Central VA unofficial(?) Rail trail?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rob_E's Avatar
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    Nov 2010

    Central VA unofficial(?) Rail trail?

    Looking at a potential bike trip, and I flipped on the "show cycling options" in Google Maps. It shows a brown (dirt/unpaved) trail that runs with very few breaks about 50 miles from Petersburg to La Cross, VA. It largely runs parallel to I-85 and Rt.1.

    Outside of that brown line on Google (which Google happily routes me down as if it were an actual bike route), I can find no mention of this trail. Even the Strava heatmap, which I can usually use to find local, unofficial trails, is dark. Looking at Google Street View at some of the road crossings, they show the trail in a variety of conditions from looking like a narrow, country road, to being almost overgrown, depending on where I look. One thing that I haven't seen in any street view is a sign saying what the trail is or even telling anyone to keep out. I did find a labeled overpass that indicates that the trail is along a former stretch of the Seaboard Rail Line.

    Anyone familiar with this? I came across it while looking for some two-three day weekend trips, and from where I am (Raleigh), I can hop a train to Petersburg and spend a few days biking home, with a good chunk on this trail assuming it's a passable and, hopefully, legal route.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ltdan12a's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Interesting, sounds like it might be a fun adventure!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    It is called the Tobacco Heritage Trail. Basically what you see on Goggle is what was proposed. The only portion that is complete is a 12 mile section at La Cross Va. And a short portion in Victoria at the little park there. On either side of Victoria you can follow the old RR ROW From the Airport to a couple miles west of town.

    Other than that it will take local advocates to get any more done.

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