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Trail of the Month: Virginia Capital Trail

Trail of the Month: Virginia Capital Trail

With over a half million users per year, the Virginia Capital Trail (VCT)—a paved trail opening in 2015 that starts in Jamestown and runs approximately 50 miles northwest to downtown Richmond—is perhaps the premier trail in Virginia.

Map of the Virginia Capital Trail
Virginia Capital Trail

Source: virginiacapitaltrail.org

The trail begins near the Jamestown Settlement complex at a gazebo with bike repair equipment.

Photo of the Trailhead near Jamestown
Trailhead near Jamestown

Source: Google Maps

In James City County, the VCT joins neighborhoods with several interesting destinations:

-          Jamestown (original fort and excavations)

-          Jamestown Settlement (museum, recreation of colony, replicas of ships)

-          Billsburg Brewery- near trailhead

-          Spoke + Art Provisions (food, bike supplies)- 2 miles from trailhead

-          Chickahominy Park (pier, campground, pool)- 6 miles from trailhead

Map of the Virginia Capital Trail- James City County portion
Virginia Capital Trail- James City County portion

Source: HRTPO via Google My Maps

For those traveling longer distances, two restaurants lie approximately half-way to Richmond:

-          Cul’s Courthouse Grill- 20 miles from trailhead

-          Indian Fields Tavern- 22 miles from trailhead

and many restaurants lie at the Richmond end.  See official website map for restaurant details, plus camping, bike repair, convenience stores, etc.

Map indicating Restaurants Along/Near the Virginia Capital Trail
Restaurants Along/Near the Virginia Capital Trail

Source: virginiacapitaltrail.org

Between crossing over the Chickahominy River (mile 6) and passing under I-295 (mile 40), the trail has a beautiful, rural character.

Photo of the Rural Nature of Virginia Capital Trail
Rural Nature of Virginia Capital Trail

Source: VCT Foundation

At the Hampton Roads end of the Virginia Capital Trail, other facilities enable branching off the trail:

-          Colonial Parkway (low volume road between Jamestown & Williamsburg)

-          Powhatan Creek Trail

Map depicting Existing Facilities Connecting to the Virginia Capital Trail
Existing Facilities Connecting to the Virginia Capital Trail

Source: HRTPO via Google My Maps

And VDOT, HRTPO, and local governments are planning proposed trails to extend the Virginia Capital Trail to Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News, and Hampton’s Fort Monroe on the Peninsula, and to Surry, Smithfield, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach’s oceanfront on the Southside.

Map showing Proposed Trails Extending the Virginia Capital Trail
Proposed Trails Extending the Virginia Capital Trail

Source: HRTPO via Google My Maps

Significant portions of this trail system already exist in Suffolk (as shown below):

-          A path along Prentis Street downtown

-          A rail trail between Suburban Dr and Nansemond Pkwy (Rte 337) east of downtown

-          A rail trail between Nansemond Pkwy (Rte 337) and I-664 in northern Suffolk

Map showing Existing Portions of Virginia Capital Trail Extension in Suffolk
Existing Portions of Virginia Capital Trail Extension in Suffolk

Source: HRTPO via Google My Maps

 

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