Located near Farmville, Virginia, the High Bridge Trail is a 31-mile easy trail in the High Bridge Trail State Park. The bridge was originally built to cross the Appomattox River to connect Petersburg with Lynchburg by railway. Parking is available along the path and can be paid online.
This is a child-friendly hike, but bikes and horses are also allowed. For disabled or wheel-chaired visitors, rangers offer accessibility tours throughout the year.
The High Bridge Trail is an easily-identified round-trip hike, but it is gravely, so sneakers would be the best option for footwear. Also, there are some parts where large tree limbs loom over the visitors, but I wouldn’t worry about those places as the trees seem healthy to me. I biked 10 miles the last time I went. It is an out-and-back trail meaning you have to retrace your steps to the starting point unless someone is picking you up at a place down the trail.
We began our ride at the Camp Paradise parking area where there are restrooms and picnic tables. It looks like they were also building a small playground there too. Riding West we quickly came to the bridge which is the highlight of the trail. We continued on towards Farmville where we could have bought a lunch but everything was closed because of COVID-19 virus. So we turned around and headed back to the starting point. We ran into a lot of other bikers and hikers who were friendly and kept their distance.
Also note that the entire trail is a “rail to trail“. That means that trail was previously railroad tracks. And because of that the entire ride is pretty flat and easy for hiking and biking.
There are no signs of wildlife on the trail. It was very busy the weekend we went. The bridge going over the Appomattox River is especially thin – only 4 people can stand side to side with a few inches of personal space. But, as you try to dodge the other visitors, you can see over the side of the bridge.
Might I have mentioned yet that the bridge is 125 feet off the ground? Yeah, if you go fast enough on a bike, you would be too busy to focus on your fear of heights. Cell phone signal is great on the trail. Just don’t forget, there are other people on the trail, so don’t blast your tunes.
You can find more information at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/high-bridge-trail.