BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Virginia Creeper Bike Hike

On the weekend of April 17-19 our troop bicycled the Whitetop to Damascus section of the Virginia Creeper Trail. 17 scouts and 8 adults were on the trip. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday to load our gear on the troop trailer and load the bicycles on the ATV trailer (thanks Michael Bowling for loaning us the ATV trailer!) before we hit the road. We got to the Iron Horse Campground in Damascus around 9:30PM and setup camp in the dark. We were able to camp next to the river. Although the weekend weather forecast had looked grim for most of the week, we got up Saturday morning to sunny skies. After breakfast, we loaded into the vehicles for the ride up to the Whitetop trail access. When we got there, we needed to replace the rear tube on one of the bikes. While working on the bike we had two scouts skin their knees in the parking lot before we even got on the trail! Once the bike was repaired and the knees were bandaged, we started down the trail. The ride was very pleasant and the trail was mostly down hill for the 20 miles back to the campsite (the trail runs right through the campground). There was one more skinned knee (minor) on the way down. We got back to camp around 1:30PM and had lunch. Right after lunch we discovered one of the scouts was missing, he had not stopped at the campground and had continued down the trail. We caught up with him and discovered he had joined up with another scout troop who were looking after him. Several of the scouts working on the bicycling merit badge rode another 5 miles in the afternoon to complete the 25 mile requirement. We shuttled the drivers back up to Whitetop to retrieve the vehicles and then had dinner. After dinner, we had a campfire and then a birthday party for Zeke. Sunday morning we got up to cloudy skies but still no significant rain. We had breakfast and packed up camp. 15 minutes or so after we left the campground the heavy rain started and we drove through rain most of the way back to the church. We got back around noon and the rain stopped just long enough for the scouts to gather their personal gear and get picked up.

Trail Map

Here we are on Friday at the church getting ready to head out.

Getting up and having breakfast on Saturday.

Getting Ready to head up to the Whitetop trail access.

We had some last minute bike repairs at the trailhead.

On the Virginia Creeper Trail.

We had a birthday cake for Zeke at the campfire on Saturday.

Packing up camp on Sunday morning.