South Boston News & Record
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DRBA revisits South Boston trail
SoVaNow.com / November 20, 2012On Saturday, December 1, the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) invites you to hike the new Tobacco Heritage Trail in South Boston, Virginia.
The organization’s First Saturday Outing will take advantage of the new rail-to-trail with a 5.2-mile round trip walk between South Boston and the Berry Hill Resort.
Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the Cotton Mill Park trailhead, 612 Railroad Avenue, South Boston, VA (GPS 36.696087, -78.907074). The compacted crushed stone surface of the trail makes it an easy walk, and, like most rail trails, the path is relatively level.
DRBA enjoyed a preliminary walk on the rail bed back in 2008 before it was improved for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.
Officially opened to the public as a section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail this summer, the pathway is clearly marked with the trail’s logo, a golden tobacco leaf in a red circle.The new trail is part of a system planned ultimately to stretch 150 miles across Southern Virginia.
According to Tom McLaughlin of SoVaNow, the trail has “scenery that’s more subtle than spectacular” and “exudes an aura of peace.” A small clearing high on the river bank enables one to pause and contemplate the flowing waters of the Dan.
Closer to Berry Hill Resort is a duck impoundment habitat funded by the Game Commission and dedicated to the memory of the late Biggie Hunt. Naturally, sightings of waterfowl are common here.
Construction of the trail was funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation along a former right of way of the Richmond Danville Spur Trail. At the old Halifax Cotton Mill, owned by the Town of South Boston, a botanical garden is planned for what will be Cotton Mill Park, near the trailhead.
Tobacco Heritage Trail Coordinator Heather Susee recently met with interested volunteers in South Boston to establish a Halifax County chapter of “Friends of the Tobacco Heritage Trail.”
Participants in DRBA’s outing are asked to bring lunch and water. Dress in layers of synthetic fabric or wool, wear hiking boots or walking shoes, and be prepared for wind or rain. If desired, bring a walking stick or poles. All participants are asked to sign a waiver.
To reach the trailhead from the south, take US 58/US 360 to South Boston. Turn north onto US 501 (Main Street). Continue onto Broad Street and cross the Dan River. Take the first left onto Factory Street. Take the second left onto Seymour Drive. Seymour Drive will cross, then parallel, the railroad. Turn right onto Railroad Drive into the parking lot near the trailhead.
From the north, take US 501 (Halifax Road) to South Boston. Continue onto Wilborn Avenue for 0.9 mile. Turn right onto Edmunds Street, and continue for 0.4 mile. Turn left onto Railroad Drive, and continue for 0.4 mile to the parking lot near the trailhead.
Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit http://www.danriver.org.