Blue Ridge Outdoors
Bristol Herald Courier
“BENHAMS, Va. — Dr. James Lapis hopped onto the Mendota Trail on a recent Wednesday afternoon. ‘This leads to a beautiful big trestle,’ said Lapis, a retired medical doctor and president of the Mendota Trail Conservancy. The conservancy is a nonprofit group aiming to make the Mendota Trail a 12.5-mile reality.” Read More . . .
High Lonesome Trails
Kingsport Times News
Mendota Trail Cut to the Chase 5K & 1 Mile Run/Walk
“8:30 am – 1 Mile Run/Walk. 9:15 am – 5K. Inaugural race on the Mendota Trail! Run on a beautiful section of the trail, crossing 2 trestles and viewing the Cut. Proceeds will be used to help open more of the trail. Event professionally timed and managed by We Run Events.” Read More . . .
Bristol Herald Courier
“The Mendota Trail is an old railroad line. It was once the site of an excursion train. Long before, it was part of a railroad that connected Bristol to Big Stone Gap across Southwest Virginia. At 12.5 miles in length, the Mendota Trail, as some hope, might become the Virginia Creeper Trail of western Washington County, so to speak.”
Kingsport Times News
“Southwest Virginia already has myriad trails used for recreational cycling, walking, running and other outdoor activities, but the Mendota Trail might be a gem in and of itself. The rails-to-trails project was built on the bed of an old railroad line that connected Bristol, Virginia, to the rural community of Mendota in Washington County.” Read More . . .
“Mike Rush wants a state park somewhere in Washington County. Hidden Valley Lake? Abrams Falls? How about the Mendota Trail? That could work, said Rush, the Damascus-area representative on the Washington County Board of Supervisors.”
Read More . . .
The Mendota Trail Brochure
Check out our latest brochure to learn even more about our trail. The brochure also includes a portable map with parking locations and the locations of the three trailheads.
Volume 1 - Fall 2017
“First Mile is open! On Saturday, October 7, 2017 supporters of the trail gathered at the Mendota Trailhead for the official grand opening of the first mile. A few well-placed words, a ribbon cutting and a celebratory walking and biking of the trail took place with a backdrop of perfect weather. In the days following the official opening, the momentum continued with folks walking, biking and enjoying the Mendota Trail.” Read More . . .
Volume 2 - Summer 2018
“The Mendota Trail now has its first refurbished trestle! It was completed this spring. Isn’t it beautiful? This trestle is named the Tindall Trestle, in recognition of Bill and Judy Tindall who made its repair possible through their generosity of a substantial monetary gift. The effort was also facilitated by Berry Home Centers, Inc. who helped defray the cost of materials.” Read More . . .
Volume 3 - Fall 2018
“We need your continued support of the Mendota Trail. Please send us a special year end gift to further our efforts. Your support will benefit Bristol’s economy and wellbeing, as well as that for the immediate surrounding area. It will help promote outdoor recreation and the enjoyment of the natural beauty of our region.” Read More . . .
Volume 4 - February 2019
“Mountain Heritage, Inc. was recently awarded a federal grant, administered by Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. The grant application required an affiliation with a governmental entity and the City of Bristol, VA enthusiastically responded.” Read More . . .
Volume 5 - Summer 2019
“Since the last (February) newsletter….. Significant work has been completed along Campground Rd. and Cowan Dr. to bypass areas where a former trestle was removed and the road was rerouted. Water drainage issues have been addressed at several points along Cowan Dr. and Haskell Station Rd. ” Read More . . .
Volume 6 - Fall 2019
“Bristol celebrated the Grand Opening of 3.1 miles on the Bristol end of the Mendota Trail on Friday, 8/16/19. Over 100 people attended, including dignitaries and various community members. It was a festive occasion. Local media were in attendance which resulted in coverage on WCYB later that day and in the Bristol Herald Courier on Saturday. ” Read More . . .
Volume 7 - Summer 2020
“Since our last newsletter, we have: 1. Completed several maintenance projects on different segments of the trail 2. Cleared trees and brush adjacent to Trestle # 3 to allow construction to commence 3. Acquired easements to allow a parking area near Little Wolf Run Rd. and to allow a sewer connection from Bristol Trailhead to a manhole on Island Rd.” Read More . . .
Volume 8 - Fall 2020
“On November 13th, a celebration was held in Benhams to mark the opening of the “high trestle”, which enabled our trail to add two miles on the Bristol end. This beautiful timbered trestle, 193 feet long and 40 feet above Abrams Creek, has been a work in progress for over a year. Despite numerous challenges, including weather delays and shortages of building materials, we were able to reach our completion goal of Fall of 2020.” Read More . . .
Volume 9 - Spring 2021
“Since the time of our last newsletter, we have focused on preservation needs related to Trestles 14 and 13. Fortunately, this work was complete prior to the recent downpours that caused significant rises in the creek levels spanned by these two trestles. In the absence of the timely repairs, it is likely they would have sustained significant damage.” Read More . . .
Volume 10 - September 2021
“Over 100 people celebrated the ribbon cutting marking the official opening of Benhams Crossing Trestle. This trestle was generously sponsored by Rick and Doreen Heppert, who fondly recall riding their bikes under this trestle many times over the years. This trestle is unique in several respects: it is the most visible of all the 17 trestles along the trail corridor, it has a beautiful curve spanning its length and its stringers are partly comprised of steel.” Read More . . .
Volume 11 - December 2021
“Sunday, October 17, 2021, was another great day for the Mendota Trail! On this picture perfect day, we celebrated another mile of open trail and three newly restored trestles on the Mendota end of the trail. In total, the Mendota Trail now has 8.2 miles of open trail and six restored trestles.” Read More . . .
Volume 12 - April 2022
Our construction team, King General Contractors, has made significant progress on enhancements at the Bristol Trailhead. They have completed extensive excavation and grading to create a lengthy ADA compliant access ramp to the starting point of the trail as well as parking areas and a footprint for our future restroom facility and pavilion.” Read More . . .
Volume 13 - June 2022
“The construction vehicles have vacated after the ‘ Big Dig ’ was completed during the last week of May and safety fencing was installed in early June. We officially opened the gate along Island Road on Saturday, June 4 th. ” Read More . . .
Our Latest Newsletter
“A celebration took place at the Mendota Trailhead on October 14th to officially open 2.5 more miles of trail on our northern end. This was made possible by the restoration of five trestles located in the section known as “the gorge.” This has been long anticipated as it is an especially scenic and tranquil section of the trail as it meanders over creek crossings and is hugged by steep wooded hillsides. Trestles 11 – 15 were challenging projects as they were quite remote and had suffered extensive damage from years of neglect. Two of the trestles, 13 & 14, had been targeted in our 2020 “Save the Trestles” campaign as they were close to being lost from the ravages of erosion and nature’s power of rushing water flowing below them in Wolf Run Creek.” Read more . . .
Teacher Development Day on the Mendota Trail
On July 20, 2022, the Mendota Trail participated in a Professional Development Day which included Washington County, VA school teachers and Bristol, VA school teachers. This was coordinated by...
Bristol Trailhead Now Open!
We are so excited! Our Bristol Trailhead is now open! After many months of construction, the Bristol Trailhead opened on Saturday, June 4. What an appropriate opening day as it was National Trails...
Mendota Trail History – Wreck in the Gorge
From train to trail — bits of history of the Mendota Trail.
Winter on the Mendota Trail
In the community of supporters of the Mendota Trail, we like to suggest that folks “wander where the wi-fi is weak!” In a world where we are plugged in much of the time, it is good for the...
PO Box 1322
Bristol, VA 24203