Exploring Damascus: A WanderLove Adventure

It’s WanderLove in Virginia and we’re sharing fun and exciting road trip ideas all across Southwest Virginia! Today, we want to tell you about a small community that is driven by the Virginia Creeper Trail! That community is Damascus, Virginia.

About Damascus

Damascus is located in Washington County Virginia and is a small town with a population of around 1,000. Damascus is a trail town that includes the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Appalachian TrailU.S. Bicycle Route 76, and the Iron Mountain Trail. Damascus has a natural small-town charm that will make you feel welcome and right at home.

There are a couple of options of getting to Damascus via the Virginia side:

  • From Abingdon, take US 58 from I-81 Exit 19 straight Damascus (13.4 Miles)
  • From Glade Spring, take SR 91 from I-81 Exit 29 straight Damascus (13.8 Miles)

Trail Days & The Appalachian Trail

Each year, Damascus is also home to the Trail Days Festival. Trail Days is a three-day festival that runs Friday-Sunday in May. During the festival, the town becomes filled with hikers from the Appalachian Trail and surrounding communities. Trail Days is a celebration of music, culture, heritage, food, and the great outdoors.

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Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the main highlights that sends visitors to Damascus every year! From scenic views, rich cultural history, and lovely bike rides down White Top Mountain. One feature that makes Damascus so attractive is the Creeper Trail shutter services you can find all around town. These shuttles will take you to White Top Station where you are able to bike 17 miles down White Top Mountain and back into Damascus. It might sound like a challenge, however, the majority of the ride is all downhill!

The Creeper Trail continues through the town of Damascus, Alverado, Watauga, and on into Abingdon. The entire length of the trail from Whitetop to Abingdon is 34 miles.

Camping And Outdoor Recreation

Camping and other outdoor recreation do not fall short in and around Damascus. For many visitors, camping in the great outdoors is the most sought after option. Within driving distance of Damascus, there are three options to choose from when camping Grindstone, Beartree, and Backbone Rock.

Grindstone Campground is a campground located outside of Damascus, Virginia. This campground is located in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest. Grindstone is another nature-friendly campground tucked away in the mountains. Nearby attractions include hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.

Grindstone offers sites for both tent and RV camping. Sites include a fire pit, access to showers and restrooms, as well as the ability to bring your pets.

Beartree Campground is located just outside of Damascus, Virginia in the Mount Rogers National Recreation area. This campground allows you to fully submerge into the great outdoors. Tucked far away from the main roadways, you can really get a peaceful adventure here. Beartree features roughneck tent camping and RV spots.

Beartree is a great family location that offers a lake, swimming, fishing, water, firewood, and more. Great picnic, hiking, and photography opportunities as well.

Backbone Rock Campground is located in our neighbor state of Tennessee. Backbone is a much smaller campground which is located along the Beaverdam Creek in Johnson County. There are 10 single campsites, including two double sites within Backbone Rock Campground. The campground has flush toilets. Each site contains a table, fire ring, and lantern holder.

Eating, Lodging, Entertainment

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Damascus also offers some options outside of camping with bed and breakfasts, places to eat, and even a local brewery!

Seven Trails Grill – burgers, pizza, wings, appetizers, beer, and televisions

Mojos Trailside Cafe – coffee, breakfast, lunch, and fine dinner

Wicked Chicken Restaurant & Tavern – Variety of foods with an influence on a great selection of wings

Damascus Brewery – A great local brewery with a selection of beers and live entertainment

Damascus Diner – Small but tasty diner-style restaurant

There are also a lot of great lodging options in Damascus ranging from bed and breakfast, cabins, cottages, and more. Adventure Damascus has a great resource page where you can find out more about the variety of options you have available.

Nearby Towns

  • Abingdon
  • Glade Spring