This is a long post to give details for those who want to use the trail in Richmond. I live in Richmond and have walked this trail with my dog regularly for about five years. It’s very well maintained but there are some tricks to accessing and using it. I wish there were more bathroom and water fountains along the way, but otherwise it's a good trail.
WHITEWATER GORGE TRAIL
This is a paved trail that goes through a gorge that’s mostly wooded parkland along the river. This has a couple hills and some unpaved side trails that can be fun to explore if you’re into off-road biking, hiking, or fishing. I think of it as the southern end of the Cardinal Greenway but it is not counted as part of the Greenway on the TrailLinks map. It still has about 2 miles of nice trail with interesting views and even some wildlife occasionally. It’s not flat the whole way so if you want less challenging landscape, skip ahead to the D Street Trailhead and the Cardinal Greenway. That being said, it’s not real rugged either.
The best way to access this trailhead is from Abington Pike. From National Road/Route 40, go south on Southwest 2nd Street (this becomes Abington Pike). You’ll take this for about 2 miles, then turn left onto Test Road. In about a quarter mile, the trailhead parking will be on your left. They just added a gate here and the sign says it’s closed dusk to dawn, so if you park your car there be sure to be out of there by nightfall so you don’t get locked in.
RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL - HUB ETCHISON PARKWAY
You can access the trail from a long staircase at the parking lot across the street from Richmond High School on Hub Etchison Parkway. Coming from the north, the school is on the right and the parking lot is on the left side of the street. It’s a school parking lot, but even if you go when school is in session you should be okay. I always park right next to the staircase and I’ve never had trouble. The staircase is in the tree line. There should be a big green sign at the top of the stairs. You could haul a bike down it if you wanted, but it’s probably not the best place. It’s fine if you’re on foot. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right to go south to Test Road and through the more natural (though still paved) part of the trail, or turn left to go north toward downtown Richmond.
VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK
From East Main Street, at the railroad bridge that has a big “RICHMOND” sign, turn north. You’ll drive down a hill and toward the memorials. You can park there and take the trail south. There is a building with bathrooms and water fountains, but they’re usually not open. They’re supposed to connect this to the rest of the Cardinal Greenway to the north with a staircase, but that’s not finished yet. (An unofficial trail tip: If you’re on foot, you can keep walking north of the parking lot through a grass field. To the right is a big hill. If you walk up that very steep hill where there’s a worn path, you can get to the D Street trailhead parking lot.)
If you turn south on South 1st Street by the bridge that has the big “RICHMOND” sign, you’ll wind up at a parking lot for the Star-Gennett building where pianos were manufactured 100 years ago. There was also a music recording studio that made jazz and country records. You can’t go inside the building except for special events, but you can use the parking lot any time. Head south on the Greenway to go to Test Road. You can see nice markers commemorating musicians who recorded there, including Louis Armstrong.
If you go north on the Greenway you’ll end up at the the Veterans Memorial Park. Along the way you’ll go under some large bridges and you can read some historical markers. It’s a pretty nice part of the trail. You definitely know you’re in a town, but you’re below it all in a partly wooded area. It’s great for a nice short walk with a good flavor of local history. If you’re looking for more quiet and solitude, you may want to go farther north or south.
If you’re on foot, you can access the Star-Garnett building area via a stairwell on the bridge on the south side of South A Street/Route 40.