During the pandemic, people engaged in outdoor recreation in record numbers, and communities realized the public health and quality of life benefits of multipurpose trails. Friends of the Huckleberry is busy working with other regional non-profits exploring opportunities to expand the Huckleberry Trail. Your donation will help fund land and right-of-way acquisition and design and construction of new trails as well as provide information about the trail and user resources for people to explore the trail.
Funding Priorities for 2021
Master Plan: In October 2021, we kicked off an effort to develop the first ever master plan for the Huckleberry Trail. The New River Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization and NRV Regional Commission provided $40,000 in funding and staff resources to facilitate the planning process. The key stakeholders are Friends of the Huckleberry, local governments, Virginia Tech -- and of course the trail user community. The master plan will create a unified vision for the trail in the way of design, construction, signage, amenities, public art, events and so on. One of the first steps in the planning process was to obtain pre-planning public feedback, and we worked with Virginia Tech students to conduct on-trail and online surveys during November 2021. The feedback is being rolled into the planning process. Our goal is to finalize a master plan in late spring 2022.
Maps: A good trail map is essential for trip planning and navigation, and in 2021, we partnered with Pisgah Map Co. to produce a rugged waterproof, tear-resistant paper map of the Huckleberry Trail. The map shows the 15-mile paved Huckleberry Trail as well as other paved and natural surface trails connected to the Huckleberry, including Poverty Creek Trail System, Gateway Trail, McDonald Hollow Trail System and the Coal Mining Heritage Trail. In total, the trail network includes 60+ miles of trail. The map is now available for $10 at local retail partners. A GPS-enabled electronic version for your smartphone is available from Avenza Maps for $4.99.
Mileage Markers: To provide additional resources for navigating the trails, we added mileage markers to Huckleberry North and South segments in late August 2021. The project was supported by our community partners -- Baseline Solar, Gay & Neel, National Bank of Blacksburg, Nest Realty, and tanZnavigation. If you're interested in seeing your logo on one of the markers, we still have sponsorship opportunities. Email us at email@example.com to get more information.
The Huckleberry Trail
The Huckleberry Trail is a paved trail system that extends almost 15 miles, through rolling terrain and passing through Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, Montgomery County and Christiansburg. The trail offers a way for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other users to reach a number of recreational, cultural and community attractions in the area. The Huckleberry Trail is connected to other paved and natural surface trails like the Coal Mining Heritage Park, McDonald Hollow Trail Network, Gateway Trail, Poverty Creek Trail System as well as other local systems. The connected paved and natural surface trail system extends over 60 miles in length.