Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail soon to open to the public

The long-anticipated opening of the Blue Ridge Tunnel trail will soon be a reality.

The roughly 2.25-mile trail is scheduled to open to pedestrians and bicyclists Saturday November 21. A portion of the trail runs through a railroad tunnel that was constructed between 1850 to 1858, which was led by engineer Claudius Crozet. At a distance of nearly 1 mile, it was the longest tunnel in America at the time of its completion.

The trail project has been in the works since 2001.

“You know, we did have to postpone quite a few times, but now we just can’t wait for people to come and see it. You know folks will visit from all over the United States and even beyond,” Claire Richardson, director of Nelson County Parks and Recreation, said.

The eastern entrance of the trail is in Afton, while the western entrance is in Augusta County, near Waynesboro. There are parking lots at both ends.

It is recommended folks bring a flashlight or headlamp for the tunnel portion of the trail. The trail hours will be from sunrise to sunset.

Richardson does urge anyone visiting the trail to adhere to COVID-19 precautions and stay 6 feet away and wear a mask while visiting the trail.



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