I interviewed Mike Burton, the city’s new trails manager, for my Outdoors column in today’s Times-Dispatch. It was big deal five years ago when the city made a commitment to trails by hiring Nathan Burrell as its first trails manager. And it’s no less a deal now, after Burrell has moved on to become superintendent of the James River Park system, that they’ve filled the position. There were some in the outdoor community — count me among them — who worried that in these budget-strained times, the position would be eliminated or go unfilled for many months.
Check out what Burton has to say about trail building and maintenance and Richmond’s future as a trail Mecca.
For those of you who know the trails well, one thing I didn’t have the space to add in my column was Burton describing which sections of Forest Hill Park, which has taken a beating from all the summer rain, he hopes to tackle first this fall. The top two priorities, he said, are: 1) The old dirt road that runs from just downstream of the base of the waterfall to up and out of the park at 32nd Street. And 2) The area just below the cobblestone walkway that comes down from 34th Street. “They’re really rutted out, really bad erosion problems right now, and we’re going to reroute both of them.”