Local mountain bike and trail-building outfit RVA-MORE has a video on their YouTube channel (featured above) that gives you a sense of the difficulty of trail building in an urban environment like Richmond’s. Steepness and inaccessibility of the terrain, erosion and high-use issues and private property concerns, all make the existence of trails like Buttermilk, North Bank (where the video was shot) and others, physically and logistically improbable. The fact that all us mountain bikers, trail runners, dog walkers, birders, etc. get to enjoy the fruits of labor like that seen above, is a pretty amazing thing. One that makes Richmond special. So, hats off to the volunteers, and Richmond’s city-run trail crew, for all they do.
After seeing the video earlier today, I noticed this line in a post on the RVA MORE Facebook page: “The sooner we finish this, the sooner we can get into building some new trail to connect Buttermilk to the Floodwall.”
I hadn’t heard about a new connector from Buttermilk to the Floodwall, so I gave RVA More President Greg Rollins a call. He said the new trail segment — dubbed the “Hidden Link,” which is not to be confused with the planned “Missing Link” trail closer to the water — is designed to bring mountain bikers from the top of the 22nd Street tower (22nd Street and Riverside Drive) to the “SunTrust Tower,” i.e. across the train tracks from the top of the Manchester Climbing Wall, keeping them in wooded singletrack the whole time. This connection now is ridden mostly on sidewalk and road. Rollins said this connector is especially key with construction on the Brown’s Island Dam Walk set to begin any day.
“The idea is to have that open once trail (work) season is finished and have that be a viable corridor,” he said. “We’ve looked at it only from afar and on maps. The corridor looks doable, it’s just got a lot of briars. I think there’s a hobo camp or two in there.”
Click here to learn more about RVA MORE and trail building in Richmond, or to find out how you can volunteer.