Beaches to Bluegrass – Conceptual Trail Plan

April 2013 Webinar Presentation

The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Conservation and Recreation are partnering with HNTB and Alta Planning and Design to develop a conceptual plan to determine the final route for the trail and formalize partnership agreements.

This statewide trail will stretch west to east from the Cumberland Plateau to the Chesapeake Bay. 

Composed of many trails now existing or under way, this network will connect mountains to sea and stimulate tourism across southern Virginia. Learn more about the proposed trail  (PDF)

The trail is envisioned as a braided system,  made up of parallel trails sharing a common direction, but managed by different local partners. 

Some trails will be multi-use and non-motorized. Others may include carriage riders, while some will provide access to waterways. 

Some sections will require bicycle riders to use paved roads.  In other cases, the trail may be too narrow and steep to allow bicycles.

As the trail evolves, the multi-use portions may be expanded and connected so long-range trips are possible.

Some of the trails that could be incorporated into this statewide network include:

  • The proposed Multi-City Trail will span southside Hampton Roads from downtown Suffolk to the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The route will be formed from these planned or proposed trail projects in Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach:
  • Commonwealth Rail to Trail - Chesapeake and Portsmouth; proposed
  • Elizabeth River Trail - Norfolk; proposed extension from Harbor Park eastward and northward
  • Virginia Beach Trail - Virginia Beach; proposed for abandoned Norfolk Southern rail corridor
  • The proposed Tobacco Heritage Trail will form the central piece of this trail network, with its multipurpose rail to trail through Brunswick, Mecklenburg and Halifax counties.
  • The Danville Riverwalk Trail.
  • The Dick and Willie Passage
  • The Smith River Trail Fairy Stone State Park
  • Trails along the Philpot Reservoir
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway
  • A portion of New River Trail State Park and Grayson Highlands State Park.
  • The Virginia Creeper Trail.
  •  Wilderness Road State Park.

This map represents the study corridor of the trail during the conceptual planning process:

Beaches to Bluegrass statewide trail

A key part of the process is getting input from the public so we can better shape the alignment of the trail, provide quality trail resources, services, and recommendations in the Beaches to Bluegrass Study.  

Follow the link to answer a few questions and provides an opportunity to comment at the end.  It should take about five minutes:  

Please forward this to others who are interested.



Page last modified: May 23, 2013