Those anxiously awaiting the opening of the 1.1-mile stretch of the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Boydton may not have to wait much longer, according to Trail Coordinator Heather Susee.
Susee said a Substantial Completion Inspection on the Boydton section of the trail was completed on June 2.
“This inspection gave the opportunity for Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails and the engineer, Anderson and Associates, to list anything that needs to be changed or completed before the trail is officially open to the public,” Susee explained.
Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails is the non-profit organization that owns the Tobacco Heritage Trail, a series of non-motorized, outdoor trails in locations around Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Lunenburg, Halifax and Charlotte counties in Southern Virginia.
As for the Boydton section of the trail, Susee said that items such as completing the kiosks, digging drainage ditches and installing extra split rail fences are on the list to be completed by the contractor, however, the picnic tables have been installed and all of the grass has been seeded. The contractor has 30 days to complete any changes listed by the engineer.
“Everything is shaping up nicely for a beautiful trail for Boydton and its visitors,” Susee said. “The overhead tree canopy is especially lovely and will afford ample shade to trailgoers on sunny summer days. Though this 1-mile trail section is within town, there is a feel of being far away from the hustle and bustle of everything with the wild vegetation and serenity of the woods surrounding the path.”
Following the 30-day period designated for changes and additions, a Final Completion Inspection will be scheduled, as well as a grand opening date, after which the trail will be open to the public.
Historic Boyd Tavern, located along Washington Avenue in Boydton, is still planned to be associated with the trail.
“Boyd Tavern will have a rest facility available for trail users,” Susee said.
While some confusion has arisen over whether or not some or all of the 1.1-section of the trail will be paved, Susee said at this time, the trail will not be paved. Susee explained that while at one point, interest was shown in paving the trail, pending proper funding, it was discovered that because the paving was not in the original plans, the Virginia Department of Transportation said the trail is not eligible for paving without further grant funding.
“VDOT stated that they did not object to the paving of the trail as a concept, just objected to the fact that it was not in the original plans and therefore could not be changed, “ Susee said. “They informed Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails that if we would like to apply for another grant in the future in order to pave the Boydton trail, we may do so.”
Susee also said that volunteers will be maintaining the Boydton trail. If you would like to lend a hand to trail maintenance or promotion, contact Susee at email@example.com.