New section of North Bank Trail opens completing loop along James River

Work on North Bank Trail complete

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Outdoor sports enthusiasts are in for a new adventure thanks to a new section of Richmond’s North Bank Trail opening.

Since January, the James River Park System (JRPS) along with dozens of volunteers from the community worked to build the nearly half-mile section on the North Bank Trail along the James River near Texas Beach.

“It just makes for a better experience, staying in the woods the whole time,” JRPS Trails Technician Andrew Alli said.

Before now, bicyclists and hikers were climbing up and down a steep incline, respectfully known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” near Kansas Avenue and Hampton Street on Richmond’s Northside.

That meant they were going through a neighborhood for roughly six blocks in order to connect with the North Bank Trail over by the Texas Beach Parking Lot.

Now, after a unique ribbon cutting with a chainsaw Thursday morning, the new section has officially been christened.

“It just so happened there was a cyclist from out of town, his first time on the North Bank Trail, who happened to be passing by and we said hey would you like to be the first official user of the trail?” Alli said. “He was more than happy to take us up on that offer.”

Dozens of outdoor sports enthusiasts have already checked it out.

“We very much appreciate it and it’s a great flowing ride,” one mountain biker said. “It’s wonderful, perfect!”

"It's nice to see Richmond out there using the trail already,” Alli added. “I know everyone was really excited about this one."

The new section now completes the loop on the James River trail, running along Richmond’s north and southside from the Nickel Bridge to Belle Isle.

Blood, sweat and tears from dozens of volunteers were poured into making this section of the trail a reality.

"We couldn't do anything we do without the help of volunteers,” Alli said. “Richmond really came to help us out on this one because anytime we build a new trail, Richmond gets really excited.”

Now the public is able to enjoy the sights along the James River all while staying in the woods.

"There’s a lot of great topography and there’s a couple of really good vistas,” Alli said. “It’s a pretty difficult section of trail. If you’re looking for some technical mountain biking this is a good addition to your ride.”

You’re urged to use caution when trying out this new section of the trail for the first time, but Alli hopes everyone will get good use out of it.

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