South of Washington, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County are working on the Virginia Central Railway Trail, a multi-use trail that could someday stretch from Fredericksburg, VA to Orange, VA. Built on the right-of-way of the former narrow gauge Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont Railroad, the trail section in Fredericskburg is nearly complete and construction of a key bridge as early as this year, will connect the paved section with an unpaved section that will bring the trail all the way to I-95, where someday a trail tunnel (or alternatively a bridge) will be built.The first sections of the trail built in Fredericksburg serves as part of the East Coast Greenway and that route connects it to DC.
The first two sections built in Fredericksburg, running from downtown on the east side to the Blue and Gray Parkway (and encroaching ever so slightly onto NPS property) opened in September of 2014, and a third section from the west end of section 2 to the west edge of town in the Hazel Run valley opened the following summer. Last year, the trail received $160,000 from the state to build a bridge over Hazel Run.
It will connect to an unimproved, nearly two-thirds of a mile long stretch of the old Virginia Central Railroad railway bed that ends at the base of the slope leading to the east side of I-95.
It will be built in a way that will preserve the remains of the abutments to an older railroad bridge spanning Hazel Run.
“Currently, no funding has been approved to do improvements on the western side of the bridge,” Fawcett said.
The unpaved western side of the bridge is in Spotsylvania County and they have not made as much progress on the trail thus far. They do have a 2.1-mile section, that was finished sometime prior to 2008, on the other side of I-95, but it won't be connected to the Fredericksburg section until the tunnel is built. Farther west an even shorter section makes up the Hidden Lake Trail. They have put together a design guide at least.
Once the trail is completed across Spotsylvania, it is intended to serve as one leg of the Spotsylvania Battlefield Loop.
And connect on the west end to the Lake Anna Connector Trail, becoming a key part of the Greenways plan.
Spotsylvania County Greenways Map