29 July, 2021
Exploring Damascus: A WanderLove Adventure

Exploring Damascus: A WanderLove Adventure

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

About Damascus

Damascus is located in Washington County Virginia and is a small city of around 1,000 people. Damascus is a hiking city that includes the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Appalachian Trail, the US Bicycle Route 76, and the Iron Mountain Trail. Damascus has a natural, small town charm that will make you feel welcome and at home.

There are several ways to get to Damascus via Virginia:

  • From Abingdon, take US 58 off I-81, Exit 19, straight to Damascus (13.4 miles).
  • From Glade Spring, take SR 91 off I-81, Exit 29, straight to Damascus (13.8 miles).

Trail Days & the Appalachian Trail

The Trail Days Festival is also held in Damascus every year. Trail Days is a three day festival that takes place Friday through Sunday in May. During the festival, the city is filled with hikers from the Appalachian Trail and the surrounding communities. Trail Days is a celebration of music, culture, heritage, food and the great outdoors.

Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the top highlights that send visitors to Damascus every year! From picturesque views, rich cultural history and beautiful bike tours on White Top Mountain. One feature that makes Damascus so attractive is the Creeper Trail closure services that you can find all over the city. These shuttles will take you to White Top Station, where you can cycle 17 miles down White Top Mountain and back to Damascus. It may sound like a challenge, but the majority of the ride is downhill!

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

  • Creeper Trail bike rentals and shuttle
  • Creeper Trail Shuttle Shack
  • Blue Blaze bike rental and shuttle
  • Damascus adventure
  • Sundog outfitter

Camping and outdoor recreation

Camping and other outdoor activities in and around Damascus are not neglected. For many visitors, camping in the great outdoors is the most desirable option. Within driving distance of Damascus, there are three options to choose from when camping at Grindstone, Beartree, and Backbone Rock.

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

Grindstone offers pitches for tent and RV camping. Sights include a fire pit, access to showers and toilets, and the ability to bring your pets.

Beartree Campground is located just outside Damascus, Virginia, in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. You can fully immerse yourself in nature at this campsite. Far from the main roads, you can really have a peaceful adventure here. The Beartree offers tent camping and RV parking.

Beartree is a great family spot that features a lake, swimming, fishing, water, firewood, and more. Great picnic, hiking, and photography opportunities.

The Backbone Rock Campground is located in our neighboring state of Tennessee. Backbone is a much smaller campground on Beaverdam Creek in Johnson County. There are 10 single campsites, including two double campsites on the Backbone Rock Campground. The campsite has flush toilets. Each location includes a table, fire ring, and lantern holder.

Food, lodging, entertainment


Damascus also has some off-camping options with bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and even a local brewery!

Seven Trails Grill – Burgers, Pizza, Wings, Appetizers, Beer, and TV

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

Wicked Chicken Restaurant & Tavern – A variety of dishes influenced by a wide variety 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 many great accommodation options in Damascus, from bed and breakfasts to cabins to cottages and much more. Adventure Damascus has a great resources page that you can use to learn more about the multitude of options available.

Nearby cities

  • Abingdon
  • Spring clearing

Exploring Damascus: A WanderLove Adventure first appeared on Virginia’s travel blog.

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