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The Mendota Trail will one day stretch the entire length of the former Southern Railroad corridor between Mendota and Bristol, a total of 12.5 miles. At present there are two segments. The northern mile-long segment runs from Mendota to the North Fork of the Holston River. An additional 5.3 miles runs from a trailhead on Island Road in Bristol to a large parking area in Benhams. Cyclists, walkers and runners can use the dirt trail to wander into lush and tranquil natural areas. Cyclists, walkers and runners can use the dirt trail to wander into lush and tranquil natural areas, partly bordered by the river. Dogs are welcome too, though they must remain leashed. A VDOT swinging bridge currently allows safe crossing of the river until the Trestle can be decked.
Mountain Heritage Inc., a non-profit organization, owns and manages the trail. As of November 2020, six miles are open for public use. Make sure to utilize only the open portions of the trail; the rest of the corridor is closed to the public due to unsafe conditions.
Park and enter the trail at the Mendota Trailhead located at Mendota Road & Civil Drive/614 at SR 802 (one acre tract between Mendota Baptist Church and Civil Dr.)
At the Bristol end, a large parking area can be accessed on Mountain Heritage Inc. property off Island Road next to I-81 and to the right of the building located at 1788 Island Road, Bristol, VA 24201 Or there is parking for a couple vehicles at 8662 Reedy Creek Road, Bristol Va 24202 (Intersection of 633/656 Haskell Station Roads) at the 3-mile point.
Please note the parking is NOT allowed at the Reedy Creek Road & Haskell Station Road.
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