You Are Here What to do along the Virginia Creeper Trail during a Pandemic

We do not need to tell you that we are in the midst of Global Pandemic! Whether you are staying home or you have gone back to work, we are all looking for ways to releave stress and exercise these days. We can only take so many walkabouts the garden before we want to see something new. The Bluemoonistic Team is lucky that we live in Abingdon, Virginia, where the Virginia Creeper Trail begins. This has allowed us to hit the trailhead in the center of Abingdon for many early morning walks. However, even walking this stretch of the trail became old after awhile and we have been exploring as many different locations along the trail's thirty-four miles as we can. Let's face it - this is the perfect time to create our own new normals!

Because the Virginia Creeper Trail is so famous as a downhill bike trek from Whitetop Station many people never hike or bike from other locations along the trail. Within a short drive from Abingdon there are many places to park and take advantage of some awesome hiking paths. We want the share some of these with you! We are going to start off this photo blog series about the Virginia Creeper Trail with one of our favorites - Straight Branch. The parking lot is about 4 miles outside of Damascus on US Hwy 58. You can head in either direction from the Straight Branch parking lot. We find this section of the trail especially interesting because this is a favorite location for fishermen and we have found lots of trails down to the creek that allow for beautiful photos. Come on let's take a look --

Straight Branch

The first trestle (No. 22) you cross as you head toward Taylors Valley is where Straight Branch flows into Whitetop Laurel Creek. It's a great place to begin a lovely hike that follows the creek. On our last hike this butterfly was our trail companion for awhile and at last he stopped and we were able to capture a photo of him!

Swallowtail Butterfly

We always find interesting wild flowers along this section. Keep your eyes out for interesting flora! Every season produces a whole new selection. These were taken during July and August.

Turk's Cap Lily - Wild Cardinal Flower - Joe Pye Weed

As you walk along this beautiful shady section of the Virginia Creeper Trail there are many paths that allow you to head directly down to Whitetop Laurel Creek. It is worth a stop just to enjoy a few moments of watching the water splash over the rocks.

Mountain Cooler- Whitetop Laurel Creek

Whitetop Laurel Creek has been called one of Virginia's finest trout streams so if you are fisherman there is lots of information online that will help you decide where and when would be the best places and times to give it a try!

Falling Waters - Whitetop Laurel Creek

There are so many places along this section of the trail to get up close and personal with the creek. Find a rock and put your feet in for awhile! The sound of the water rushing over the rocks is a wonderful companion during almost all of this hike.

Straight Branch Trail

Our Bluemoonistic photos definitely show the beauty along the Virginia Creeper Trail during the summer months. We have a special gallery on our website just for The Virginia Creeper Trail and many of these photos are included there. However, we want all hikers and bikers to be aware of one important change during these Covid times. NONE of the bathrooms along the trail are open at this time! We have contacted the Abingdon Visitor's Center but sadly their information does not lead us to believe they will be re-opened any time soon. We hope that the powers that be will see the importance of opening these facilities as part of the trail maintenance. Safety is of upmost importance to us too, but we have been to other Virginia State Parks during this time where the facilities are open. In order for all of us to make the Virginia Creeper Trail a destination we can enjoy it is important that we have bathroom facilities along the trail!

We leave you with a couple of other Safety Requests to everyone hiking or biking along this trail and others. PLEASE take care to follow these simple precautions to keep our trails and park open! Since most people exercising in the outdoors are not wearing masks please respect social distancing! It is not too much to ask people to go SINGLE FILE when passing others on the trail. Step off the trail if it is necessary! Call "ON YOUR LEFT" when passing others on your bike! Remember the trail is for hikers as well as bikers! 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


Bluemooonistic Images - Dale & Becky Carlson www.bluemoonistic.com