On this trip, however, we decided to ride it once more. It was fun, but not as much as the first ride with the Aikens. We made the 17-mile trip in three hours. It can easily be done in one hour if you don't stop and linger. The first time we rode it I think we took about five hours to do the ride. Because there was live music at one spot on the trail and we stopped a lot more to take photos and just absorb the beautiful scenery.
One thing about this stretch of the trail is that it's almost all downhill. And the brief parts that aren't downhill are level. If you start at the Whitetop Station and ride all the way into Damascus, you lost almost 1800 feet of elevation. That first section between Whitetop Station and Green Cove Station is pure adrenaline fun. Just coasting you can reach really wonderful speed. Even lard asses and people in just general bad physical shape and do this trail with absolutely no problem.
|The Green Cove Station. My favorite of the train stations along the trail. This was the only one that was an actual station. It was in operation until 1977 when it was finally closed. It had a store and a post office.|
|Inside the store section which is mainly a museum now. Operated by volunteers.|
|One of several abandoned homes along the trail.|
|This place was for sale. Located directly on the rail trail. It comes with 23 acres and a barn and creek frontage. Only $350K.|
|A store along the trail. There's a footbridge allowing access from the trail. We stopped here for a while when we rode the trail with the Aikens because they had live bluegrass music that day.|
|Looking down from one of the high trestles.|
|Nice waterfall on the trail.|
|The bridges and the constant water cement the appeal of the trail.|
|One of the many views.|
|The trail goes through this guy's farm. What a panorama!|
|This is where we stopped for lunch. Creekside.|
|The Buchanan Inn at Green Cove Station. This is where the people who ran the Green Cove Station lived. It's now a vacation rental.|
|A Black ratsnake on the highest of the trestles on the trail. There were three of them using the side of the bridge to sun themselves.|