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Explore the best rated trails in Charlottesville, VA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Hawksbill Greenway and Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail. With more than 11 trails covering 74 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
We hiked about 2.4 miles or so from CATEC to Melbourne Road. A lovely walk along an asphalt trail. This late in the day hike was a good choice for our dog who got excited seeing squirrels, rabbits, and a deer. We also passed several cyclists enjoying the same trail. A great hike for those who want to enjoy a not too long, not too short hike that is not too difficult.
I rode over the bridge part And about half the other part of the trail. Trying to get up for a Whole weekend to ride the rest
Tree covered trail extremely easy to manipulate.l
I hesitate to describe how perfect this trail is out of fear that more people will be using it next time! But I must celebrate the people who maintain it and keep it so nice. Thanks to all who contribute! The trail is well marked, scenic, and euphonious.
Paved urban trail - not a RT. Plenty of parking at the “Wilson” end, since the other end just stops at a construction site. Many of the road crossings are small and the large ones have signal control buttons. Not flat - comfortable ups and downs past housing developments, medical offices, and hospital. McD and other fast food at the end the route along Tinkling Spring Rd. Augusta Kitchen (closer to trail head) looked like a great place to eat, but only opened at 11:00 and we rode earlier. A pleasant park down a short paved access road off the parking lot with 1/2 mile walking trail around small lake to enjoy after your ride. Also has clean & modern bathroom.
My sweetheart and I did this trail today…it was amazing. Nevermind the part where I thought about calling Waynesboro Police to come pick me up on the way back to the car, LMAO! It was time to bond with nature and there were so many lessons. “The light at the end of the tunnel””gotta get up and climb that hill AGAIN!” Tom Petty ¿
Rode this on a BEAUTIFUL Friday afternoon at the start of the Memorial Day Weekend in May 2022. Encountered about a dozen pedestrians in each direction, but my teenage daughter and I were the only ones on bikes. The gravel trail is easy and smooth when starting in the east (Afton) and through the tunnel. Leaving the tunnel on the western side, there are several fairly steep up and down hills before reaching the trail head (our turn around). We walked our bikes uphill for short sections, but more fit / experienced riders would have no difficulty. The downhills were short and thrilling.
The tunnel is why we came here - and is definitely the attraction. BRING A BRIGHT HEADLIGHT / FLASHLIGHT! We each had cheap (dim) camping headlights - but fortunately I also had a small hand-held flashlight in the car, and I held it on the ride. Posted signs recommended 300 lumen lights. From the entrance of the tunnel you can see the "light at the end" - but it is way in the distance, and the tunnel is VERY DARK inside. For spring / summer visitors - bear in mind the temperature in the interior of the tunnel is cooler (about mid 50s to mid 60s year round) compared to the high 70s on our visit day. For biking it was refreshing, but several of the hikers wore jackets. April and May 2022 were pretty rainy - and the east side of the tunnel had a flowing waterfall and standing water (about 6 inches deep) at the tunnel entrance. Based on comments from some of the regulars we met - the tunnel ceiling sometimes drips extensively. This didn't bother us on our bikes.
Kudos to Nelson County Parks and Recreation for several excellent interpretive signs on each end of the route, as well as safety and regulatory signs, including a reminder to bring a flashlight. It was not crowded when we visited, but based on the "NO PARKING" signs on the east trailhead - be advised to ONLY park in the designated parking lot - which appeared to hold about 20 cars. There was a porta-john on the east entrance, otherwise there were no services. We did not explore the west trailhead parking area and entrance, we turned around at the west trailhead sign.
At 4 miles round trip, this isn't going to be a long workout on a bike. The tunnel IS this trail, so come prepared to read the signs, think about its history, and then experience the beautiful setting immediately adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Rockfish Gap.
I rode this trail on 5/11 and 5/12, 2022. I'd divide it into roughly three sections - west, from almost-Pamplin to Tuggle, central, from Tuggle to the eastern cutoff to the Spur Line Trail a bit east of the bridge, and eastern, from that point to the eastern terminus.
The Central section (4.5/5) is by far the most interesting. Tuggle to Farmville is relatively scenic. Farmville to the High Bridge is decently scenic. The High Bridge is impressive; yes, it's "just trees", but you are above them, can see 20 miles, watch the crows and other birds flying above the tree or landing on the bridge, relax with a great view, and see the Appomattox from a great height. In my opinion, the Bridge itself delivered on what was promised online, and at nearly half a mile long, it's probably the longest bridge I've biked across, and quite possibly the longest as well.
Then, you can then lock your bike to one of the racks east of the trail, and take the Camp Paradise and/or Spur Line Trails. If you only have time for one, take the Camp Paradise. Not so much for Camp Paradise itself - a Confederate camp meant to guard the bridge; you can still see the earthworks, but it's not particularly impressive. Instead, take that trail because it takes you below the High Bridge. This gives you another perspective on just how impressive the bridge is, particularly for being originally built in the mid-1850s, lets you see more of its construction, and shows why it was strategically important. Hike back up the southern side of Camp Paradise to get a hint of what it may have been like to move an entire army, carrying packs with supplies as well as rifles, up from crossing the Appomattox without the bridge. It was much easier for the Union to catch the Army of Northern Virginia with the bridge still relatively intact!
The base of the bridge by Camp Paradise also happens to be a butterfly hangout.
The Spur Line Trail is a nice hike through the woods, though the promised overlook is fairly obscured. Still, it's a nice break from the relative visual sameness of most of the trail.
The Rochelle Area mountain bike trails are also in the eastern section; I didn't have enough time to try them out.
The Eastern part of the High Bridge Trail (4/5) is, as another reviewer mentioned, a "zen trail". If you've had a stressful week and just want to get away from it for a while and pedal, without having to think too much about the scenery, this would be a great option. It doesn't change direction much, sometimes the rail bed is above the surroundings, sometimes below, giving a cozy feeling, but it's always visually pleasing but not in an attention-demanding (or especially memorable) sort of way.
The Western part (3/5) has similar scenery to the eastern part, but parallels Route 460 (the Prince Edward Highway) pretty closely. Route 460 gets a fair amount of traffic, including truck traffic, which spoils the zen aspect of the eastern part. I'd rather ride most of the trails near where I live in Ohio, not just my favorite local ones, above re-riding the western section.
I'd put all the other Virginia trails I've ridden ahead of this one in terms of scenery - Jackson River Scenic, New River, and Virginia Creeper. Those are also all farther west, and if you are in the area, it's worth at least riding the Central section. There's also a bike shop in Farmville, right near the trail, where you can rent bikes, so you don't even have to plan very far ahead to make a trip out to the Bridge.
If you’re looking to go biking, do not use Azealia Park. The trail is best fit for hiking not any kind of biking. If one person comes the opposite direction you will probably run into a tree because the trail is very thin.
Originally intended to end in Burkeville. Why was it not completed?
Can anyone explain why high bridge trail was not completed to Burkeville as originally intended?
Can anyone explain why the trail was,not completed to Burkeville ad originally intended?
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