Rail Trail Proposed from Marion to Mt. Rogers
NW Mailing List
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Mon Mar 19 11:56:10 EDT 2012
This article was published on Saturday (Mar. 17) in the Smyth County News &
Messenger and republished on Sunday in the Roanoke Times. A Marion
businessman is looking for support to use the right of way of the Marion &
Rye Valley RR for a bike trail.
"MARION, Va. -- “I’m here to reintroduce you to the Rye Valley Railroad.”
Thus mountain biker and Marion businessman Tom Graham opened an appeal to
the county board of supervisors Tuesday for its support of what he sees as
a low-cost, highly feasible and much desired reuse of the abandoned
mountain railroad linking Marion to the slopes below Mount Rogers.
“It’s a gem hidden in our backyard here in Smyth County,” Graham said.
Built in 1919 and abandoned in the ‘30’s, the railroad bed remains in good
condition, amenable to the minor work he believes is all that is needed to
turn the trace into a popular recreational asset."
Graham is looking to open the trail in two phases and expects it to become
as popular as the nearby Virginia Creeper Trail. Because the forest service
is trying to get away from trail maintenance, Graham is trying to get a
"friends of the trail" group set up to clear and maintain the trail. He
says most of the roadbed is in pretty good shape and could be ready to go
after mainly removal of trees.
Bruce in Blacksburg
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