Jordan named new park manager of High Bridge

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Daniel Jordan has shaken the sand out of his state-issued work boots and taken on his new position of park manager at High Bridge Trail State Park.

This is the 36-year-old’s first time to serve as a park manager. He was recently named to his post.

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“I actually started in parks and recreation when I was 14 with Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority in Northern Virginia,” Jordan said. “My parents let me start before I started high school.”

Jordan’s experiences in Northern Virginia are what sparked his passion for the outdoors, he said.

“I ended up working eight years as a seasonal [employee] with Northern Virginia and two years as a full-time employee once I got out of college. …”

After moving to Alabama and working for the state’s park system, Jordan had a longing to come back to Virginia, he said.

In 2008, he was hired as chief ranger of Kiptopeke State Park, where he worked for about seven years.

“I worked as as chief ranger … and I was promoted to assistant manager [in January 2010],” he said.

“It was always my desire to be a park manager. I have a love and a passion for the outdoors and for the parks.”

Jordan said he feels like he’s been working for the past 21 years of his life to become a park manager.

He called it an honor and a privilege to serve in the top spot at High Bridge Trail.

“It’s amazing what the trail has done for the community and what the community has done for the trail. It’s a very symbiotic relationship,” he said.

One of Jordan’s goals is to continue the services and programming the park has offered in the past and to offer a wider range of outdoor programming.

“I’m looking at doing more along the lines of outdoor educational programs, what we’re already doing, but also some recreational activities,” he said.

Jordan said one of his goals is to better connect with the community, such as working with local schools for visits and educational offerings.

“We would love to see the trail be extended to Burkeville, to Pamplin. To actually have the full buildout would be a great dream of mine to actually see,” he said of the trail’s expansion.

Jordan said that new trails have been created off of the main park trail, which including hiking and mountain biking trails.

Visitorship at the trail has also increased significantly, he said. “On this trend, we’re right at a six-percent increase from last year. So, looking at that, we’re probably going to end the year over 210,000 people is what we’re probably going to end up seeing.”

“I love the bridge,” he said when asked what his favorite thing about the trail was. “What I love about it is just I’m in awe because the way it was constructed.”

Jordan called the bridge the jewel of the trail. “The first time you step on it, it really takes your breath away.”

The park employs 14 full-time personnel and several seasonal employees, he said.

“What a great place to recharge your batteries. I love it,” Jordan said.

The trail is 31-miles long and includes its crown jewel — the High Bridge — which is over 2,400-feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. The trail spans Cumberland, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties and the towns of Burkeville, Farmville, Pamplin City, Prospect and Rice.