Winter Wonderland Along the Virginia Creeper Trail

We are all feeling the Winter blues this time of year! With the pandemic limiting our ability to get out even more, the lack of outdoor activities is causing us all to dream about Spring. Before you spend every minute thinking about Spring flowers, let the Bluemoonistic Team show you some of the Winter beauty that you can find along The Virginia Creeper Trail. Since we live in Abingdon, Virginia, we have the opportunity to experience the trail all year round. Every season offers its own magic and Winter is no exception!

You can begin some of the best winter hiking right here in Abingdon at the Virginia Creeper Trailhead. The trailhead is only a short walk from downtown Abingdon and the Welcome Center is right next to it so you can gather lots of great information about the entire trail. Beginning Spring 2021 the Welcome Center will also be the new home for the Abington Visitors Center. This central location is the perfect place to start your Virginia Creeper Trail experience.

Between the Welcome Center and the beginning of the Trailhead, is the Norfolk & Western 433 – nicknamed “Molly” because she is a Class M steam locomotive. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a Rails-to-Trails that was named after the Abingdon Branch of the Virginia Creeper Line that ran from Abingdon to West Jefferson NC from 1915 to 1977. Molly was donated to the town of Abingdon in 1958. She is the perfect reminder of why we have such a great Hall of Fame Rails-to-Trails.

Our Bluemoonistic photographer, Dale R. Carlson, loves photographing Molly in all types of weather! She is especially majestic with snow fall all around her! Molly’s lights always seem to showing us the way to the trail just as she did when she was riding the rails.

When weather permits we love to head outside of town to one of the other parking areas along the Virginia Creeper Trail to begin our hikes. One of our favorites is Alvarado Station. The beautiful snow covered mountains in the background are always a welcoming place to begin.

Alvarado Station

The Virginia Creeper Trails covers 34 miles from Whitetop Station to Abingdon so there are many places to begin a great winter hike. You can follow the Whitetop Laurel Creek and the many trestles that cross over the creek. Mother Nature’s ice and snow have a way of making a winter hike even more breathtaking.

Ice and Snow along the Virginia Creeper Trail

Just past Damascus, Virginia, along Highway 58 is the Straight Branch Parking area. This parking area is often used by horseback riders - especially in winter when bikers are not as frequent along the trail. It is always a treat to be meet them on the trail. It does not have to be snowing for the winter scenes to offer a special kind of beauty. From ”Mosscicles” to being able to see the creek clearly without leaves on the trees, the joy of finding Christmas ornaments hanging in bushes to brighten the holiday season or a late afternoon sunburst – you can always find something new and different along the way!

Other winter scenes along the Virginia Creeper Trail

We were able to make it Taylor’s Valley recently while it was still snowing and found even the drive into the parking area on Taylors Valley Road to be filled with photographic beauty!

Taylors Valley Road

The hike into Taylors Valley with snow on the ground shows the true beauty of hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Following the creek and bursting into Taylors Valley itself offers a winter paradise.

Taylors Valley
Virginia Creeper Trail into Taylors Valeey

The Bluemoonistic Team hopes our Photographic Art inspires you to venture outside more during the winter months. It is a magical time that can make one forget the cold and see another side of the beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail. It truly is a trail for all seasons! We leave you with these serene moment of listening to Whitetop Laurel Creek that is bound to calm the soul.

Created By
Dale & Becky Carlson


Photos by Dale R. Carlson