Monday, January 9, 2012

The mighty James River is Virginia’s river

James River State Park (Photo courtesy of Virginia State Parks)

With a conceptual plan in place, The James River Heritage Trail moves one step closer to reality.

No doubt you’ve heard of the Appalachian, the Pacific Crest, and the Continental Divide Trails; perhaps you’re also familiar with Vermont’s Long Trail or the 1000-mile Mountains to the Sea Trail next door in North Carolina. But what about a long trail right here in our own state?
Yes, Virginia, as of August 2011, we have a well-documented draft of a conceptual plan for a trail system that will blow you away! The James River Heritage Trail. It’s not only a proposed hiking, running, and biking path, but a canoeing, kayaking, rafting water trail, a study in geological evolution, a history corridor of indisputable national treasures from our Native American legacy, to Captain John Smith’s voyage and the first English settlements, through the Revolutionary War, slave history, the Civil War, water dependent industrial and agricultural growth–including the James River and Kanawha Canal–up through the Civil Rights era.
The JRHT would also be endless miles of wildlife, of birding, fishing, snorkeling, backpacking, camping or horseback riding opportunities, connecting rural and urban locales.  And what’s so promising about this vision is that much of this projected system is already in place or in development.
The mighty James River is Virginia’s river, and this plan networks the whole 10,432-square mile James River watershed, which is entirely (a smidgeon’s in WV) within our state’s borders, from the Alleghenies to the Chesapeake Bay. (Proposed) Vision: “The James River Heritage Trail is a network of communities that share their traditions, history and lifestyle to foster sustainable recreation and stewardship of treasured landscapes and local waters, trails and byways.”
Read now and get excited! Then get busy! For more information and updates, go to the James River Heritage Trail website and sign up for the James River Heritage Trail E-News.
Read this article in its entirety in Virginia Living Magazine online here.
If rivers, wildlife and preservation interests you, you can learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program here.
The next BRFAL Chapter Basic Training for Aspiring Virginia Master Naturalists is coming up in March 2012 at The Franklin Center in Downtown Rocky Mount VA! You can get the Draft Schedule of Classes and View the Itinerary here, and get the Information Letter and Application here.  If you have any questions about this upcoming basic training please send an email to:

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