About the Trail

The Mendota Trail is a 12.5-mile hiking-biking recreational corridor between Bristol, Virginia, and Mendota, Virginia.

Our Start & Where We are Going

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. After the 12.5 mile trail was completed, ownership was transferred to Washington County, VA in 2023.

The Bristol Trailhead, located in the city of Bristol, VA is ADA accessible as well as the first half mile of trail. The remainder of the trail is natural surface and spans tranquil countryside, forests, and creeks on gentle grades comparable to nearby rails-to-trails favorites. . Click Here to read our brochure!


Help us make the Mendota Trail dream become a reality! Learn More . . .


Read what others are saying about the Mendota Trail in the news! Learn More . . .


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Trail Rules

  • 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
  • Equestrian use is not permitted

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of the trail is open?

12.5 miles Bristol to Mendota

Where can I access the trail?

There are 3 access points:

Bristol Trailhead: 3460 Island Road

Benhams Parking area: 7720 Rich Valley Road

Mendota Trailhead: Across from 2421 Mendota Rd.

Are horses allowed on the trail?
Can I bring my dog?
Leashed dogs are welcome on the trail. We ask that you clean up after your dogs if needed.
Is there cell service?
Service is available near Bristol and at the Benhams parking area. Cell service is not available in the more remote areas.
Are there restrooms?

There is a port-a-potty located at all 3 parking areas. There is a restroom at the Bristol Trailhead which is open from March – November.

Are e-bikes allowed?

Cass 1 & 2 e-bikes are allowed. Please slow down when approaching or passing other trail users.

Are mobility scooters allowed?

Single-person, battery-operated mobility scooters are allowed.

What’s New?

Want to learn a little more about the Mendota Trail? Check out what others are saying about our trail in the news!

Where to Access the Trail

Bristol Trailhead 3460 Island Road

Benhams 7720 Rich Valley Rd.

Mendota Trailhead Across from 2421 Mendota Rd.

From Rail to Trails

The Mendota Trail is a 12.5-mile hiking and biking recreational trail located in Washington County, between Bristol, Virginia, and Mendota, Virginia. Take a moment to view our video!

Contact Us

Have inquiries about the Mendota Trail? We would love to help you!  Fill out the form below with any questions or comments and we will get in touch with you.

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Reach Us

Contact us with any inquires about the Mendota Trail.
Mendota Trail 
PO Box 1322
Bristol, VA 24203

Rules for Mendota Trail Use

Only officially announced portions of the trail are open to the public; the rest of the corridor is closed due to dangerous conditions; non-permitted usage is solely at the user’s own risk. Open dawn to dusk. No trespassing on the adjacent private property. No motorized vehicles. No hunting or discharge of firearms. No animals other than leashed non-vicious dogs; dog waste must be disposed of properly. Minors must be accompanied by adults. TRAIL USERS DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK AND BY USING THE TRAIL WAIVE ALL CLAIMS OF INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE AGAINST THE MENDOTA TRAIL CONSERVANCY, INC., ITS AGENTS, VOLUNTEERS, EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, BOARD MEMBERS, AND REPRESENTATIVES.