The Elizabeth River Trail—born of a shared vision of the West Ghent Civic League, Norfolk Historical Society, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and the City of Norfolk—links key locations on the western side of Norfolk. The first portion of the trail opened in 2003; the most recent addition was added in 2012.
|Elizabeth River Trail
The Elizabeth River Trail is part of a regional system of major trails—some portions existing and some proposed—as shown in pink below.
|Major Active Transportation Routes
Source: Linking Hampton Roads, HRTPO, 2020, pg. 25
What the trail actually is:
Because of its beauty and connectivity, this article focuses on the southern segment, the mostly separated path from Harbor Park to Jeff Robertson Park. According to the trail counter at Plum Point Park, this portion of the trail is used by approximately 250 cyclists and 1,000 pedestrians per day.
Separated paths serve both recreational and transportational (destination-driven) purposes, as investigated separately below.
The recreational usage of the southern segment is enhanced by the pleasantness of the design of the path, its environs, and afforded views, as shown below:
|Beautiful Environs of the Elizabeth River Trail
|View from Downtown Portion of Elizabeth River Trail
Source: HRTPO staff
The usage of the southern segment for transportation is enhanced by the destinations and neighborhoods that it serves, as shown below:
|Harbor Park, southeastern end of the Elizabeth River Trail
|Downtown Norfolk, along southern segment of the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT)
|Norfolk Medical Complex- EVMS, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and CHKD Hospital
|Restaurants and Breweries in Chelsea, along the ERT
Many residential neighborhoods are within walking distance of the southern segment of the trail, as listed and shown below:
|Neighborhoods along the ERT’s southern segment.
If you don’t live or work near the trail, you can access it via:
- Harbor Park station
- York Street / Freemason station
- EVMC / Fort Norfolk station
- Downtown Norfolk parking decks
- Chelsea district on-street parking
- HRT’s Elizabeth River Ferry
|Accessing the ERT’s southern segment
See you on the trail!