Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MSH01: Virginia Creeper Trail - Damascus
Elevation: 1920 ft. The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches from Abingdon to the North Carolina border 0.3 miles east of Whitetop Station. The trail follows the course of a former railway line used to extract timber from the surrounding mountains. Open to walking, biking and horseback riding the 34.3 mile-course crosses numerous trestles and bridges as well as passes through towns and private residences. The trail from Damascus to Abingdon runs primarily through private lands for which the two towns own the right of way. The trail between Damascus and the North Carolina border runs through the Mt. Rogers national recreation area, which is public land. Where the trail passes through Damascus, a caboose has been transformed into an information center that is open on weekends and holidays throughout the summer when visitors are most numerous. The neighboring parkland is home to several species that are uncommon or absent in more heavily wooded areas. These residents include house finch and chimney swift. The lower stretches of the trail follow Whitetop Laurel Creek, where great blue herons gather. The trail traverses through a diversity of habitats that make it a wildlife enthusiast's paradise. This, in addition to the rugged and picturesque scenery, has helped to solidify the Virginia Creeper Trail's reputation as one of the most beautiful trails on the continent.
Take Exit #19 off of I-81 onto US 58 East. Follow US 58 East for 10.5 miles to Beaver Dam Ave in Damascus. Continue straight ahead to parking on the left near the red caboose.