Virginia Capital Trail
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What will the Virginia Capital Trail offer?
The Trail will give local residents the ability to use non-motorized transportation to access places of employment, education centers, neighborhoods and local recreation facilities.
Long distance bicyclists and walkers will both be able to enjoy the safety and serenity of the Trail because it will be physically separated from the vehicular traffic on Route 5 throughout most of its length. Additionally several “trail heads” will be strategically placed along the Trail so users can split up their journey so they don’t have to explore the entire Trail at one time.
The Trail will increase the public awareness for Virginia’s rich historical roots while providing an opportunity to preserve and protect its unique wildlife.
Recreational activities that are associated with the use of the Trail (such as walking, jogging, biking, etc.) promote a healthy lifestyle.
Informational kiosks and interpretive signs will be placed along the Trail to educate users about the historical resources and wildlife found within the corridor.
Q: When is the next opportunity I have to participate?
A: The designers of the Virginia Capital Trail value public input and all citizen comments will be taken into consideration before the final alignment for each phase is determined. An extensive pubic involvement process will be well-advertised so that the entire community has an opportunity to participate as the project proceeds.
Information concerning public hearings will be posted on the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Web site. Additionally, interested citizens can sign up for the project mailing list to receive written notices about project meetings.
Q: When will construction begin on the Virginia Capital Trail?
A: The Greensprings, Colonial Parkway, Chickahominy Riverfront and Charles City Courthouse phases are complete and open to the public. Use the links at the top of the page to track the progress of the other phases of the Trail.
Q: How will the Virginia Capital Trail be funded?
A: VDOT uses a unique combination of federal enhancement, open-container and Smithsonian funds to pay for the design and construction of the Virginia Capital Trail. These funds are specifically designated so that they can not be used to build roadways. This means that the construction of the Trail does not take money from VDOT’s maintenance or construction budgets.
Q: How will the Trail be maintained?
A: The Virginia Capital Trail will be maintained in the same manner that many primary and secondary roads are maintained throughout Virginia. Comprehensive management agreements are in the process of being developed to distinguish the responsibilities of VDOT, the localities and the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. These agreements will ensure that the Trail will remain safe, usable and accessible.
Q: What will be the hours of operation for the Virginia Capital Trail?
A: The Virginia Capital Trail will be open during daylight hours.
Q: Will a lot of tree cutting be necessary to build the Trail?
A: Some trees will need to be removed to establish a safe alignment for the Trail, but the designers are attempting to minimize these impacts. Additionally, trees will be kept in place to separate the Trail from Route 5 wherever possible. This will provide an aesthetic physical barrier that will protect Trail users from vehicular traffic.
Q: Where should I park my car if I want to use the Trail?
A: Capital Trail users accessing the eastern trailhead may park on the outer perimeter of the Jamestown Settlement parking lot close to the trailhead (subject to any direction that may be provided by Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation security). During times of the year when the Jamestown Settlement lot is filled with museum visitors, Jamestown Settlement will make every effort to accommodate Virginia Capital Trail users, but cannot guarantee parking space availability. No overnight parking is permitted. VDOT/Jamestown Settlement memorandum of understanding (June 2011)