Great trail, not quite as long as advertised
Yesterday my wife and I rode the trail. Coming from Lynchburg the trail head in Covington was easy to find, and there were signs directing you through town (this was the Intervale trail head). The trail is predominantly flat, with a few sections that have a slight grade, up or down depending on your direction. We experienced no dogs that some of the other reviewers mentioned, only 1 black snake, but he was minding his own business. There are plenty of things to see, and the trail was very well maintained (the county was even clearing trees yesterday). The mile markers were spot on with my GPS. The trail currently ends at the Smith Bridge parking area, and the mileage there from Intervale was 7.1 or so, definitely not 10. Be sure to check out the old Smith bridge over the river there! There was currently construction underway on extending the trail farther North, so once this is done it will make the trail even nicer! Lunch afterwards at Cucci's Italian in Covington is a must!
Unleashed dogs=awful experience in beautiful setting
My husband and were enjoying the JRST on Sunday, July 19 between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. At approximately 5.8 miles, a loose dog (white with brown spots) emerged from a yard to our right. Thinking it had more bark than bite, we didn't flee but tried to steer clear. It pursued me on the left side and bit my upper left ankle. The wound bled for the rest of the ride. The house is north of a place called 'heavenly acres' and a place with chihuahua pups for sale. I spoke with another group of riders and the dog chased one of them as well.
Per this incident on July 19, I received no less than 8 phone calls from a Sheriff Deputy and no less than 3 calls from the Alleghany Health Department. The dog that bit me was not located. I was highly encouraged (almost forced) to obtain the rabies vaccine, which I did.
One awful dog, on one awful day in Covington/Alleghany County has now cost my insurance company over $3,500 and me personally, out of pocket, just under $2000.
There are no 'unleashed dog' warning signs and no protective barriers.
The trail is high risk for preventative injury in albeit a place of beauty. Because of my experience, and the experience of other riders from what I hear and read, I would not recommend this trail to anyone.