Brush Mountain Trails Update – November 2020

volunteers work on new Brush Mountain Trail system in Blacksburg, VA
Photo courtesy of Michael Carnrike

The Brush Mountain Trails Project is moving forward! About 80% of trail construction on Property 1 is complete. An additional trail was recently approved, and work is underway on this exciting, more technical trail. The Poverty Creek Trails Coalition is coordinating the volunteer effort needed for finishing work on trails that were built this past summer.

The Town of Blacksburg has made significant contributions to the project including helping with access road improvements, funding for site planning, and completion of a parking area on Town-owned land adjacent to the trailhead. Additionally, the Blacksburg Rotary is matching funding from Rotary International for a kiosk, trail mapping, and signage.

We’d hoped to open trails to the public this fall, but discovered areas of past ground disturbance associated early 1900s small-scale coal and saltpeter mining on the property. The scope of this issue is limited, but we were concerned it could pose a hazard to visitors. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has a program that deals with abandoned mine sites and is developing a plan to remediate the issues. We hope to have the DMME assessment soon, but the remediation work may not occur this year. The plan is now for the trails to open in early 2021.

We are also planning for trail construction on Property 2. We’re submitting grant proposals to fund engineering and trail construction. We hope to start building trails on Property 2 next year, and we could use your help! Please consider making a donation to support the trails. When the project is finished, there will be approximately 12 miles of trails winding through the scenic forest, just minutes from downtown Blacksburg.

To keep up with the progress of the trails and our other conservation work, subscribe to our e-news and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

In the video, Blacksburg Town Manager Marc Verniel takes a tour of the trails and gives a quick update.

In case you missed it, this video features Executive Director John Eustis talking about the trails and the Land Trust.