Getting in/out of vans; driving about 13 miles to bike fitter, approximately 1/2 hour; about 18 miles to trail head, approximately 1/2 hour. Biking 17 miles, approximately 3 to 3.5 hours; biking from 4,520 feet elevation to 2,100 feet elevation; well-groomed, shady national forest trail. Early morning temperatures at higher elevations average in the 40s Fahrenheit; expect temperature increases throughout the day as we drop in elevation; dress in layers, wear gloves.
In the 4-H Center Dining Hall, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet that includes rotating choices such as eggs, breakfast casseroles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, cereals, and beverage choices of milk, juice, coffee, tea water. We will also make our own bag lunches from a variety of sandwich meats, cheeses, spreads, and breads plus snacks such as chips, cookies, vegetables, granola bars, fruit.
Optional early morning Center trail walk for participants. We will hop in the van and ride to the bike outfitter to be fitted for bikes and helmets. We will then shuttle up to Whitetop Station and begin our biking adventure on the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, considered the best rail-trail in the eastern U.S. From there, we’ll begin our 17-mile biking field trip to Damascus. The trail winds through beautiful scenery. We will make stops along the way for expert commentary. The trail floor is dirt with some gravel and road crossings. There are roots and rocks present as much of the trail runs through state forest land. We will also cross several bridges remaining from when the trail was a railroad.
At a scenic spot on the trail, we’ll have the bag lunches we made for ourselves this morning.
We will shuttle back to the 4-H Center with some time to freshen up and relax. Later in the afternoon, we’ll gather in the downstairs level conference room for a presentation by a member of the Virginia Creeper Trail Club and get a historical overview of the trail.
Dining Hall buffet.
We will hop aboard vans and ride to the Holston Mountain Artisans Co-op in the town of Abingdon. There, we will meet and interact with members of the local wood carvers group and spend time in the Co-op to see examples of fine craftsmanship.