Rides We Love: High Bridge Trail

By Becky Strode

Looking for a trail ride near Richmond, Virginia? Check out the High Bridge Trail!

The High Bridge Trail is a 31-mile long rail-trail that offers both gentle cycling and Civil War history. The trail surface is crushed-limestone and was in excellent condition when I rode it in the summer of 2014. The trail runs through the center of Farmville, Virginia, which has built a nice park with restrooms and ample parking at the trail access point.

Farmville access to High Bridge Trail
Farmville access to High Bridge Trail

Farmville is located at roughly the halfway point on the trail, so you can head either east or west out of town. But the high point of the trail is the High Bridge itself, located about 5 miles east of Farmville.

At over 2400 feet long (almost a half-mile!) and 125 feet above the Appomattox River, the High Bridge provides great views. The South Side Railroad built the bridge in 1854 to enable the railroad to run between Petersburg and Lynchburg. The bridge originally included railroad tracks on the top and a wagon road underneath. At the time of its construction, the South Side Railroad’s chief engineer said, “There

are longer bridges in the world, and there are higher bridges, but taking into account both length and height, this may be the largest bridge in the world.” Even today it is one of the longest bridges in the United States.