The much anticipated arrival of the Virginia Capital Trail

Sean Cusack, Beth Weisbrod and Juliellen Sarver speak to members of the media on the Virginia Capital Trail at Rocketts Landing, Sept. 29, 2015.So many of us in the Richmond region have been anticipating the completion of the Virginia Capital Trail, a 52-mile paved path that parallels much of state Route 5, beginning in Richmond east of the floodwall and running along Dock Street through Richmond and the counties of Henrico, Charles City and James City before ending in Jamestown.

I took a media tour Tuesday (by bus, not bike, unfortunately) of the trail between Great Shiplock Park and the new Four Mile Creek Park trail head in eastern Henrico County. For the second day in a row, a story I wrote was the Metro section centerpiece story, in large part because I was able to get decent photos. I really appreciated the opportunities to get out of the office.

Andy Thompson told me that Terrain 360 and have been working on a 360 tour of the entire Virginia Capital Trail. This is cool, check it before you go. They haven’t finished the entire trail, but it should take less time than the 360 tour of the entire James River.

It was a thrill to see so many of the people I’ve met over the years who have worked so hard to plan, build and promote this trail.

Beth Weisbrod, the executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, has been a good friend the past several years and someone who is easy to root for.

Al Azzarone and Todd Eure of Henrico County — both of whom have dedicated so much of their time to make Four Mile Creek Park happen. The additional connection to Dorey Park was a dream come true for Azzarone, a great guy and a good friend to the outdoors. The east end of Henrico has so many great outdoors locations, park spaces and recreational opportunities. I hope they are able to limit the residential and commercial growth to keep it rural.

Sean Cusack and Juliellen Sarver were kind enough to talk to us about Rocketts Landing and how the Capital Trail can help to finally realize the promise and/or potential of a safe, car-free lifestyle for that community and the rest of the East End. If more areas of the Richmond region can learn duplicate the success of this trail and provide more non-vehicular pathways, we can develop more healthy habits as a community.

Meeting Darrell and Ronnie Logan of Ronnie BBQ was great too. They were very excited to tell their story of how they’ve welcome cyclists and responded to their needs and requests to better accommodate the expected influx of even more riders in Varina. (And their barbecue was really, really good too!)

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