High Bridge Trail State Park


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High Bridge Trail State Park Facts

States: Virginia
Counties: Cumberland, Nottoway, Prince Edward
Length: 31.4 miles
Trail end points: CR 660/Heights School Rd (Pamplin City) and CR 460 (near Burkeville)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6270859

High Bridge Trail State Park Description

The central feature for which the High Bridge Trail State Park is named is an unforgettable experience, towering 125 feet above the mighty Appomattox River and nearly a half mile (2,422 feet) across it. The bridge’s breath-taking view of the surrounding central Virginia countryside, combined with the ease of getting here (the trail is only about an hour’s drive from both Lynchburg and Richmond), makes it a must-see destination.

During the Civil War, the bridge—included on the National Register of Historic Places—was a strategic point for both Union and Confederate soldiers; both armies made attempts to destroy it to prevent the other side from crossing the river. About a dozen miles from the west end of the High Bridge Trail is the Appomattox Court House, where General Lee finally surrendered. Several museums and other historical attractions in Appomattox make the town a worthwhile side trip.

If you’re looking for a short, easy outing, begin your journey in the charming town of Farmville. From downtown, riders and hikers will only have to go 4.5 miles east to reach the bridge. The route follows the wide, gentle grade of the former South Side Railroad, a spur off the Norfolk Southern Railway. Along the way, look for the railroad’s three-digit mile markers dating back to the 1850s; those marked with N list the distance from Norfolk, while those labeled with a W notified railroad engineers to blow their whistles. For an even shorter excursion, park in the lot at River Road, about a mile from the bridge.

For the more adventurous, the rail-trail extends outward from either end of the bridge, totaling more than 30 miles through woodlands and rural farmland. Starting with the High Bridge as mile marker 0, newer, two-digit mile markers line the trail heading both east and west. In addition to Farmville, the communities of Pamplin, Prospect, and Rice are connected by the trail. The trail’s eastern end lies just outside of Burkeville.

The trail’s surface of finely crushed limestone is well suited for hybrid and mountain bikes, and horseback riding is also permitted. Restrooms are available en route, but drinking water is available only in downtown Farmville, so be sure to pack some.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the trail, parking is available at the following locations (west to east); a fee is required.

  • Near Pamplin: Heights School Road off U.S. Business 460, near trail milepost 168
  • In Elam: Off U.S. 460 at Sulpher Spring Road, near trail milepost 164
  • In Prospect: Prospect Road off U.S. 460, near trail milepost 161 (wheelchair accessible; designated horse trailer parking)
  • In Tuggle: Tuggle Road off U.S. 460 and near U.S. 15 North, near trail milepost 156
  • In Farmville: In the municipal lots where the trail intersects Main Street, near trail milepost 150
  • In Farmville: Osborn Road, 0.25 mile off N. Main Street, near trail milepost 149 (designated horse trailer parking)
  • In Farmville: River Road, 3 miles off N. Main Street, near trail milepost 146
  • In Rice: Depot Road, 0.25 mile off U.S. 460, near trail milepost 142 (wheelchair accessible)

More parking locations are available, see the map.

Note for cyclists and equestrians: To access the High Bridge, cyclists might prefer parking
at the Rice parking lot, which is 3.2 miles from the bridge and 8.2 miles from Farmville; they might also wish to park at the Main Street plaza parking lot in Farmville, which is 4.5 miles from the bridge. Designated horse trailer parking lots are at Prospect (14.1 miles from the bridge), Osborn Road (3.9 miles from the bridge), and Camp Paradise Road (0.6 mile from the bridge).


High Bridge Trail State Park Reviews

high bridge.

Trail is gravel the whole way. No 2 lane dirt road. There are no service areas at all. Great bike shop that helped me with my flat. The bridge is scenic. The rest is not. Pretty flat and no significant hills. Stayed at an old hotel that had a rooftop bar. Farmington is a cool town.

Great surface

Great surface and nicely maintained

high bridge trail

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

The High Bridge is the high point, but otherwise not as appealing as other top VA trails

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.


Originally intended to end in Burkeville. Why was it not completed?

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 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?

Can anyone explain why the trail was,not completed to Burkeville ad originally intended?

Well-maintained, quiet & pretty, but not that interesting

The trail is what we call a “Zen ride,” which means there’s not a lot of visual variety so it’s great if you just like being in your head while you pedal. We parked right in the center of town on Main Street which bisects the crushed limestone trail almost exactly in the middle. Conveniently at this intersection, there are clean, air-conditioned restrooms, while more rustic ones with “vault toilets” are located along the trail. There are no other amenities along the trail except the trailer that we encountered on our first trip that sold water out of an ice-filled cooler, along with various tourism chotchkes made by local artisans. We don’t think you can count on it being there, though, so fill up your water bottles before you set out.
First we headed west 4.5 miles to see the famous High Bridge, which oddly, was more interesting to read about than to ride over. It looks out on a wide expanse of trees…just trees. For as far as the eye can see. We continued to bike approximately 10.5 miles past the bridge and, having passed only a handful of walkers and bikers, a few deserted intersections and some vault toilets, the trail ended abruptly at a lonely picnic table surrounded by woods. The other half of the trail runs east briefly then due south. While hauntingly familiar (it’s almost identical to the western portion of the trail), brief glimpses of water, overhead bridges and slightly more varied scenery made it more interesting.
A very good brewery abuts the trail close to the midway point.

Rode the trail from Tuggle to the bridge and back. 20 miles total. It was 40F but not much wind. The trail is in GREAT condition. No rough spots at all. Although we didn't stop because of time constraints, the town of Farmville, VA looks inviting.

Rode the trail from Tuggle to the bridge and back. 20 miles total. It was 40F but not much wind. The trail is in GREAT condition. No rough spots at all. Although we didn't stop because of time constraints, the town of Farmville, VA looks inviting.

Well Maintained

We took our e-bikes last week (Aug ‘21) and it wasn’t crowded at all. Rode from Farmville over the bridge and to one end. It ends quite abruptly. I would have given 5 stars if the amenities on the trail spurs would have been identified on signs. We will definitely return to bike the other half and back (30 miles). Great free parking, too!

High Bridge Adventure

We took our tandem 29er out and back both ways from Farmville. As others have said, the main attraction is the High Bridge, and its great. The trail is very well maintained and has plenty of bathrooms along the way...but as others have said, not a lot of places to get water. Make sure you have plenty, especially on these 90° days. Much of the trail is shaded so that’s a plus. Except for the bridge, it’s probably not a destination trail yet as there’s not much in the way of places to stop along the trail. Still, it’s a great place to get some miles. Some have mentioned the crowds but we saw none of that on a Sunday.

love it

Love this trail. It just get crowded on the weekend so better be early. A lot of people especially kids on the bridge so u have to really pay attention in this part.

Fall ride 11-2020 on the High Bridge Trail

Rode last weekend (11/7 and 11/8) and the temps were in the high seventies! Rode from the trailhead at Prospect to Pamplin and then to Farmville and back to Prospect for a 32 mile round trip. The trail is pea gravel and not as smooth as crushed limestone for sure. It's more difficult and a slower ride. Stayed at the Hampton Inn which was super clean and had contactless entry - but it was a bit over-occupied IMHO during Covid. Second day we rode from the Camp Paradise trailhead and rode the 1 mile or so to the High Bridge. Got there at 8am and spent maybe 15 minutes on the bridge watching the birds and enjoying the view. Saw maybe 3 others. Rode into Farmville and had breakfast at Walker's Diner! Super great food and could eat outside. Then we rode from Farmville to the other end of the trail which is very uneventful (just a dead end in the woods) and back to Camp Paradise for another 30 miles or so. When we got to our car at 1:30pm the lot was very full!! It was a beautiful ride but I wish it was paved! We did it on a Specialized road bike and a Trek 7.5 Hybrid.

High Bridge Trail

A linear Virginia State Park with a spectacular bridge, beautiful natural setting and really well maintained bike pathway! Don’t miss this great ride! You can even do a metric century if you ride both ways since the trail is 32 miles long!! 😎 We did a YouTube video of our ride that you can find on our channel, Bent on Bike Trails.

Family ride

Beautiful scenery and a great trail for our bike ride. Paid $5 for parking in the state park.

Nice easy and scenic ride. The view from the bridge is beautiful and picturesque. Plenty of shade over the trail.

Nice easy and scenic ride. The view from the bridge is beautiful and picturesque. Plenty of shade over the trail.

Impressive Bridge- Boring Ride

My husband I, both fairly new to biking, parked at Elam and rode into Farmville, then on another 4.5 miles to High Bridge. The gravel trail was flat, slight inclines here and there. You can hear but not see the traffic on 460 for parts of it. Rode in and out of shady patches and could really feel a temperature change when we did. Stopped at 2 of the restrooms along the trail. Very clean and with plenty of hand sanitizer but no running water. The view was pretty much the same until we got to Farmville. Just long, straight, tree lined . Not my favorite rail trail , but the bridge itself was pretty spectacular. Got bored on the way back more so than going towards the bridge. we got to FarmVille/

Wonderful Group Ride

Our biking group through Wintergreen Sporting Club had a lovely experience on this trail August 2019. We parked in the restaurant parking (free for customers). We enjoyed a terrific lunch with extremely bicyclist supportive staff after our ride! One look at us and they served water immediately.

Some of us have road bikes so the crushed gravel trail keeps the rider alert. Some piles of gravel along the way posed a challenge for road bikers. I ask those who maintain the trails to be aware of the perils of piled gravel and sand to bicyclists.

The historic markers, some shade along the way and the bridges make this a 5 star trail.

High Bridge State Park

We are frequent visitors to this park. It is an excellent place to run, ride or walk bikes along the gravel path or bridge. Despite other reviews - this trail has several walking and mountain biking paths that are quite interesting. One is about a mile long that takes you underneath the bridge. Another close to Camp Paradise parking lot is about a 1.5 hike through the woods. There are several other trails along the path we haven't discovered yet - but it is definitely worth the trip.

this was very pleasant if a little boring. there are some historical stops near Farmville and the High Bridge. the trail is closed for repair from about two miles east of main st. in Farmville to the river road parking area.

this was very pleasant if a little boring. there are some historical stops near Farmville and the High Bridge. the trail is closed for repair from about two miles east of main st. in Farmville to the river road parking area.

Park in Downtown Farmville

Farmville is in a shallow bowl along the Appomattox River with the High Bridge Trail rising out in two directions. It is uphill on a slight but steady grade. Not a bad grade, but one a casual cyclist would notice. So you park Downtown and ride out in either direction. The High Bridge is east. When nearly worn out, turn around and the down grade works for you. Further, Farmville is a college town (Longwood University) so there are abundant local and chain restaurants when you want to refuel.

We gave this an average rating as compared with other rails to trails and State Parks we have biked in the Mid-Atlantic area because once out of town the scenery does not change much. We have biked most of the Trail and it becomes a long green tunnel in many places. For this reason the Trail is best suited for a quicker pace consistent with biking and horse riding rather than walking. For the best Trail experience include the High Bridge structure, its role in history and its vistas.


Cool view from the bridge

We have biked parts of this trail twice now. Except for the bridge, it's not a very interesting trail as it's just pretty much a straight, fine gravel path with trees lining it on both sides. What it lacks in interest, it makes up for in ease. Since it's a former railway it is very flat and not very crowded at all. We parked on River Road in Farmville and rode towards the bridge, which is only 1 mile from the parking lot (cost $4 per car year round). It is an ideal path for young families as it's flat, uncrowded and very few roads to cross. We had our 8 year old grandson and he easily rode a total of 10 miles, while the little ones were in the bike trailer. There are lots of fun places to eat in Farmville or bring a picnic and stop along the trail at some picnic tables. There are numerous port-a-johns as well as nicer restrooms along the trail every 2-4 miles (not flush, but clean and located inside a building). Make sure to bring plenty of water. The mosquitos were really pesky when we stopped, so you may want to bring bug spray this time of year. Also, there were literally hundreds of wasps all along the bridge. We didn't experience that the last time we rode, but the ranger said it's typical for this time of year. They don't bother you, but it also made us feel like we wanted to get off the bridge ASAP instead of stopping to take in the views leisurely. The little critters dropped the stars from 4 to 3.

passing Thru

My husband and I were on our way home from Grayson County and decided to do two short stops on our way back to PA. I mapped the route that took us to FarmVille using the directions on the app. This is the only bad part of the review. The map took us to a very nice parking area that was designated for a train station and the municipal workers told us to use municipal parking . If it would have been a weekend I’m certain this would have been an issue. We started behind the Farmers Market and rode 4.5 miles east to the bridge. The surface of the trail is excellent and we even seen a few deer box turtles frogs and some snakes. The bridge is well worth the stop. The town of FarmVille is charming too. When we were finished there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to eat at. The state definitely keeps this trail in magnificent condition

Mt Bike Single Track

Yes, there is Single Track at High Bridge State Park. Two loops! One beginner and one advanced.

The Early Trail is a 1. 5 mile rolly flowy loop with no real technical trail features. But, there are surprises. First surprise is how sweet this loop flows. Second surprise was how some relatively simple looking sections really pushed the skills to ride at speed. Very tight in a couple spots and fast in others.

The Burnside Technical loop is 2.8 miles of constant something and a bit of everything. Over 300' of climbing for aerobic challenge intermingled with fast flow sections of berms and drop-thrus. A couple Roller Coasters that can throw you, so be careful.

The loops offer some delightful technical riding to the otherwise flat and boring rail trail. So, if MT biking is your thing and you are considering a family outing come out to Farmville and spend a day on the High Bridge Trail. The loops are located 1.5 miles East of the Farmville downtown plaza about half way towards the parking lot at River Road.

Nice trail

Drove out from Colonial Heights. Started run in Farmville.
Trail nice, flat, marked well. However, a bit boring. Not much to see until bridge, 4+ miles from town. Bridge pretty cool. If in the area, take advantage of the ability to get some miles in.


Liked the trail but I only found one water fountain on it, which was at Farmville. Also it would be nice if they had a connecting trail from twin lakes state park to the trail.

It's all about the bridge

A friend and I took a break from driving to ride the High Bridge Trail east from Farmville to the bridge. The trail is decent crushed limestone, wide enough to ride 2 abreast. The scenery was the same until you get to the bridge, which is about a half-mile long. Great view from it. Photographing the bridge is a challenge, as hard to get a side view without walking a ways.

wow - pretty cool

we started in farmville ... rode to rice ... went over the big bridge ... great surface ... the occasional restroom ... very very very (did i say very) few road crossings ... we want to come back and stay in farmville and do the whole trail eastward one day, westward the other (very doable as it would be about 30 or so each day as farmville is fairly in the middle)

Check That One Off the Bucket List

I would consider relocating to Farmville for this one. Like most trails, it's many, many miles of stone, trees, and not much else to look at. But the crown jewels along the way include High Bridge (what a great view) and Farmville. I also enjoyed the old railroad markers, spikes and remnants of the railroad which were neat to see along the way. The ride was a bit challenging, if you are like me and not used to long inclines or riding long distances on stone, then pace yourself. But the leg cramps afterwards were worth it. If you are riding alone, there are some long and lonely stretches. Not sure how much of it is patrolled, but I passed a park police officer also on a bike. My final word of caution, remember it's a stone base. I saw many people on road bikes riding 700x23s. I would recommend against that. Do yourself a favor and bring a hybrid with wider tires or a mountain bike.

Very Nice Ride

The trail is very well maintained the entire route. I rode it on a road bike and found it suitable. There is a free parking lot located in downtown Farmville where the trail crosses Main Street. Also real bathrooms and drinking fountains at this location.
For those of you that might care: Farmville is the low point on the trail and the grade is upward in both directions to both trail ends.

Fun day on High Bridge Trail

After reading the reviews on this site, I didn't think I would enjoy today's ride. I was pleasantly surprised. I parked at the Rice state park lot ($3) and initially rode east to Moran and back. The trail is well maintained and free of debris and potholes. I think it's very interesting to see how the original train track was "built" into the land to provide for a nearly level surface. The surface is now fine, crushed rock providing for easy riding. There are clean bathrooms (but no water) and picnic tables every 4-5 miles.

After returning to the Rice parking area, I continued west 3+ miles to the bridge. The bridge is an impressive work of engineering and offers picturesque views of the Appomattox River far below. The historical signs along the bridge are interesting and well done. I continued 10 miles further west passing thru Farmville and turning around at the Guttle parking area. On return, I stopped at Walkers Diner in Farmville and ordered a delicious lunch at the carry out window which I enjoyed on the bridge.

I agree that the scenery on the trail is limitted. No mountain vistas here! I did enjoy seeing the railroad markers and farms thru the trees. I spotted a large deer and lots of butterflies!

Kenneth Haft
Glen Allen, VA

Full trail ride in May 2016

Started in Pamplin end of the trail because that's the only place where there's an access at one end of the trail. So my review is coming from a bike rider who likes to do all of a trail when riding.

High Bridge Pros:
Pretty much flat grade. There's elevation but it's hard to determine if you're climbing or going down because it's an old train rail system, there's no hills or slopes on this trail.
Trail does have a good supply of restrooms (no water supply at these) and a few picnic tables along the way.
Condition of trail gets a 9 out of 10 with only a few wet swampy areas (just west of Farmville).

High Bridge Cons:
Mileage markers for complete trail is poor.
Parking at the ends of the trail...poor to not even there at the Burkeville side.
Cost of parking $6.00 per day.
State more focused on the bridge than promoting the whole trail.

Would I return for another ride?
No. This trail is focused on the bridge 100% and has very little interests to provide a great trail to ride end to end. The state is really missing out on what could be a great trail and pull more bike riders to it, if they'd just fix the trail by setting up both ends with parking and put mileage markers that count from the end to the other end.

Round trip end to end May 14th 2016

I'm going to break this down in Pros, Cons and extra stuff. And why I'm rating it as a 3 and what I believe would help to make it a 5 on the rating scale.

It's fairly flat, surface condition of the white stone is fairly smooth most of the way, only had 1 spot that horse shoes dug in pretty deep. Farmville is somewhat in the center of the trail so you have a nice breaking point for lunch or??
There are bathrooms every 2.5 to 5 miles but no running water at these.

Poor overall trail setup, this trail isn't being designed from end to end but from the bridge as being ground zero. What mileage markers I saw, were designed around the bridge as zero and worked away in both directions. State staff need to realize, the bridge will sell itself, they need to focus on promoting the whole trail and not just the bridge!
Poor parking at the ends, you can't even park at the Burkeville end of the trail because it doesn't go to Burkeville, it just stops in some weeds outside of town (very poor choice). And Pamplin end is where they (state) decide to use it for gravel storage instead of making it a starting point for bikers/hikers.
Trail mileage markers are only focused on the bridge area. I really don't care to know how far away from the bridge I am, I'd rather know how far I've traveled on the trail from one end to the other.
Zero water stations and no pump stations at all on the trail. There is however a bike shop next to the trail in Farmville.
I saw at least one parking area that was posted $6.00 per day on the weekends.

Other stuff:
Views on the trail will be a mix of trees and embankments because it's a train track. Best view is the bridge but I can only imagine what it's like during the Fall season, not sure you could get by all the people standing on the bridge who want to see the Fall colors on the trees.
Would I go back? No, not unless they completely change how they have the trail designed and focus more on the end to end trips. Extend the trail to Burkeville and put end to end mileage markers in place. Do that and I'll consider coming back on a regular basis.

while your'e here, check this out!

Nice trail for walking and biking, but if you're stopping in Farmville, PLEASE check out the Moton Museum on Griffin Blvd. I've been to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, and this little museum tops them all! You'll learn so much you never knew about how involved this town was in the Civil Rights struggle. I spent 4 years at Longwood and never knew this stuff! Fascinating and very moving.

Hidden Treasure, single track

If you didn't know High Bridge SP has 2 loops single track designed for bikes. This is your heads up.

The Early Trail is a 1.8 mile beginner loop. Nothing technical or difficult with serious flow. Novice riders will be challenged with the small climbs and curvy turns, a couple are fairly tight.

Experienced riders will love speed and flow. You can really fly, but careful there are a couple twists that really need full attention and technic.

The Burnside Technical Trail is rated Black Diamond for it's tight twists and aerobic climbs. It Packs 350' of climbing in 2.5 miles. The trail is built for flow and several sections will test your skills. The roller coaster sections are a blast. Wet crossings, banked turns, tight drop thrus and speed runs will make you smile.

I like to hit Burnside first with the option to do laps and then finish with a fast lap thru Early.

High Bridge Trail

This is a great trail ride for the novice or younger cyclist. It's fairly flat and easy to ride. It's long enough that the more experienced rider can be challenged by riding its entire length. We actually parked in the lot that was only about 1 mile from the High Bridge since my husband was running while I rode. It's more like 4-5 miles to park in Farmville and ride to the Bridge.
Just FYI - it does cost to park - so bring your $1 bills - we didn't know but were able to scrounge up the $3 parking fee. (self- monitored lot).
Really liked the trail a lot and will go back and plan to start in Farmville and go back to the Bridge.
Great rest room facilities on the trail, too.

Farmville Hub is GREAT

I usually like to ride new trails from end to end, but on my first visit to High Bridge Trail State Park on an overcast and cool Saturday in early October, I decided to start in the trail's center point, the town of Farmville. I'm glad I did. Downtown offers municipal parking, coffee shops, diners and cafes, historic buildings, and the nicest public restroom I think I've ever seen (at the trail hub). I chose to ride east, heading straight towards the namesake bridge. Wow - what a view! Just east of the bridge is a civil war era earthworks. While I didn't stop to check it out - it appears that Virginia State Parks is constructing something near the trail - perhaps a visitor's center / museum?

The trail is a well-maintained fine gravel surface. I'm not sure how regularly it's cleared, however I rode a mere week after Central Virginia experienced some very heavy rains - and I was pleasantly surprised with the conditions. In contrast, a few weeks ago I rode the Tobacco Heritage Trail, which is NOT a state park / trail, and the difference was very noticeable - particularly with regard to debris removal and the too-soft surface condition of that gravel trail.

My trip only covered the eastern half of the trail, from Farmville east to milepost 135 near Burkeville. The east end of the trail is a bit of a disappointment. Although it was very quiet and serene (I saw two white tail deer on the trail), the end of the line lacks anything to distinguish itself. There is an offensive-smelling chicken farm near the eastern terminus - and the endpoint itself is unmarked and not a trailhead. Although it is close to US 460 (you can hear the nearby traffic), there is no access point - and the trail simply ends with overgrown shrubs, vines and trees blocking the middle of the right of way. There is a picnic table - but not a trash can - which unfortunately meant there was no place for the many beer cans and bottles I saw (I would have picked up a few and done my part to keep the trail clean). An improvement would be a slight extension to the town of Burkeville. The addition of another trailhead would certainly draw more visitors from US 460.

Overall the trail is a great experience. If you need to get away from it all - it is a quiet and remote trail the farther you go from Farmville and the namesake bridge. I'm looking forward to returning and riding on the western half.

Pleasant Trail

I am new to rail-trailing, so the fact that this review doesn't have a rating means nothing. This is only the second RtoT I've ridden so I have nothing, really, to compare it to. That said, I rode my bike from the Rice Depot to about a mile beyond Farmville on a Thursday. I saw only a handful of people. The trail surface is great for biking (crushed limestone, I believe I read somewhere) and it is well-maintained. I'd say most of the trail on that stretch, anyway, did not have shade. I had to pedal the entire stretch coming and going, but I was not tired (unlike the W&OD which I did a part of on Monday and that had my legs tired by the end). The trail on this stretch pretty much hews to running thru forest, with occasional views of houses and, of course, the highlight, the High Bridge. There are a few restrooms along the way, but the latrine kind. In Farmville, there is an actual restroom with soap and water and a water fountain. I'd like to come back someday and bike the parts that I haven't biked. I recommend.

Pleasant ride but monotonous scenery

This is a great trail for biking, although there is not much in the way of scenery, at least on the parts that my spouse and I rode. One day we started at the Pamplin end and rode 6.5 miles before turning around and riding back. The trail appeared to be flat but on the return trip we found out that there was a slight incline riding east. There was really nothing to look at except trees on both sides with an occasional glimpse of cows in a field. A busy road parallels the trail for the first few miles and the traffic can be heard through the trees. The Pamplin end does not have a paved parking lot. There is a gravel area to park, and there is no fee charged there!! The 2nd day we started at River Road ($3.00 charge to park) and rode across the famous bridge and beyond for 9 miles, total 18 miles RT. Just after the bridge there is a Civil War encampment and there is something under construction next to the trail near there. A lot of heavy equipment was at work. Other than that, this section of the trail was the same: nothing but trees to look at for miles. We did not see a single other bike on the trail either day, and only a few walkers. It's probably busier on the weekend. It was worth the trip for the exercise and historical value.

Nice ride and scenery

Early June my wife and I parked at the River Rd. parking lot and walked to the Bridge, it is definitely worth going to see.
I liked the look of the trail so sat July 4th we spent the day myself on mountain bike and wife in chase vehicle, she dropped me off in Pamplin and met me every couple of miles to check on me. We met in Farmville for lunch which is a very good resting recharge area. I rode to a crossroad 8 miles from the end and aborted due to a storm. I can not wait to return and finish the trail! The scenery is mostly farmland and a couple small towns but a very enjoyable ride.

An underrated and underutilized asset!

I just finished "thru-hiking" the HBT from Pamplin City to just outside of Burkeville. I was really the only person I saw hiking as most everyone was on a bicycle. The trail is well suited for bikes, but it is also a great hiking route. I broke the trip up into two days. After being dropped off at Pamplin City, the first day was ~16 miles to Farmville where I stayed overnight at the Longwood B&B. Because there are no camp sites along the way (private land is adjacent to the trail), I decided on "glamping" in Farmville. The next day I started early and completed the remaining ~15 miles where I was picked up just outside of Burkeville. There are restrooms (with TP) every ~3-4 miles or so, but no water so be sure to pack in more than what you need. The locals I met along the way were very nice and friendly. The trail is very humbling in that you can see 1/2 a mile ahead and behind at all times. In some sections you can see 1+ miles ahead and behind. When you can see that far and you are the only one there, it is quite the experience. Some sections are remote so be sure to bring a cell phone and keep track of where you are on the mileage markers. I was by myself for 75% of the time so it was a very peaceful and reflective hike for me. I saw 8-10 deer, turkeys and lots of rabbits. As many have said before, the bridge is definitely the "high point" (pun intended) of the trail. I was the only one on the bridge when I reached it so I had a great experience taking a break on a bench that is provided on the bridge.

This trail has much greater potential. First off, the surface and distance is suitable for many running and bicycle race events. It should be used more to bring in out of town visitors who will spend money in the towns along the way. Sadly, the trail ends just outside of Burkeville. The town could benefit greatly by having an official start point in their limits. There is officially "no outlet" at the Burkeville end so I had to walk 50 yards through the woods in order to get picked up by my ride on 460E! This needs to be addressed in order for this section of the trail to be utilized more. Restaurants, bike shops, shuttle services and more could cater to the needs of trail users if this section of the trail was extended. Farmville did an excellent job of showcasing the trail and making sure their businesses benefit from the traffic associated with trail users.

Great Conditions but....

My wife and I did end to end and back about a week ago and the trail is in excellent condition. There are bathrooms well-placed, with toilet paper throughout the trail but there is no water. There are nice picnic benches for a break. The trail is flat but you can notice a difference in the grade at parts. You will not find a lot of people on the trail except near Farmville. The town is a great halfway point for some food and time to relax. The high bridge is less than a mile from the town. Farmville has a bike shop next to the trail if you need something. We spent the night in Burkeville at the Comfort Inn before the return back. I would hope that the Commonwealth of Virginia will pay for the remainder of the trail to be completed to both Burkeville and Pamplin City, as it currently misses the towns by about a mile on each end. We went all the way to the end in Burkeville and found a way to cut over to the road—I suggest that if you want to go to the end. If you don’t do that , the last road is about a mile or more back. Overall a great trail—but just a bit lonely and not so much to see.

Well Planned Trail

We parked at Rice ($3.00 during the week) and rode 17 miles round trip to Farmville for a lovely lunch. This well planned trail is kept clean, has bathrooms and is very historic. The route is mostly straight and flat but the woods are pretty and the history is interesting. I'd recommend the Pamblin Civil War Museum if you are in the area.

Beautiful Trail

We went to High Bridge on 4/7/15 as a family. It was my husband, my 10 year old daughter and myself. We have only been riding on occasion for the past year, so we are definitely not pros. We parked in Rice and rode past the bridge and back. It was a beautiful ride. The trail it level and easy to ride on. Since it is level and there are inclines, there are no hills to go up, but that also means nonstop peddling. All and all, this place is beautiful and we will definitely be going back!

Some Pros and Cons

Overall High Bridge Trail is pretty ho-hum, as there's not a lot to see. I rode the entire length on 22 November, beginning in Pamplin, and noticed a few good things, and a few bad things, about the trail:

(1) as noted above, pretty much nothing in terms of scenery, though the bridge is pretty cool;

(2) there had been a frost over the previous night and, when it started to thaw, the trail got wet. In most places this was no problem, but in many other places the surface became really sloggy and thick--like riding through wet cement. I burned a lot of un-necessary energy riding through these portions of the trail, some of them a mile long or longer.

(3) that being said, the trail is flat and easily navigated.

(4) if you want to get food or drinks along the trail, your best and essentially only option is Farmville; though I would mention that there is a rundown little convenience store near the Pamplin trailhead that has great sausage biscuits! Farmville is a very interesting little town and a fine spot to take an extended break from your ride.

(5) if you need a place to stay, consider renting a cabin at Bear Creek Lake State Park. The cabins were fantastic, there's a swimming lake, and there are a couple of good multi-use trails in the nearby Cumberland State Forest.

Nice Trail

My wife and I biked this trail on November 21, 2014, when the temperature hit a high of 42 degrees. It was cooler than that on the trail. Still we had a good time. Farmville is the place to begin the trail as there are several places to get coffee, food, and lodging. The trail was well groomed. But a bit of freezing and thawing gave the trail some drag on the bike tires, which is crushed/packed stone. Of course, late November is not the time to do this trail. You do see the N posts showing the distance to Norfolk, VA. And, I did see two W signs indicating train engineers are supposed to blow their whistles. The view from the bridge is scenic. Would like to try it again during warmer temperatures.

Nice trail, very crowded

As noted in an earlier review, there is a charge for parking, as of October 2014 it's $4 per vehicle. The parking lot was very crowded and difficult to park. Once we parked, we were able to get on the trail quickly. Very crowded for the first mile. We parked at the lot nearest to the bridge. Walkers (we were biking)generally took up all 10 feet of the trail and most of the bridge. The bridge was nice and well kept. Very nice views. The trail itself after the bridge was nice and not crowded at that point either. There was a slight uphill grade but not a difficult level. We rode to the town of Rice and back to the bridge. Nice 10 mile ride. The thing to keep in mind is everyone wants to see the bridge, once you are past that part, it's a nice trail with nice woodland views.

Farmville to Prospect - worth the trip!

We made a return visit to the trail on 10/18/14. This time, we rode from Farmville to Prospect – a twenty mile round-trip. If you have only biked the High Bridge portion of the trail, I encourage you to see what awaits you on this section. We found this section to have more interest. Bridges cross over the trail, rock formations were present, adjacent farms dotted with hay bales, and homes as you neared road crossings. Granted, if you need more action than scenic views, this trail is not for you. However, if you enjoy long stretches of tranquil scenery and the trail virtually all to yourself, you’ll enjoy this ride.

The trail seems narrower than the bridge portion and offered more shade.

Please note that the road crossings seem to happen in blind curves for motorists. The restrooms were clean and a welcome site. There are no trashcans, so you’ll need to take your picnic trash with you.

Finally, this section of the trail had picnic tables available at intervals other than the trailheads.

Great way to spend a day!!

This trail has it all, well maintained surface, we witnessed park rangers pulling a drag matt behind an ATV, great bathrooms located along the trail, plenty of parking and nothing but scenery.

Due to this trail being a state park there is a $3.00 parking fee. Each lot has a yellow box where you get your pass, punch out the day of the week, hang it on your rearview mirror and place the three bucks in the envelope and put it in the slot.

This is an awesome place to knock out some big miles over 60 for a round trip. The bridge speaks for itself, what is not stated is the grade. Farmville is the lowest point on the trail, when riding to the western end from Farmville you will have a net gain of 400ft in elevation but this translates into a 16.1 mile constant climb, great workout!

You will spend the majority of your time riding in the middle of nowhere, but that’s the great thing about this trail, it is the escape and that great feeling of you and your bike enjoying rural America. When riding through the small towns of Rice and Prospect it seems that time has been frozen. If you find yourself needing a snack or a cold drink in Prospect you can jump off the trail and head down towards 460 where you will find a convenience store that will get you fueled up for your ride back into town.

From Farmville to the SE terminus the ride is a little bit flatter but you still have a steady climb to the 460 overpass in Rice. Rice to the end near Burkeville is a very nice ride; this is roughly an 8.6 mile ride to the end where you will find a picnic table to have a nice rest before heading back.

This is a great trail and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good workout as well as spending quality time with your family and friends.

A good place to sort out those pesky thoughts, and a great bridge

I've ridden the entire length over several visits, all in 2013. I ride alone and on weekdays. Here's what you don't want: To be near either end on a weekday and have a problem. Chances are good you'll see no one. If you like that bit of adventure, as I do, you'll love it. I find the bridge worth the trip. And Farmville is quaint, but, my experience is, plan to park somewhere else. Coming down from Richmond, Rice makes a good entry point. All flat, all quiet, unshaded in summer sun, not for a hot day.

Great trail for long distance rides!

We rode the High Bridge Trail on 10/27/13. We started in Farmville and rode 2 miles past Rice and back (20 miles). The portion between Farmville and the High Bridge had the most “traffic” with the majority of that being the mile before the high bridge. After the bridge, the trail was quiet and serene. I trail seemed wider and the stone more firmly packed, which allowed us to pick up speed for long distances easily. The Rice trailhead had restrooms, parking, and a bench and was a good place for a break. You are very close to Rt. 460 at that point, so you can hear the traffic as you ride. Our bike computer told us we climbed 1100 ft in elevation, but we never had to adjust our gears for this ride!

There are signs along the trail telling cyclists to yield to pedestrians and horses. We saw no horses that day (only evidence of horses).

We found the High Bridge area to be the most difficult part of the trail. Although we are to yield to pedestrians, there is not any signage telling users to keep right and cyclists to pass on the left. We encountered many people who took up the entire trail walking to the bridge (couples and large groups). Since people bring their pets with them, we had to deal with dogs reaching for us on their leashes as we tried to go around. Often, we had to ride on the grass – even when stating “passing on the left”. So, if you plan to ride this part of the trail, know that will be part of the experience.

Overall, I am excited to return and try out the other sections of this beautiful and peaceful trail!

Miles and miles of basically nothing...

Miles and miles of basically nothing...

Rode this trail yesterday from end to end, and as others have said, it's pretty boring.

The bridge is the main attraction, and to be honest, it's nothing special. Sure, it's long and it's high, but that's it. There isn't even a good vantage point to see the bridge from the side.

Unlike the Virginia Creeper trail or the New River trail with beautiful scenery and mountain vistas, the High Bridge trail is pretty much mile after mile of trees on both sides of the trail.

The trail surface was very smooth and nice to ride on.

Charlies in Farmville is a nice place to stop and have lunch. It's a hundred yards or so off of where the trail crosses Main St.

Nice trail!

Drove from the Richmond area to FarmVille to ride the trail. Was a nice easy trail which was pretty flat. The High Bridge is worth seeing and other than that there is not much else to see. We rode from MM 150-135 and back. There are numerous bathrooms along the route so no worries. Enjoy!

High Bridge is amazing

We rode this trail a couple of weekend ago. The section we rode was from Farmville riding east, over the High Bridge, to Rice, and then back to Farmville. Overall length was a little over 16 miles. The high point of the ride was High Bridge. High Bridge is about ½ mile long and is 125’ high at its highest point, crossing over the Appomattox River. The views from High Bridge are incredible. Other than the bridge the ride is a nice, level gravel trail that is flanked by trees and occasional rock walls on both sides. It is a very easy, level, pleasant ride, but can get a little boring (given the lack of changing scenery). Overall, we really enjoyed this ride and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a casual ride in a nice area of Virginia.

First crossing of bridge

This was my third time on the trail, but first since bridge was opened. It is the highlight of the trail. I especially like the old piers from the civil war era (I assume)that parallel the current bridge. Like other reviewers; trail can get boring for lack of diversity and elevation. Starting at Farmville and riding to the bridge is the most scenic to me. The railroad originally did not want to build to Farmville when they surveyed knowing the crossing of the Appomattox required a large structure along with the maintenance. The town raised enough money though to convince the railroad to change its plans and now we are left with a great trail

Easy ride

Good surface. The bridge is nice. Utterly boring due to lack of scenery. Save your money for the New River and the Creeper. I thought Greenbrier River Trail was a little lackluster scenery-wise but High Bridge beats it hands down. My friend and I did most of the trail Memorial Day weekend 2012. All of that being said we do intend to swing back by on the way to Greenbrier to finish this trail.

Nice Ride... with a Caution

The map and description of the Burkeville Trailhead are misleading. The railroad is still active in Burkeville! The last actual access to the trail on the Burkeville end is at County Road 607 aka Orchard Road. It is well marked on nearby US 460 and there is a small parking lot. Maintainence beyond that point seems to be less of a priority than that in the Farmville direction. Since most of the trail traffic seems to originate from other than the Burkeville end, this doesn't seem like a big deal.
Rest rooms are well-maintained, although maintained wells would be welcome.
The structures remaining at Prospect and Rice give you a feel for what it was like on the N & W mainline and Farmville offers a fine assortment of railroad-served industries. The town also has nice trailhead facilitiers and opportunities for a break. Try to visit Walker's Diner, adjacent to the trail... this tiny traditional establishment has only counter stools.
The truth remains, as stated in other reviews... this trail isn't named what it is by mistake !!!

Nice ride for young kids

We biked the section of the trail between Rice and River Road, which crosses the High Bridge. The weather was pleasant, which made the ride pleasant as well. Some notes for others.

1. Like most former railroad trails, this one is relatively flat and straight. This is nice for younger kids, but gets a little monotonous for adults and older children. By comparison with an 11-mile ride we took in the fall on the New River Trail, this one was flatter and sunnier, and generally easier for the younger children.

2. Our 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters handled the 9-mile roundtrip ride just fine. Neither need training wheels on their bikes any more, and the little one was a bit tired by the end of the trip, but not exhausted.

3. There is not much overhanging vegetation, which means that much of the trail will be in full sun during the summer. If you're planning a day trip in the summer, bring lots of water and sunscreen. Our ride from Rice, over and past the bridge, to River Road, and back took us about 2 hours 15 minutes with frequent stops for the 6-year-old to rest and drink water. It was very pleasant on a sunny 65-degree day.

4. The bridge is wonderful. The modification for foot/bike/horse traffic is great, and the kids really enjoyed riding their bikes on the old railroad bridge. The benches on the bridge are beautiful, and the whole project is nicely done.

5. If you're looking for the closest access and shortest round-trip, go to the River Road entrance. The parking lot there was crowded, but it was only about 1 mile from there to the bridge. A hike or walk from River Road would be pleasant.

6. If you can handle a little longer ride, the Rice entrance was deserted and is only about 3 miles from the bridge. I would not hike from the Rice entrance (long, flat, somewhat monotonous), but I'll bet that it would make a nice circuit for a 6-mile run.

My 3-star rating compares this with the New River Trail State Park, which is a very pleasant trail ride. Because of the lack of shade in much of the trail and the somewhat monotonous scenery, this is only an average trail. It is a pleasant place to ride bikes with younger kids on a nice day and is certainly worth the trip if that is your situation.

High Bridge is open!!!

The High Bridge, located about 4 miles east of Farmville, was opened in April 2012. It's nearly a half mile long and is about 125 feet above the Appomattox River and its surrounding floodplain. It has a wooden decking constructed on top of the steel trestle, with several observation areas along the way for taking in the scenery without obstructing other cyclists.

I pedaled from Farmville down to the bridge and beyond to the trailhead near Burkeville and back. As another reviewer noted, most of the trail is lined by trees on both sides, so it's not particularly scenic other than the general greenery. But the bridge more than makes up for that! There are restrooms every few miles but bring plenty of water as there's none on the trail.

Wait until the bridge is finished

First... It's very, very nice that this is being done. Thanks to all involved. However, my title about says it all. I did this a couple of weeks ago starting in Farmville. Rode up to Prospect and back then had lunch in Farmville. Took the trail to the maintenance entrance to the High Bridge and back.

The whole way is just trees. Not really much to view except a few fields. If your looking for solitude only then this is it but I'll wait until the bridge is open to go back.

An enjoyable ride

Lots of history and a serene, pretty place to ride. When the High Bridge portion is opened, that will really be something special. As it is, you can ride up to the bridge, but not over.

High Bridge State Park extension

The trail now runs 7 miles west of Prospect. It's a very nice, easy-to-bike trail.

High Bridge State Park

The High Bridge is spectacular. I can not wait until the trail is completed over the bridge and the entire 34 miles are open. It will rival the Virginia Creeper and New River Trails as quality rides.

Very good firm surface. On several of the western sections the bushes along the trail are encroaching onto the edges of surface, but it is nothing two passes with a mower wouldn't cure.

Parking areas are large, well maintained and well-spaced.

The miles in Farmville are well used with walkers and bikers. On the sections away from town we had the trail to ourselves on a Monday in September. While we did not see any horses we did see some evidence that horses had been there.

It is a good trail for families. There is only one major road crossing in the middle of Farmville along with several rural road crossings. Bring a trail map since there is little in the way of navigational signs.

We hope that the beautiful train station in Farmville will be developed into an info center

While there are porta-potties scatter along the trail near the parking areas there is no access to water without leaving the trail.

The state of Virginia is doing a good job developing this linear state park. When completed it has the potential of being a very enjoyable and educational ride.

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