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A New Multi-Use Trail Gets Its Name

Fall Line Trail
This will be the start of the new Fall Line Trail in Ashland. When complete, the trail will wind its way over 42 miles, through seven localities, including Henrico, Petersburg, and Chesterfield and travel through the cities of Ashland and Richmond. Plus, the route will cross the Chickahominy, James and Appomattox rivers.  (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)  

The “Fall Line Trail” has officially replaced the work in progress title of the Ashland to Petersburg Trail, or ATP. 

“This name reflects the unique geography of the trail corridor,” said Governor Ralph Northam at a press event earlier today. “The Fall Line is where the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain meet. That results in a number of rapids and waterfalls.”

Northam unveiled the official name for the new multi-use trail Wednesday. 

When complete, the trail will wind its way through seven localities, including Henrico, Petersburg, and Chesterfield and travel through the cities of Ashland and Richmond. Plus, the route will cross the Chickahominy, James and Appomattox rivers.  

Northam
Governor Ralph Northam speaks with the Mayor of the City of Petersburg Sam Parham. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

In Richmond, the route will bisect the Virginia Capital Trail by the Canal Walk, said Cat Anthony, executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.  

“This 43-mile trail will run adjacent to, listen to this, 24 public schools, four colleges and universities,” Northam said. “It will go by two community colleges and it will connect with both the Capital Trail and the Appomattox River Trail, creating a biking and walking network.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation completed its year long study back in February of what routes the Fall Line Trail would take. That study included community input from all the regions involved and ideas on how to fund it. 

Funding for the project will come from a mix of federal, state and local tax dollars including those from fuel purchases.

Much of the funds will be overseen by the newly created Central Virginia Transportation Authority, which according to its website, funds “opportunities for priority transportation investments across the region.” This authority was established by the 2020 General Assembly of Virginia and the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

Northam says the state has already provided $2 million in funds. And Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine announced an additional $3.7 million dollars for the project at Wednesday’s unveiling.

kid on bike
Everrett is ready to hit the new trail. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

There is no date for when cyclists, runners and others will be able to use the route. By comparison, the Capital Trail, which weaves between Richmond and Williamsburg, took over nine years to complete. However, Northam said the new Fall Line shouldn’t take as long.

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled the Appomattox and Chickahominy rivers. It has been updated.