New trailhead dedication in Pamplin for High Bridge Trail

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation along with park staff and local officials, unveiled the completed parking lot and one-mile trail extension with a ribbon cutting on Earth Day, April 22.

“Over 15 decades ago, Pamplin City anxiously awaited the wheels of progress on a train; Fifteen years ago, they anxiously awaited the connection of High Bridge Trail and the economic benefits it can bring,” said DCR Director Matt Wells. “Today, Pamplin City will once again be greeting the wheels of progress with bikes and strollers. The next chapter for Pamplin City continues to be written and it’s exciting that High Bridge Trail State Park and DCR will be a part of that story.”

“The park represents so much more than just a recreational space, it represents our community’s persistence and determination to see our revitalization efforts to fruition,” said Sarah Blackwell, Pamplin Mayor. “We continue to reach towards a responsible and sustainable future in our alignment with the trail and the foot traffic that it will bring through recreational tourism.”

This new western terminus of High Bridge Trail brings the trail into Appomattox County, connecting the County to the preexisting 31.2 miles of High Bridge Trail and providing safe access to a total of 32.2 miles of constructed trail starting and ending in Pamplin.

“This is another project in our recent list of ‘tiny but mighty’ transactions with small acreages that make a huge difference to the operations of our state parks and the enhancement of our visitor experience,” said Virginia State Park Director Dr. Melissa Baker. “The community loves it and many people have been seen already using it. This has been a long time coming and is a great addition for High Bridge Trail State Park and the Town of Pamplin.”

“The addition of a single 1-mile segment that connects the trail to Pamplin City is a significant milestone that moves us closer to the completion of the High Bridge Trail we envisioned years ago,” said Delegate Tommy Wright.

While barely a half-acre in size, the rectangular-shaped tract provides a direct connection from the park property to the public road, facilitating future access to the trail extension. Since 2018, the town has graciously pledged to transfer this parcel to High Bridge Trail State Park in order to assist with the completion of the trail closer to downtown Pamplin City. The town funded and built a parking lot on this property that has become the western terminus parking lot for the trail.

The final fulfillment of the actual trail extension received a huge boost with the award of a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant last September. This allowed for funding of the last section of the trail to make the physical connection into Pamplin.

“We are grateful for all the partnerships that helped secure funding for this project, and this is one of two projects that we will unveil to the public this year,” said High Bridge Trail State Park Manager Daniel Jordan. “We are excited to watch our park grow and better connect with the town of Pamplin thanks to the addition of this part of the trail.”