If you take the time to research Virginia’s Capital Trail, you will learn it is a dedicated, paved bicycle and pedestrian trail which goes through four counties between Jamestown and Richmond – the Commonwealth’s first capital and the state’s current capital. The trail follows the scenic Route 5 corridor with its many historical plantations and some of Virginia’s most beautiful landscapes.
But that only tells part of the story. The Capital Trail has become a true attraction for both the casual bike rider and serious cyclists.
“The Capital Trail is truly phenomenal,” says avid cyclist Joe Delgado, an Atlantic Bay Mortgage Company senior loan officer whose company is a business partner of Williamsburg Realty. “I’ve met people from all over the country who have come here to ride the Capital Trail. They say great things about the trail. We are truly fortunate to have this available to us.”
The trail travels through rural Virginia and is open to people of all ages who want to walk, run, or ride through the country landscape. However, no motorized vehicles or motorcycles are allowed. In many locations the trail is shaded by woods and separated from the road by barriers, crossing about 30 wood bridges, The terrain varies from mostly flat around Jamestown and somewhat rolling toward Richmond.
Delgado has ridden to Richmond and back numerous times, but he adds that you can do as much or little as you want. Historic sites, places to eat, picnic spots and lodging options are available along the way. One of the more popular stops is Spokes and Arts on Route 5 in James City County.
“You see families riding along the trail, just enjoying the day,” adds Delgado, who was one of 400 riders in a recent mass ride to support Multiple Sclerosis. A Cap2Cap cycle fundraiser is also held annually to support the trail that is maintained by VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) and kept in excellent condition. “If there is an issue, they take care of it.”
Amenities along the wheelchair-accessible path also include parking areas, restrooms, shelters, fix-it stations with tethered tools, air pumps and exercise stations.
The trail starts just outside the parking lot at The Jamestown Settlement and ends near the floodgates of Shiplock Park in Richmond. VDOT maintains a system of real-time trail counters, which received 550,000 counts its first completed year (2015). The trail, which took more than a decade to complete, received the Scenic Virginia Scenic Tourism Award in 2017.
“This is one of the best-kept secrets in our area,” concludes Delgado, “I love being able to ride there, and I know others do, too.”
To learn more about Virginia’s Capital Trail, go www.virginiacapitaltrail.org.