The Staunton River Battlefield Rail-Trail crosses through the state park battlefield of the same name in rural south-central Virginia. The gravel trail follows an abandoned corridor of the old Richmond and Danville Railroad and includes some beautifully refurbished trestles spanning the Staunton River.
The battlefield itself has a significant place in Civil War history. In 1864, Union troops had hoped to destroy the main trestle to cut off a crucial Confederate supply line leading all the way to Richmond. But a small band of Confederates were able to hold off the Union soldiers and save the trestle. You can learn more about it at the visitor center.
The state park actually has two visitors centers, a museum, a Civil War fort, and a nice nature trail (walking only). You can begin the rail-trail, walking and biking, at the Clover visitor center near the park entrance off Fort Hill Trail (SR 855). Along the way, you'll cross the impressive trestle over the Staunton River then continue through a meadow. Two more trestles span wetlands before you reach the Roanoke Station visitor center in Randolph. Although both visitor centers have restroom facilities, water, and parking, the operating hours vary.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the Clover visitor center from South Boston, take US 360 and turn north (left) on State Route 92 to Clover. Go about 5 miles and turn left on SR 600. In about 3 miles, look for the sign to the park, and turn right on SR 855 into the entrance.
To reach the Roanoke visitor center in Randolph from South Boston, take US 360 to Branch Road/SR 608 and turn left. Follow it to the junction with Roanoke Station Road (SR 607) and turn left. Continue all the way to the trailhead on your left in Randolph.
"This rails-to-trail is so beautiful that we have incorported it into a seasonal year round volksmarch. The volksmarch also includes the beautiful Stuanton River Battlefield State Park, as well as part of the trail that goes north from the Roanoke Station. ...
"I walked this trail on Sunday, March 5. The trail is flat and the informational signs made for an excellent learning experience."
Civil War Buff's Must See
"This is a short but interesting site to visit. A Civil War site is well kept guarding the trestle bridge, Vepco Power has built a wonderful welcome center, there are nice picnic sites on the bank of the river and on the north end in Randolph, and there ...