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. 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!
- 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.
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?
Is there cell service?
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.
Where to Access the Trail
Bristol Trailhead — 3460 Island Road
Benhams — 7720 Rich Valley Rd.
Mendota Trailhead — Across from 2421 Mendota Rd.
PO Box 1322
Bristol, VA 24203