Coal Mining Heritage Park and Loop TrailWhat do you get when you combine over 100 years of history, an abandoned coal mine, six distinct biozones on 29.2 acres and a lot of enthusiasm? A park.
Coal Mining Heritage Park is located in the middle of the Huckleberry Trail in-between the Town of Blacksburg and the Town of Christiansburg. The former Merrimac mining community used to reside on this 30 acre track that once hosted a mining tipple, hotel, general store, and residential housing for the coal miners. Now you will find a passive park with open green space along with a large wooden bridge that takes you into the park. An ADA accessible trail will lead you to the old mining entrance and some of the old foundation left behind.
The Coal Mining Loop Trail, a new addition to the Huckleberry Trail, officially opened Nov. 17, 2010. The trail was designed and built by approximately 15 volunteers from the non-profit organization Pathfinders for Greenways. The trail crew volunteered 1,935 hours to finish the trail project. The new trail addition is 1.5 miles and designed to meet International Mountain Bike Association standards to accommodate bicyclists, joggers, walkers and trail users. There is a quarter-mile section designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.
The park is located at Merrimac (next to the intersection of Merrimac and Hightop roads) and stretches for 0.6 mile south along the Huckleberry Trail. If you are driving from Blacksburg, you can reach the park by turning right onto Hightop Road (just north of the hospital), turning left onto Merrimac Road, crossing the bridge and immediately turning right.