Damascus, a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, is often referred to as "Trail Town, USA" due to the beautiful hiking, biking, and heritage trails this community has to offer. The Appalachian Trail follows Laurel Avenue right through the heart of Damascus. As they stroll through downtown, A.T. hikers pass by outfitters, bed and breakfasts, the town library, grocery stores and many enticing restaurants and shops.
The A.T. is just one of seven trails intersecting this charming town. The Virginia Creeper Trail, the Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, the Iron Mountain Trail, the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, the Crooked Road Musical Heritage Trail, and Virginia's Birding and Wildlife Trail all pass through Damascus along their routes. Damascus also lies within a short distance of hundreds of miles of other hiking, horse, and biking trails, and serves as the gateway to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Thanks to these great assets, Damascus is becoming a major tourist destination for those seeking a way into the wilderness.
Damascus is also home to the largest annual gathering of Appalachian Trail hikers - Trail Days
. This multi-day festival in May attracts about 20,000 hikers and other visitors to Damascus each year, and offers hiker workshops, hiker services, food, hiking gear vendors and entertainment.
Mt. Rogers A.T. Club, the local A.T. maintaining club, is continually working with local schools to provide A.T. educational and service learning projects. They currently work with local teachers implementing their Trail to Every Classroom curriculum, and are developing a high school outdoors program. The club also supports Emory & Henry College students providing service projects on the A.T. and has set up an A.T. exhibit at a local middle school, highlighting invasive non-native plants that threaten the Trail and other natural areas.
The Virginia Creeper Trail Club recently built a map kiosk in the Town Park. Volunteers worked with ATC to post a map of hiker and visitor services in town, as well as map of the A.T. just north and south of town. Damascus also plans to build a new library and visitors center near the Town Park, adjacent to the A.T., which will be a great resource to hikers and town visitors alike. Visit www.damascus.org
for upcoming events and activities.