About the Huckleberry Trail
The Huckleberry Trail is a 13.75 mile rail trail connecting the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The paved trail is a great place to exercise and spend time in nature, and is also an excellent option for individuals wishing to commute to school or work via bicycle.
The Huckleberry Trail currently stretches from the Jefferson National Forest north of Blacksburg, goes past Price Mountain in Montgomery County, and connects to the Christiansburg Recreation Center. The trail winds through a mixture of rural and rolling landscape, passing through forests and farmland.
The most recent map of the trail is available here.
The Friends of the Huckleberry operate as a non-profit with the goal of promoting and expanding the Huckleberry Trail. Visit their website to stay up-to-date on trail news and future plans. Friends of the Huckleberry also accepts donations towards future trail projects and benches.
Please note that motorized vehicles and horses are not allowed. The Huckleberry Trail has a 15 mph speed limit.
The Huckleberry Trail's original trailhead is located in downtown Blacksburg on Draper Road next to the Blacksburg branch of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. The trail heads south out of downtown Blacksburg, crossing Southgate Drive on a bridge, until it reaches the edge of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport. From there the trail heads back north to Southgate Drive, passing the Virginia Tech Athletics region of campus, and runs southwest to an underpass under Route 460.
South of Route 460, the Huckleberry Trail splits into two branches - one heading north to Blacksburg's Heritage Community Park and the Jefferson National Forest, the other heading south to Christiansburg.
The northward branch heads northeast through the Hethwood neighborhood, crosses Prices Fork Road, and then continues north to Glade Road. North of Glade Road, the trail enters Heritage Community Park, the former Brown farm. Paths through the park connect the Huckleberry Trail to the Jefferson National Forest's Gateway Trail, which connects to the Poverty Creek Trail System and Pandapas Pond.
The southbound Christiansburg branch follows Route 460 southeast to the Slate Branch of Stroubles Creek, then follows Slate Branch south to the community of Merrimac. The trail crosses Merrimac Road and passes through Coal Mining Heritage Park, a former mining operation. Continuing south, it crosses over the Norfolk Southern Railway on a bridge. From there the trail enters a road cut, and passes behind Uptown Christiansburg, formerly the New River Valley Mall. It crosses Peppers Ferry Road on the Renva Knowles Bridge and continues behind big-box stores to Cambria Street, where it travels eastbound to end at the Christiansburg Recreation Center.
Heritage Park - 2300 Glade Road, Blacksburg & Gateway Trailhead
Parking is available at two locations along Heritage Park - the Heritage Community Park & Natural Area parking lot on Glade Road and the Gateway Trailhead parking lot on Meadowbrook Drive. From the Gateway Trailhead to the Blacksburg Library is 8 miles. From the Gateway Trailhead to the Christiansburg Recreation Center is about 11 miles, 22 miles round trip.
Downtown Blacksburg - 200 Miller Street, Blacksburg
Trailhead is located near the library parking lot on Miller Street. Do not park in the library lot. Spaces designated for the Huckleberry Trail are available in the municipal lot to the west of the library lot. From here it is about 7.5 miles to Christiansburg, 15 miles round trip.
Hightop & Merrimac - 751 Merrimac Road, Blacksburg
Parking is available near the intersection of Hightop and Merrimac Road for use of the Huckleberry Trail and Coal Mining Heritage Park. From here it is about 4 miles to the Blacksburg Library and 3.5 miles to the Christiansburg Recreation Center.
Uptown Christiansburg - 782 New River Road, Christiansburg
Formerly the New River Valley Mall. Parking is located near the Regal Cinema at the back of the mall. From here it is about 6 miles to the Blacksburg Library and 1.5 miles to the Christiansburg Recreation Center.
Christiansburg Recreation Center - 1600 North Franklin Street, Christiansburg
Parking is available at the Christiansburg Recreation Center lot. From here it is about 7.5 miles to the Blacksburg Library, 15 miles roundtrip.
Visit the Friends of the Huckleberry Trail's access website for additional parking locations along the trail.
The Huckleberry Trail follows an old rail line with a rich history of providing transportation between Blacksburg and Christiansburg. In 1902 the Virginia Anthracite Coal and Rail Company began transporting coal from the Merrimac Mine at Price Mountain to the Cambria Depot in Christiansburg. Two years later the railway was extended to Blacksburg near the site of the Blacksburg Library, and passenger travel became available. Cadets at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and local citizens nicknamed the new station "Huckleberry Junction" due to the abundance of huckleberries growing along the train line. When the train stalled, passengers stepped off to enjoy eating the huckleberries. Over the next several decades, with the changing times and availability of new transportation, the need for passenger train service dwindled. The last passenger train unloaded its riders in August 1958, and the last freight train into Blacksburg arrived on June 30, 1966.
For more information and to learn about the development of the Huckleberry Trail, visit the Friends of the Huckleberry's section on trail history.