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Hills & Heights

Northbank Trail Workday on 1/19

A new trail is in the works and needs workers.




Another day another update from Richmond Outside this time with good news, a date for work has been picked:

One of the most exciting trail-building projects in recent memory is officially a go, and there’s now a volunteer work day scheduled to kick it off.

I spoke with city trails manager, Mike Burton, yesterday about the recently-delayed North Bank Trail project — the new single track connection linking the trail running behind Maymont to where it heads east at the Texas Beach parking lot.

Burton said work by city staff clearing the corridor will begin any day in preparation for the first volunteer work day on Saturday, Jan. 19 (meet at Texas Beach parking lot at 9 a.m.).

He said the project is going to be sizable. “It’ll take all winter, maybe into the spring, maybe even into the summer.”

The trail segment is about a 1/3 of a mile long and will be relatively straight because the trail corridor is hemmed in by private property above and the old canal below. Also, Burton added, it will be slow going because of the nature of the terrain: “It ranges from quite steep to fairly steep.”

But the more people come out to help, the faster the work will go, and the sooner we’ll be adding a beautiful new section of singletrack to America’s finest urban trail system.

So, put Jan. 19 on your calendars!


Update today from Richmond Outside:

After announcing Saturday’s North Bank Trail work day, city trails manager Mike Burton said there were a few questions raised by community and neighborhood members in the Maymont area where the trail will be located. Burton stressed that the trail is squarely on public property and this will only be a short delay, but he said both the James River Park System trail crew and rvaMORE want to engage with these groups and ensure that all questions are answered prior to breaking ground on the new trail.

So, to allow the time for this to happen, Saturday’s work day will be postponed. A new date will be announced as soon as possible, and of course we’ll have that info here. Burton said the delay isn’t likely to be more than a couple of weeks.

Original Post:

Currently, if you travel the popular Northbank Trail you have to take a little non-river, up onto the road detour. The James River Parks Trail Crew and rvaMORE want to change that and build a trail so no pavement is required. If enough people show up that could all change this weekend. This is a big project so the more people that pitch in the more likely it is to happen.

From the Facebook Event:

Everyone who’s ridden, run, or hiked the North Bank trail is familiar with the short section of pavement along Kansas Ave. It links the two sections of the trail trail including the famous rocky switchback and ramp climb that connects to the area behind Maymont, affectionately known as “The Stairway to Heaven”. It’s an iconic part of the JRPS system; but what about those times you don’t want to take the road to get back on dirt? Well now is your time to help make that possible!

On Saturday, Nov 17th the JRPS trail crew and rvaMORE will be hosting the first volunteer work day on a new single track connector that will link the two sections of North Bank trail that are currently separated by Kansas Ave. This trail, which will run just north of the canal, will make it possible to take North Bank from end to end without touching pavement! The approximate location of the trail is indicated by the red dashed line on the map. The ramps and single track of the Stairway to Heaven and the trail down from the Texas Beach parking lot will both remain in place so there will be two options on which route to take.

This is going to be a big project so we need all hands on deck! Meet at the Texas Beach parking lot off of Texas Ave (Map: at 9:00 AM on Saturday, November 17th. Bring gloves, sturdy work shoes, and water. See you on Saturday!


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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.