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Ingles Open Road: Virginia Creeper Trail

I’m Chris Bainbridge, and I love the Carolinas. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes – even in our changing world. Ingles sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature, music, and more… all affordable, and all out of the ordinary.

We’re taking two wheels down one of the most famous and scenic bike trails in the country. One that winds its way through the Appalachian wilderness, and two quaint mountain towns. It’s a destination and an experience you don’t want to miss. Welcome to the Virginia Creeper Trail.

With a history that dates back hundreds of years, the trail began as a pathway for indigenous peoples. In the late 1800’s the railroad came to the mountains, and the train that traveled the hillsides was named the Virginia Creeper for the slow and steady climb transporting timber through the Blue Ridge.

In the 1980’s, long after the rumble of the rails had stopped, work began on converting 34 miles of track into one of the most beautiful public trails in America. Today the Virginia Creeper Trail is a national treasure just waiting for your exploration.

We’re doing about half of the trail today, and we got amazing help from Creeper Trail Bike Rental and Shuttle in Damascus. These guys are great, with beautiful bikes and e-bikes and a super convenient shuttle service to take you to White Top to start your 17-mile ride back down to town.

An easy 5% grade allows you to barely pedal during your journey. And because the pace is so peaceful, you can really enjoy the beauty that surrounds you on your journey.

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Breathtaking pastures in broad, sweeping valleys… the peaceful flow and falls of clear mountain streams… stunning trestles spanning the waterways of western Virginia… all combining to create a symphony for the senses.

An Ingles picnic is a great idea for your ride down. And there are so many places to stop along the way to enjoy the beauty of nature while you treat yourself to a little trail-side snack.

Depending on your pace and how many times you stop to take in the beauty, the ride from White Top to Damascus will take you about 2.5 – 3 hours. You won’t have reception for most of the ride – which is pretty awesome in its own way – so use that phone like a camera and enjoy unplugging.

Your weekend is waiting on the Ingles Open Road.

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