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The Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail runs for 4.5 miles on a former Danville & Western Railroad corridor, which was acquired by Southern Railway in 1920 and ultimately abandoned by its successor, Norfolk Southern, in 2009. The original railroad was affectionately known as the "Dick & Willie" after its initials.
The paved trail passes through the heart of Martinsville, with short sections on both ends outside city limits in Henry County. Underpasses and restored trestles provide safe crossings of busy roads; there are only two at-grade crossings along the trail's entire length, and these are at low-traffic, rural roads.
In the west, the trail currently ends in the community of Villa Heights, near a supermarket and Mexican restaurant. In the east, a dead end forces trail users to turn around, but you will want to linger at a scenic overlook of Mulberry Creek in the area’s secluded woodlands.
At Pine Street in Martinsville, the Uptown Spur Trail branches off from the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail on a former railroad spur to head towards the city's charming downtown. Benches along both trails provide opportunities to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Ample parking for the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail is available at the western trailhead off Virginia Avenue/US 220 Business in Villa Heights. Access the parking lot from the shopping center at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Commonwealth Boulevard.
Additional parking and restrooms are available in Martinsville at trailheads located at the intersection of Liberty Street and Stultz Road; Doyle Street and Hooker Street; and Fisher Street and Fishel Street (remnants of an original trestle can be viewed here).
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