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Regional Trails Taking Shape in Hampton Roads

Regional Trails Taking Shape in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads is home to a variety of trails for hikers, bikers, and boaters.  Several of these trails have been completed while others are still under construction or in the planning phase. Recently, some exciting progress has been made on a few of the trails, bringing them a few steps closer to completion.

The South Hampton Roads Trail (SHRT) is a 41-mile proposed multi-use/bicycle route between Suffolk and Virginia Beach. Two sections of this trail are now on their way to construction. The planned section between the Driver and Pughsville neighborhoods in Suffolk has been funded and will begin construction later this year (see map). This portion of the SHRT is a rails-to-trails project and is known as the Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Trail locally. Also, a 1.8-mile rails-to-trail segment of the SHRT in the City of Portsmouth was recently approved for funding for both planning and construction phases for a multi-use path. Both HRPDC and HRTPO staff have been involved on the steering committee for this project.

The Beaches to Bluegrass Trail (B2B) is a statewide trail being planned by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) which traverses the entire state from the Cumberland Gap to the Virginia Beach oceanfront and Eastern Shore. The B2B seeks to connect existing multi-use trails where possible but for the interim (where there are gaps), on-road bike routes will be designated. The HRPDC approved a letter of support for the B2B in March 2014. The letter also expressed support for the B2B and SHRT sharing the same route through Hampton Roads where there is overlap. The final plan for the B2B will be available in the Fall of 2014.

The Captain John Smith National Historic Trail (CAJO) traces the historic routes of John Smith as he explored the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The James River segment plan of the CAJO has recently been completed. In May 2014, the Nansemond segment in Suffolk was opened and dedicated along with a new informational kiosk at Bennett’s Creek Park. Other kiosks will be installed in Suffolk at Sleepy Hole Park and Constant’s Wharf. A new public kayak launch at Constant’s Wharf is also slated for construction, which was funded through the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program via the HRPDC. Other informational kiosks for the CAJO will be installed around the region in the future at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield, Fort Monroe, Jamestown, Chippokes State Park, and York River State Park.

For a comprehensive list of all existing, planned, and proposed regional trails in Hampton Roads, please visit our regional trails page.

CAJO Trail Dedication Suffolk VA NPS
Photo from the CAJO Trail Dedication in Suffolk, VA. Courtesy National Park Service