I read the other review of the South Hill Rec Way a few days ago and its inconsistencies have been bugging me ever since. The reviewer complained that the incline part of the trail was too difficult for her child, yet goes on to complain that the trail isn't long enough or challenging enough. Isn't she contradicting herself? A longer, more challenging trail would certainly not be child-friendly. A child-friendly trail would not be challenging to an adult. You can't have it both ways. Maybe she just expects the impossible, or is the kind of person who finds fault with everything.
The South Hill Rec Trail is a great neighborhood walk- it's a former railroad line that was converted to a nature trail as part of the rails to trails conservancy. It's quite flat, except for the incline section, which can hardly be described as steep. And there ARE numerous, quite challenging trails that go off from the main trail, leading into the gorge, to the reservoir, and down to Six Mile Creek.
There is parking at the end of Juniper Drive where the three 'arms' of the trail meet up. It's not extensive, but aren't you undermining the point of a natural area by fouling it with a huge parking lot?
Most of us who use the trail live on South Hill and walk or bike to it. It's excellent for dog-walking, thanks to the shade from the trees keeping it cool. It's also great for running, walkers, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
The South Hill Rec Trail is not meant to be a tourist attraction. I'd be quite surprised if anyone DID travel here from 2 hours away. It's a part of our neighborhood on South Hill, just as the local playgrounds are probably not something you'd drive your child a fair distance to experience. It's one of the many things that makes our neighborhood such a wonderful place to live.