Thursday, October 25—High Bridge Trail

Last night’s motel in Wytheville, VA, was clean, not terribly expensive, and quite adequate. It was also adjacent to a Cracker Barrel restaurant, one of our favorites when traveling—not because they are great, but because they are consistently good. Consequently, the motel’s tasteless “breakfast” was bypassed for our favorite “Breakfast Sampler” at Cracker Barrel.

Travel to the High Bridge Trail trailhead was diverted to tour Appomattox, where Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War. Considering the significance of the surrender, this national historic site was a bit underwhelming—sad.

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House where Lee surrendered to Grant

From Appomattox, we traveled to the High Bridge Trail.  High Bridge Trail State Park

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At the trailhead in Rice, VA

is a multi-use trail ideally suited for bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding. Its centerpiece is the High Bridge, which is more than 2,400 feet long and 160 feet above the Appomattox River. The bridge was built in 1853 as part of the South Side Railroad, and was the site of one of the last battles of the Civil War on April 6 and 7, 1865. The war ended two days later at Appomattox. Access to the trail was limited, resulting in our stop at the trailhead in Rice, VA.

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Converted factory in Farmville, VA

This is the smoothest rail trail I’ve pedaled, allowing a quick trip to Farmville, VA, home of old converted factory high rises to high end furniture showrooms (we bought most of our furniture for the Norfork house here).

As I neared Farmville, a sluggishness in the ride was noticeable as it became increasingly difficult to pedal.

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High Bridge Trail and restored depot, Farmville, VA

A glance at the rear tire revealed yet another flat. Fortunately a bike store was nearby, and while no mechanic was on duty, they allowed me to change the tire on their showroom floor. This stop proved fortuitous as they advised of a significant trail closure due to damages from Hurricane Michael.

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Trail closure near Farmville, VA

Also fortuitous was meeting up with Kay a couple hours early in Farmville rather than Prospect, our original “meet up” point. She shuttled me to the trailhead at the south end of High Bridge, whereupon I quickly rode the near half mile length of the bridge and back.

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Trailhead near Farmville, VA

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High Bridge, from which the trail gets its name

From there it was off to Inn on the Avenues B&B, followed by dinner.

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