Town moves forward with trail expansion

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 16, 2023

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The Victoria Town Council has approved moving forward with a Virginia Outdoors Foundation Preservation Trust Fund Grant that could help with extending the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

According to Town documents the grant could help with funding about two more miles of developed trail.

Currently, about two miles of the Tobacco Heritage Trail runs through Victoria.

Two years ago the town was in the beginning stages of a property donation.

Working with the land owner to develop a trailhead for the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

The 9.6 acres owned by John Underwood is located outside the Town of Victoria on Nutbush Road and is adjacent to land owned by the Roanoke River Rails to Trails.

Virginia Outdoors Foundation Preservation Trust Fund Grant could award funds to the Town not to exceed $150,000 per project with no local match required.

According to Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton, the town must place the Underwood property into a conservation easement where it could not be sold, divided, or subdivided.

Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 and administered by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF), the Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (PTF) provides grants for acquisitions, easements, rights of way, and other methods of protecting open space for farming, forestry, recreation, wildlife, water quality, and more.

Eventually, the Tobacco Heritage Trail (a mixture of off-road and on-road sections) will total 160 miles and connect the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg.

The network will incorporate historical sites and local points of interest, including natural and recreational areas.

A portion of the Tobacco Heritage Trail will also be designated as part of the East Coast Greenway, a developing trail network stretching from Maine to Florida.

Visitors may access the Victoria portion of the trail by parking at the Victoria Railroad Park located at 1403 Firehouse Road.