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Virginia Creeper Fall Foliage

10/23/2010

SHOW ME WHERE THIS IS

On a beautiful, sunny Indian summer Saturday in late October, 2010, Paul Anderson and I took a pleasant trip to the Virginia Creeper Trail. The trail was crowded with other bikers enjoying the likely last warm weather of the fall and the bright leaf color. This year was not the best ever for over-all color, but there were many bright spots none the less.

To me, the eastern part of the trail is the more scenic, so we parked at the Creek Junction lot and went east, past Green Cove and White Top Station to the Virginia / North Carolina line. Ninety percent of the other bikers rent bikes and a shuttle ride from the many outfitters in Damascus. They mostly coast downhill from White Top Station to Damascus. They get a thrilling ride but almost no exercise. We elected to get more of a workout by making a round trip first pedaling uphill, and then coasting back downhill to our starting point. Unfortunately the first half of our trip was against the tide of humanity. Often the downhill coasting groups were three vehicles wide on the trail, forcing us to stop and step to the side to avoid being run over.

We had a pleasant packed lunch at Green Cove. Paul shared his fresh, crisp apple with me. Paul took all the photos.

For part of this route the Virginia Creeper Trail and the Appalachian Trail share the same path. Then the AT forks off to the northeast just east of Creek Crossing. After coursing through the woods and over a hill, the AT crosses US Highway 58 and climbs the southwest side of Whitetop Mountain. We passed several groups of AT backpackers near Creek Junction.

The Virginia Creeper is a multi-use trail. This day we passed many fly fishermen trying their luck for trout; some hikers; and some horse riders. The trail is a wonderful resource that we should take advantage of more often. A good time was had by all.


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