The trail, once a rail bed, is wide, level and generally flat. Its surface is covered with finely crushed limestone. The trail's surface and dimensions make it easy for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy it. Its centerpiece is the majestic High Bridge, which is more than 2,400 feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. The original bridge was built in 1853 as part of the South Side Railroad. The current steel-tower bridge was completed in 1914. High Bridge is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and one of the longest in the United States. More than 330,000 screws, 13,000 bolts of various sizes and 1,065 railroad ties were used to renovate the current bridge.
All 31 miles of trail are open. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water because it's not available on the trail.
Open daily from dawn until dusk.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Daily parking fees are $4. There is a $3 Horse Trailer Parking Fee that covers up to two horses in the same trailer. Additional horses cost $2.
Activities include hiking, biking, and using horse trails.
Gift Shop on the Go, across from the River Road parking lot, is open Friday to Sunday from April through November, weather permitting. Bottled water, T-shirts, hiking medallions and other memorabilia are sold there. There's also an exhibit about High Bridge at the Virginia's Heartland Regional Visitor Center and Transportation Heritage Museum at 121 E. Third Street in Farmville. The center is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The trail is accessible. Parking areas at Prospect and Rice are accessible. All restrooms are accessible.
In December 2006, Norfolk Southern Railway Co. donated a 31-mile tract of abandoned railroad to the state for the establishment of a new state park. The rail line was part of the Petersburg to Lynchburg line. On Aug. 22, 2008, four miles of the linear park were opened to the public.
On June 6, 2009, another 10 miles were opened to the public. Six more miles were opened on Nov. 14, 2009, and another four miles were opened on July 3, 2010. On Sept. 4, 2010, the trail's final six miles were opened. After 13 months of rehabilitation work, High Bridge was opened to the public on April 6, 2012. Its completion provides the final link in the 31-mile trail.