18 - Damascus

How to get there - From Beartree go west on US58 for 8 miles to Damascus.


Things to do - Follow US58 to the business district. Just at the far end of the business district and to the left is a Town Park that includes restrooms, a bandstand, and a former AT shelter. Within sight from the back of the park is a library (with WiFi) and visitor center.


Damascus is known as the "Trail Town." The Appalachian Trail goes along Laurel Ave (the main street) and the Creeper Trail is just a block behind the business area.


Damascus has the reputation as the "Friendliest Town on the Trail." Damascus Appalachian Trail Days is celebrated the weekend after Mother's Day with a parade, music, exhibits, and many people!


The Virginia Creeper Trail is a rails-to-trails conversion that has become a major attraction. Local shuttle services provide a ride for you and your bike (or a rental bike) to the "top" of the Creeper Trail at Whitetop Station. You may see vans pulling trailers filled with bikes leaving town for Whitetop. The Creeper Trail Club web site provides more information.


Downtown Damascus is a very walkable town. Take time to stroll on Laurel Ave and you may find yourself walking with AT thru hikers. You will find shuttle services, hiking/backpacking supply stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.


For history lovers - The first name given to this community was Mock’s Mill. That name changed to Damascus in 1886 when John D. Imboden purchased downtown Mock’s Mill from Henry A. Mock, Jr. Imboden believed that iron ore deposits were under the surrounding virgin timber. The iron ore deposits were minimal but the timber industry boomed for 25 years as the mountains were denuded.


The "Iron Bridge," west of Damascus on US 58, now carries bike riders on the Virginia Creeper Trail across Laurel Creek where it once carried trains.


Return - Damascus is the last site/stop of the tour. Return to I-81 via VA 91 North which will take you to I-81 exit 29 at Glade Spring.The distance from Damascus to I-81 is 12.4 miles. To reach VA91 North backtrack on US58 / Laurel Ave and turn left when you reach VA91. An alternative is to continue west on US58 to Abingdon (Exit 19 on I-81 is 15.6 miles).


We hope that you enjoyed the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Please return again. Click HOME below to exit.