Friday, June 10, 2011

A Bicycle Ride on The New River Trail

Click on the images to enlarge them
Yesterday I decided to go for a ride on The New River Trail. I have been wanting to ride there for quite some time. As things go, about three years have slipped by since my last visit. I originally planned to park at the Historic Shot Tower Park, but it was closed for the season. Foster Falls turned out to be a better choice anyway. In the above photo my bicycle is leaned against a split rail fence waiting for me while I put on my shoes and helmet. 

One of two tunnels on the new river trail

The New River Trail is a 57- mile long Virginia state park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. There are several entrances into this park. The park meanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. This park is part of the Rails to Trails Program as it was donated to the state by Norfolk Southern Railroad when the railroad discontinued the line and removed the tracks. This park also serves as a link to numerous other outdoor recreational areas, including a town park in Fries, Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, the Dannelly Fitness Complex in Galax, four Department of Game and Inland Fisheries boat launches and Shot Tower Historical State Park. New River Trail is minutes form Claytor Lake State Park.

Park Size: 765 acres, width averages 80 feet; length from Galax to Pulaski, 51.5 miles; Fries Branch, 5.5 miles; the total length is 57 miles.

Click here for the New River Trail web site.
One of the bridges on the new river trail. Note the trail surface.

A view of the river from a bridge

Looking out from one of the bridges on the trial

A wide section of the river

A short bridge that used to carry trains

The rail line was cut through the rocks in this section of the trail

Fries Junction Bridge - 1,089 feet long

Fries Junction - left goes to Galax right goes to Fries

One of the state maintained restrooms along the trail. Note the hitching posts. The New River Trail is open to hikers, horses and cyclists. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.

Back at Foster Falls. I had a great ride, but next time I will wait till it is a dryer. The trail surface was soft and mushy, this made it very hard to pedal in places.

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