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A Virginia Creeper Trail Stop What to do along the Virginia Creeper Trail during a Pandemic

During this Pandemic the Bluemoonistic Images Team has been exploring hikes close to our home. The 34 miles (56 km) of the Virginia Creeper Trail begins in Abingdon, Virginia, our home base. Although the VA Creeper Trail, a Rails-to-Trails Hall of Famer, is known for its 17 mile (27 km) bicycle descent from Whitetop Station to Damascus, there are many parking areas along the trail where hikers, bikers and equestrians can begin their adventures. When you begin at Alvarado Station you can go in two directions along the trail. As of the end of September 2020, the second great thing about this location is that the restrooms are OPEN! Keep in mind you need to wear a mask and social distance when waiting in line if need be. Let’s make sure these restrooms stay open by adhering to these safety measures!

Alvarado Station along the Virginia Creeper Trail

Since you know we love trains, we thought we would share a little history about Alvarado Station. When this spur line was opened for timber operation on Whitetop, it was called Barron’s Station. When Norfolk & Western bought the rail line in the 1920s there was dispute with another station by the same name. The rather quirky story goes that 2 local men had traveled to Alvarado Texas at this time and suggested that name. They must have liked it a lot as it is an unusual name for a Virginia depot, but as you see it stuck! This depot is not the original one but a reproduction.

If you travel toward Damascus, a distance of 7 miles, you will begin walking behind several homes along the river. You pass over Alvarado Road a couple of times and pass through two gates on local farmland. We are reminded of the importance of being respectful of those who live along the trail. The success of this rails-to-trails is a testament to this cooperation!

The Virginia Creeper Trail from Alvarado toward Damascus
Rock Formation along the South Fork of the Holston River toward Damascus

If you travel the opposite direction from the Alvarado Station back toward the Trailhead in Abingdon, in approximately 1.5 miles you will come to the scenic trestle over the conjunction of the South and Middle Forks of the Holston River. This is actually the lowest point of the trail at 1900 feet. It’s a beautiful place to stop and take in the boats coming from South Holston Lake. Walking along this path we often see fisherman and enjoy walking right along the river. This is one of our favorite daily walks for the round-trip from Alvarado Station is the perfect daily 3 mile (5km) hike.

Scenes along the Virginia Creeper Trail from Alvarado going toward Abingdon
Holston Blue
Left - Middle Fork of the Holston Right - South Fork of the Holston

We always try to capture the beautiful wild flowers all along the trail. They are our favorites no matter what the season.

Top Left - Iron Weed Top Right - Spiked Lobelia Bottom Left - Touch-Me-Not Bottom Right - Showy Aster

Right across from the Alvarado Station is a beautiful park. A great place to stop for a picnic and enjoy sitting by the river!

Park across from Alvarado Station

We will be giving you more ideas for hiking other sections of the Virginia Creeper Trail in future Bluemoonistic Photo Blogs so STAY TUNED to our website! You can always reach us at our CONTACT US page of our website! Stay Safe Fellow Hikers and Bikers! Wave if you see us on the trail...

Created By
Dale & Becky Carlson
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Credits:

Bluemoonistic Images www.bluemoonistic.com Dale & Becky Carlson