The Richmond and Danville Rail-Trail follows part of the right-of-way of the old railroad of the same name, an important transportation corridor for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The railroad linked the Confederate capital of Richmond with Southside, the area between the James River and the North Carolina border, where hospitals, prisons and supply depots were located. Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Army took the route of this railroad line when they retreated from Richmond near the end of the war. They also used it to carry war supplies and Union prisoners. Today, 5.5 miles of this historical corridor, which eventually became part of the Norfolk Southern Railway system, is the scenic Richmond and Danville Rail-Trail.
Also called the Ringgold Trail, this trail was opened in January 2001. It travels past farmlands and through light woods, providing a flat route for a walk or bike ride in the rural Virginia countryside on the outskirts of Danville.
Start your trip at the western trailhead, and in only 1 mile you will reach a wetland area with prime waterfowl watching. The ride is comfortable for bicyclists and easy for hikers of all ages; it's also wheelchair accessible. You can brush up on your Civil War history as well: plaques along the way detail significant events that happened near the rail-trail. If you're looking for evidence of the trail's railroading past, the eastern trailhead has a restored railroad depot and an old red caboose.
Parking and Trail Access
From Danville, take US 58 east for about 2.5 miles then head north on State Route 62 (Ringgold Depot Road) for 3 miles. The western trailhead is located on the south side of Ringgold Depot Road.
To access the eastern trailhead, continue east on US 58 for an additional 3.75 miles then head north on Hackberry Road for 3.25 miles. The trailhead is west of Hackberry Road (Kerns Church Road) near the intersection of Kerns Mill Road.
Lots of history here.
Again, I am a native of Ringgold and Danville and have been riding this trail as soon as the tracks were taken up and there was nothing but bedrock. This is the rail line that is in the song "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". The railroad station ...
Danville's best attraction.
Being a native, I have to inform all that the Riverwalk Trail is not a rail-to-trail trail, it was constructed entirely by the City of Danville on city-owned land. A railroad never ran through it, as it lies in a flood plain; in fact many times the trail ...
Great trail! Need more like it
Tucker the dog
Tucker The Dog and I run this trail every chance we get. We begin on the east end and depending on the amount of time we have do an out and back of either 4, 8 or 11 miles. We usually have the trail to ourselves so Tucker can run off lead and he really ...