State and local officials joined community and members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America last week to celebrate the completion of Pocahontas State Park’s Swift Creek Trail System, an crucial link in the Richmond Regional Ride Center.
The three-year project, funded through sponsor contributions of more than $400,000 and a state allocation of $400,000, encompasses 22 miles of trails, including eight miles of beginner trails and seven miles of handcycle-friendly trails.
The Swift Creek Trail System was required in order for the International Mountain Biking Association to certify the Richmond Regional Ride Center, which also includes the city’s downtown trails.
“The Swift Creek Trail System was the last, critical link in making the Richmond Regional Ride Center a reality,” said Pocahontas State Park manager Josh Ellington. “IMBA Ride Center certification requires a certain number of beginner trails, and our park had space available to build these important trails. We’re also proud to be able to offer the handcycle trails to a typically under-served group of park users.”
The Paralyzed Veterans of America hold off-road para-cycling expos at the park in the spring and fall.
“The trails at Pocahontas State Park were introduced to us as a vision to bring together off-road handcyclists and the mountain bike community through one of our members, Wayne Goodman,” said PVA Mid-Atlantic Chapter President Charles Bradley. “He wanted everyone with physical challenges to be able to ride with the community and their families. We are proud to have achieved this through our mission of being a supportive community for capable heroes and to be part of bringing awareness of adaptive sports to the community.”
Sponsors and partners of the Richmond Regional Ride Center include Altria, Chesterfield County, the Chesterfield Rotary Club, Dominion Energy, REI, UPS, MeadWestvaco, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, People for Bikes, Richmond 2015, RVA MORE, the Friends of Pocahontas State Park, the James River Park System, the International Mountain Biking Association, UCI Road World Championships, Ukrops, the Virginia Association for Parks and the Virginia Tourism Corp.