event this year supposedly scaled back a bit due to COVID.
We had a great dinner at this restaurant. Went early to avoid the crowds. For around $12.00 you got an entree, choice of 2 sides homemade vegetables and a salad all generous portions.