The Creeper Trail is really nice.
I rode up to the top from Damascus, 15 miles and 1300 feet of climbing. It's an old railroad grade, so there's no steep grades. But some of it is a 3% grade, fairly hard work on gravel.
Here's someone's GPS recording:
Here's some photos I took (from a cheap disposable camera) from Oct 2005:
Click the slideshow button.
Riding up to the top and back is really nice. I'm going slow and get a chance to see all the scenery, and I hear the creek's rapids nearby for much of the ride. And there's so many good places to stop and admire the view, so I take my time. There's a lot of bridge crossings, whitewater, balsam and rhododendron forest, and mountain views.
On the return trip, it feels like I could just coast all the way down, but there's sections that are flat enough to need some easy pedaling.
I haven't been there for a while. Most of the trail is hard packed, but a few parts had somewhat loose gravel or sand. I was riding a mountain bike.
The other half of the Creeper trail goes from Abingdon to Damascus. It's not up in the mountains, and not as scenic.
Abingdon VA is a historic town, with lots of interesting architecture. It's worth a visit, too.
Last edited by rm -rf; 10-04-12 at 08:57 AM.