Southern Connector Trail Extension in the Works

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From left to right: Steve Walsworth (Cory Farm HOA Board), Dan Mahon (Albemarle County Outdoor Recreation Supervisor), Terri Miyamoto (Crozet Trails Crew President), and Bob Dombrowe (Crozet Trails Crew Vice President) met in November to flag the new Southern Connector Trail. Photo: Clover Carroll.

Albemarle County and the Cory Farm HOA have mutually agreed to create a trail connection extending the Crozet Connector Trail from Eastern Avenue in Westhall across Lickinghole Creek to Route 250. Covering a distance of about ½ mile, the new trail extension will allow residents of subdivisions along Rt. 250 to walk to Crozet Park, and beyond, and Crozet residents to walk to the Harris Teeter shopping center.

“Trail runners and mountain bikers will benefit also. This advances our goal of connecting neighborhoods,” said Terri Miyamoto, president of the Crozet Trails Crew. Members of the Trails Crew met in November with Dan Mahon, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor with Albemarle County Parks & Recreation, and Cory Farm HOA Board member Steve Walsworth, to flag the trail. 

“This was the first trail proffer written by Albemarle County back in 1995,” explained Mahon, “even before the Greenway Plan was approved. The developer provided this easement in exchange for the rezoning that made Cory Farm possible. But it wasn’t a priority then, so the plan languished while the rest of the Greenway was developed. After working on the details for years, with this agreement a major hurdle has been crossed towards making this long-awaited link possible.” While the trail crosses Cory Farm land, it does not enter Cory Farm itself, and the trail within Cory Farm will remain private. 

Lickinghole Creek is wide and deep at this trail crossing due to recent heavy rains. A pedestrian bridge is planned within the next two to three years. Photo: Clover Carroll.

The project will involve a collaboration between the Crozet Trails Crew and County Parks and Recreation. Switchbacks will be built to keep the grade under 10 percent on the steep slope at the south end of the trail. Since Lickinghole Creek is wide and deep at this point due to recent rains, a temporary solution needs to be developed to cross it until a pedestrian bridge that meets new DEQ standards can be approved and built. Completion of the trail will take at least a year; the pedestrian bridge will come in two to three years, and a vehicle bridge connecting Crozet to Cory Farm is still several years out.

At its November 17 workday, the Crozet Trails Crew cleared the new trail from Eastern Ave. in Westhall to Lickinghole Creek and placed a bench there. To learn more about the new trail and its challenges, come out to volunteer! Contact [email protected] to be added to the Trails Crew mailing list and receive notice of future workdays and events. 

Dan Mahon

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