Belle Isle bike trails reworked with granite walls, rock garden

Work being done on the rocky retaining wallAfter years of reworking and redesign, the biking and hiking trails that criss-cross the huge bedrock of Belle Isle are almost complete. The craftsmanship is amazing and its clear these guys are having fun while they work hard.

Work being done on the rocky retaining wallNathan Burrell, Mike Burton and Will McQuate of the James River Park and members of the volunteer trail building group Richmond-MORE constructed a granite rock retaining wall around existing walls of the former VEPCO hydro power plant on the south side of Belle Isle.

Nathan Burrell and others work on the rocky retaining wallThe work is intended to minimize erosion, diverting water away from the trails as it runs down from the service road/walking trail that surrounds the popular downtown island. The trail runs through the woods near the hydro plant back and back around to the “Lost Garden” trail that runs under the bridge on the south side of Belle Isle. The work is expected to be completed in the next week or two, depending on cooperation from the weather.

Will McQuate of the JRPS works with volunteers on building the connector trailThe rocky technical trail feature and the new connector trail ties it into the reworked trails at the top of the island and has added something fun for the more experienced riders, according to a posting from Richmond MORE.

“I think the James River Park trails are the best in the area and it’s because of the support,” said Keith Garrett of Richmond MORE, referring to the park system and the City of Richmond. It has the most features, tighter spaces, interesting terrain and skilled trail-building, he added.

The volunteer group works with JRPS employees and meets most Saturday mornings to work on trails and are always looking for more help. Check the Richmond-MORE website or their Facebook page.

“It depends on the weather,” Garrett said of when volunteers come out. “If it’s nice and it hasn’t been nice for a while, we won’t get many [volunteers] — everybody wants to ride.”

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2 responses to “Belle Isle bike trails reworked with granite walls, rock garden

  1. Pingback: Richmond MORE looking for help to finish Belle Isle trailwork | James River News Hub

  2. Pingback: Richmond MORE volunteers are tough & dedicated to trails | James River News Hub

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