Rails to Trails in Virginia

Some former railroads that have been abandoned have been converted into rails-to-trails projects. When the Norfolk Southern ceased hauling coal along the Guest River in 1988, it donated the right-of-way and the George Washington National Forest created the Guest River Gorge Trail.1

In 2019, the Bay Coast Railroad ceased operations on the Eastern Shore. Accomack and Northampton counties could find new Class III shortline railroads to restore service on a portion of the track, but a 49-mile stretch between Cape Charles and Hallwood were abandoned. The 40-foot wide right of way crossed flat ground, making it especially suitable for recreational biking.2

the Norfolk and Western Railroad crossed the Appomattox River via High Bridge
the Norfolk and Western Railroad crossed the Appomattox River via High Bridge
Source: US Geological Survey (USGS), Farmville VA 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle (1893)

Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire (Washington and Old Dominion)

Atlantic & Danville Railroad

Danville and New River Railroad

Delmarva Central Railroad

Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad

Interstate Railroad

New River Plateau Railroad ("Cripple Creek Extension")

Recreational Trails in Virginia

South Atlantic and Ohio Railway/Virginia and Southwestern Railroad

Virginia Air Line Railroad

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway

Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper)



1. "Guest River Gorge Trail," George Washington National Forest, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gwj/recarea/?recid=78552 (last checked January 31, 2020)
2. "Soon-to-be abandon track in Va. might be turned over to rails-to-trails program," RT&S, July 2, 2019, https://www.rtands.com/freight/soon-to-be-abandon-track-in-va-might-be-turned-over-to-rails-to-trails-program/ (last checked December 6, 2019)

Railroads of Virginia
Parks, Forests, Tourism in Virginia
Virginia Places