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Virginia Creeper Trail temporary shutdown effective immediately

STAFF • Apr 6, 2020 at 12:30 PM

ABINGDON, Va. – In order to protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Virginia Creeper Trail will be temporarily closed beginning Monday. The decision was made jointly by the managers of the trail — the U.S. Forest Service and the towns of Abingdon and Damascus.

“Recent overcrowding along portions of the trail, concern for increasing the burden on local Emergency Medical Services and the health and safety of all trail users were the driving forces behind this decision,” said Matthew Crum, president of the Virginia Creeper Trail Conservancy.

This decision aligns with state and local measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is aimed at preventing groups from congregating and violating “social distancing” guidelines and is consistent with the closure of several other public trails across the commonwealth.

As of 5 p.m, Monday, all access points along the 34-mile trail from Abingdon to Whitetop Station will be temporarily shut down until further notice.

“Ensuring the health and well-being of our communities, visitors and employees is our top priority,” said Joby Timm, forest supervisor for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

“We look forward to reopening the Creeper Trail and welcoming all trail users back as soon as we safely can,” added Lisa Quigley, executive director of the Creeper Trail Conservancy.

The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail is a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border. Damascus and Abingdon local governments administer the trail from Abingdon to Damascus and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ Mount Rogers National Recreation Area manages the trail from Damascus up to the North Carolina line.

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