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The Virginia Capital Trail is moving along

Construction of the Virginia Capital Trail is progressing towards a 2014 completion date. Crews are starting to work on the  13.5-mile Sherwood Forest Phase of the Richmond-to-Williamsburg bike and pedestrian path.

When completed in October 2013, the Sherwood Forest section will link already the completed portions in Charles City County to the west and James City County, Jamestown and Williamsburg to the east. Riders will then be able to ride  a continuous stretch for 33.5 miles of the 55.5-mile trail.

So, what’s left to complete ?

VDOT is currently designing preliminary plans for the last two remaining phases of the Virginia Capital Trail—Varina and New Market Heights. The Varina phase will span 9.5 miles from the Richmond City limits to Long Bridge Road in Henrico County. The New Market Heights phase will extend 10.5 miles from Long Bridge Road to Kimages Road in Charles City County.  The entire Virginia Capital Trail is scheduled to open to the public in 2014.

Virginia Capital Trail: Mountain bikers won't have all the fun this spring. Beth Weisbrod, executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, said she expects construction to begin on the 13.5-mile Sherwood Forest Phase of the Richmond-to-Williamsburg bike and pedestrian path.

The Trail

The Virginia Capital Trail is a dedicated, paved pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect the Commonwealth’s past and present capitals of Jamestown and Richmond traversing a beautiful landscape as it parallels historic Route 5.

Once complete in 2014, the Trail will traverse 50+ miles, through portions of Henrico, Charles City, and James City counties along the way as it connects the previous capitals of Jamestown (1607-1699) and Williamsburg (1699-1780) to its current capital of Richmond (1780-present).

It will range in width between eight and ten feet, and will be paved throughout its entire length to accommodate all modes of non-motorized transportation.  Walkers, joggers and bicyclists will all enjoy the trail together.

  V-DOT is constructing the Virginia Capital Trail, and currently, 16-miles are complete; .5 in downtown Richmond, 7.5 in Charles City County, 8 in James City County.

The trail is expected to boost give areas along the trail an economic boost.  A similar trail in Northern VA (  The W&OD trail , a 45-mile trail from Arlington to Purcellville) attracted 1.7 million visitors in 2004, with locals spending an average of $10 a day and non-locals spending $17 a day. The math is easy. The same study found that the Virginia Creeper Trail attracted 130,000 annual visitors to Damascus, Va., with average spending for day trippers at $17.16 per person per trip. Overnight users spent $82.10 per person per trip. In analyzing where this money was spent, 40 percent went into accommodation and food services, 20 percent went to entertainment and recreation. .

Other area bicycling resources in the Williamsburg/ Richmond/ Hampton Roads area

Williamsburg Area Bike Rides

Williamsburg Area Bicyclists (WAB)

Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association

PBA (Peninsula Bicycling Association): www.pbabicycling.org

RABA (Richmond Area Bicycling Association):http://www.raba.org

Tidewater Bicycle Association: http://www.TBArides.org

Mountain Bike Trails in the Williamsburg , James City County, New Kent, York County, Chesapeake, and Newport News areas

Freedom Park  Location: James City County /Williamsburg, Virginia

Harwood Mills Location: Newport News, Virginia

Indian River Park Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

New Quarter Park Location: York County/Williamsburg, Virginia

Upper County Park  Location: James City, Virginia

Wahrani Nature Trail Location: West Point, Virginia

York River State Park Location: York County, Williamsburg, Virginia

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