New River Trail: Hiwassee Trestle

The New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way.  The rail corridor was donated to the state of Virginia by Norfolk Southern Corporation in 1986, and by summer 1987, the trail’s first four miles were opened.

The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax.  The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback.

The trail has two tunnels, three major bridges, and nearly 30 smaller bridges and trestles.  These photos, taken one after the other as I moved closer to the center of the bridge, are of the Hiwassee Bridge which is 951 feet in length.

The bridge allows all users to cross over the gorgeous New River.

Multiple access points to the New River Trail make it one of the most popular eco-tourism destinations in Southwest Virginia.  If you are ever in my neck of the woods, I’d love to take you there.  My great friend and fellow blogger Karen, from The Unassuming Hiker, can also show you around.  She and her husband section hiked all 57 miles.

Much of the text of this post was taken from the Department of Conservation and Recreation website, linked above.

10 thoughts on “New River Trail: Hiwassee Trestle

  1. I tend to feel quite smug when you write about the New River Trail, being as how we walked alongside the New River and I believe saw that bridge, (was it this bridge?) even if from a distance and even if we did a mere fraction of the 57 miles worth of trail and even if I was so jet lagged and exhausted most of it is now a blur, I still remember the colours and feel of that excursion and us all wandering around and listening to you speak with such pride and love of your city.

  2. Oh Laurie, this makes me want to load up the bike and go on a road trip to Virginia. Beautiful photos! I love bike trails with tunnels and bridges. This one is completely awesome! Wisconsin has many trails formed from the beds of old railroad tracks. It makes perfect sense to utilize those in favor of a place for hikers, bikers and horse people to enjoy.

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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