About the Trail
Years ago, a rail line linked Bristol and Mendota, VA. The City of Bristol, VA later purchased the railroad property and in 2016, deeded it to Mountain Heritage, Inc., a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which has a record of successful trail development. In 2020, this deed was then transferred to the Mendota Trail Conservancy, Incorporated.
The trail, located solely in Washington County, VA, spans tranquil countryside and forests on gentle grades comparable to nearby rails-to-trails favorites. It is under active development with half of the trail now open from Bristol, Virginia. The Mendota, Virginia end has two miles currently open with additional miles anticipated in the near future. Click Here to read our brochure!
- Open dawn to dusk
- No trespassing on adjacent property
- No motorized vehicles
- No littering, tobacco products, alcohol, or drugs
- No hunting or discharge of firearms
- Minors must be accompanied by adults
- No animals other than leashed non-vicious dogs *Dog waste must be disposed of properly
Trail users do so as their own risk and by using the trail waive all claims of injury or property damage against trail owner, its agents, volunteers, employees, contractors, board members, and representatives.
How much of the trail is open?
A total of about ten miles. Currently, there are 6.1 miles open on the southern end running from Bristol to a turn-around just about one mile past Benhams. Four miles are open on the northern end, starting at the Mendota Trailhead.
Where can I access the trail?
There are 3 access points:
Benhams Parking area
When will the trail be completed?
After all trestles have been restored, the entire 12.5 miles of trail will be open. This timeline hinges on receiving the necessary funding to complete trestle repairs. We expect the full 12.5 miles to be open in mid-2023.
Are horses allowed on the trail?
Can I bring my dog?
Is there cell service?
Are there restrooms?
Where to Access the Trail
Bristol Trailhead — Beside 1788 Island Rd.*
Benhams — 7720 Rich Valley Rd.
Mendota Trailhead — Across from 2421 Mendota Rd.
*Re-0pens Saturday, June 4, 2022
PO Box 1322
Bristol, VA 24203