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NikNoid 04-04-14 08:16 AM

First Cycle Camping Shakedown Ride - Virginia Creeper or New River Trail
Complete my first bicycle tour last year, Harpers Ferry, MD to Pittsburgh, PA on the C&O Cannal and Great Allegheny Passage trails. Decided this is in my top 3 of ways to spend my vacation time.

That trip was a credit card tour, so now I want to try a camping based ride.

I'm looking at two options in Virginia as an overnight shake down ride but will entertain other suggestions within a days drive from Baltimore.

Virginia Creeper Trail vs. New River Trail

I am riding a Surly Crosscheck with 35cm tires.


NealH 04-04-14 01:08 PM

I would ride the NRT. You have a nice camping area (and swimming area) at Foster Falls, which should be roughly the half way point. Get to Galax then check into a motel for a night, and enjoy the town. Its small with some bluegrass music going on somewhere. Nice place to relax. The NRT is not a long trail so its only going to be a couple days of riding, then a couple back if you are doing a round trip.

JamesRL 04-04-14 01:11 PM

I would ensure that you have put up the tent a few times in the backyard before you head off. After a long day of cycling, and if the light isn't great, it isn't a good time to be looking for the manual. And have a backup plan, like knowing where the local motels are, in case you are too bushed to make camp.

NikNoid 04-06-14 11:44 AM

My current planning is to drive a day spend two days on the bike and return. My original plan was to drive to Pulaski and ride NRT to the southern Cliffview camp site near Galax; but NealH is selling me on enjoying an evening there.
@NealH, I think the central campsite is called Millrace by the DCR.
@JamesRL, thanks good tip. I have experience camping I just haven't combined it with my bicycle.

at_hiker59 05-04-14 03:06 PM

The Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia is the best for camping. Many campsites, most have a permanent portajohn, well pump, picnic table & fire ring. It's perfect for camping. A swim several times a day in the Greenbrier is worth it. Its well maintained trail and facilities. A great stop over in Marlinton for dinner or bike repairs. And Cass has a steam railroad. The Watoga State Park is a mile+ off the Greenbrier that has showers.

I've ridden it 3 times now and did it as round trips. Quiet & peaceful. No worries on traffic or roads.

NikNoid 05-05-14 12:07 PM

(@at_hiker59), Is the Greenbrier River Trail surface decent for 35mm tires. I did a Google image search and everyone is on mountain bikes! I'm riding touring bike with 700 x 35 tread.

VACaver 05-15-14 06:39 AM

IMO, the Creeper trail is too short to consider for a camping trip. The ride from White Top down to Damascus can be done very quickly, and a round trip from Damascus to Abingdon and back is only 34 miles.

If I wanted to do an overnight trip, I'd do the New River or Greenbrier trail.

NikNoid 05-20-14 07:17 AM

So, I was out on a motorcycle tour this weekend and discovered that the Greenbrier trail is blocked by a rock slide somewhere south of Cass; so that decides that! Off to the New River trail I go.

20grit 05-21-14 11:01 AM

There is also a place called Creek Bottom Brews in Galax if that sort of thing tickles your fancy.

-=(8)=- 05-21-14 12:14 PM

All these great rides . . . but, no pictures :cry:

VACaver 05-29-14 07:06 AM

I did 50 miles on the Greenbrier almost two weeks ago. The surface was pretty well packed with only a coupld of loose spots. 35's should be fine.

bhchdh 05-29-14 07:08 AM

New River. The camp sites along the river are great.

NikNoid 06-05-14 07:44 PM

Thanks all for the recommendations. Dodge a bunch of rain and enjoyed two days on the trail from Galax to/from Foster Falls to camp. Since this was a shake-down ride for us we carried 7 days worth of gear. Here are a few pics.

VACaver 06-07-14 10:14 AM


I really enjoy the New River trail and will probably do it a couple of times this summer. Hoping to do a one-day round trip from Pulaski to Galax and back in early July.

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