Recreational Trails in Virginia

more miles of trails are planned than completed in Prince William County
more miles of trails are planned than completed in Prince William County
Source: Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Long Distance Trails in Northern Virginia and Washington

Bicycle and pedestrian trails in urban areas are used for multiple purposes, including commuting to school/work as well as for recreational use. Paint designates specific portions of roads for use by just scooters and bicycles, rather than cars.

Some major recreational trails, such as the East Coast Greenway, traverse both rural and urban areas. As the western edge of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail has urbanized, use patterns have changed. Trail managers have to plan for different types of use in different areas, similar to how land use planners decide to zone different parcels for residential, commercial, and industrial uses.

Major recreational trails in the countryside have been developed for exercise and tourist use. Former railroads have been converted into recreational paths in rails-to-trails projects. Virginia has more miles of the popular Appalachian Trail than any other state.1

When the General's Ridge Golf Course was converted into Blooms Park in 2019, the City of Manassas Park converted the former paths for the golf carts into hiking trails. The fairways were abandoned and allowed to revegetate naturally.

after General's Ridge Golf Course closed, the golf cart path became a hiking trail and fairways were left unmanicured
after General's Ridge Golf Course closed, the golf cart path became a hiking trail and fairways were left unmanicured

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has developed the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail across the state "to discover Virginia’s wild side."2

Appalachian Trail in Virginia

Biking in Virginia

Rails to Trails in Virginia

owners of trails must budget for maintenance costs, including bridge replacement
owners of trails must budget for maintenance costs, including bridge replacement

Links

References

1. "Welcome to Virginia," Appalachian Trail Conservancy, http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/explore-by-state/Virginia (last checked November 29, 2019)
2. "Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail," Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt/ (last checked November 29, 2019)


Parks, Forests, Tourism in Virginia
Virginia Places