September 30th, 2016
Well, it’s the beginning of Fall, and that can only mean one thing. Yep, it was time for our annual group trip to Grayson Highlands State Park. We had our largest group ever this year. A total of sixteen people went, along with two dogs.
Over the course of four days, we did a combination of bike riding, exploring, and hiking on several different trails in Southwest Virginia.
On day one, we met before sunrise to begin the nearly four hour drive towards Damascus, Virginia. Along the way, we stopped for a quick breakfast at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Mars Hill, NC.
After breakfast, we finished our drive to Damascus and arrived at Sundog Outfitter, where we rented our bikes. After being shuttled to Whitetop Station, we began a seventeen mile ride along the Virginia Creeper Trail, which follows the Whitetop Laurel Creek back into town.
The trail had formerly been part of a train line, with more than 100 trestles, until the line was abandoned and the tracks removed in the 1970’s. The name derives from a native plant that grows along the route, and likewise describes the steam engine, carrying heavy loads, struggling to climb the steep mountain grades. Today’s recreational trail runs for 34 miles from the NC state line, through Damascus and ends in Abingdon.
Below is a collection of pictures from day one in the form of a tiled mosaic. You can either hover over a picture to read the captions or you can click on an image to view them individually.
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Joe G. (aka Scout)