In the News

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

Blue Ridge Outdoors

“Born and raised in Southwest Virginia, Eva Beaule’s family depended on tobacco agriculture for income. Washington County was one of the country’s largest producers of burley tobacco leaves and, at that time, a rail line linking Mendota and Bristol, Va., carried products in and out of the county.” Read More . . .

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

“The Mendota Trail, a new and eventually 12-mile rail-trail from near downtown Bristol to Mendota, Virginia, isn’t located in the Cumberland Mountains. Instead, it’s well into Virginia’s Ridge and Valley region, located well south of the Cumberlands and outside of this site’s typical coverage area.” Read More . . .

Kingsport Times News

“The Mendota Trail is well on its way to being completed and open to the public, but there is still a chunk of it that needs some help. The beautiful rails-to-trails project connecting Bristol, Virginia, to Mendota, a rural community on the North Fork of the Holston River, has taken large leaps in the past few months.” Read More . . .

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.”

Read More . . .

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 . . .

SWVA Today

“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.

Our Newsletters

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 . . .

Our Latest Newsletter

“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. They also built a detention pond and an underground drainage system for storm water mitigation. Concrete walkways and steps were also installed.” Read more . . .

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Our Blog

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...

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Our Upcoming Events

Trestle restorations are underway in the Gorge and we anticipate opening more miles of trail through this area later in 2022.  The Bristol Trailhead is undergoing site improvements so it is currently closed for construction through Spring 2022.  Stay tuned for updates on these openings!

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

About

Read about the beginning of the Mendota Trail and our future plans! Learn More . . .

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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
info@mendotatrail.org

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.