Chessie Nature Trail is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lexington, VA that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The Chessie Nature Trail is a public-access 7-mile long walking trail between Lexington and Buena Vista, along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad right of way. The trail is most suitable for walking and running, as several fixed gates make the trail unsuitable for bicycles. The trail goes through private lands, including and active cattle farms. Exercise caution and respect. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Pack out all litter. More information can be found on the Virginia Military Institute's website for the trail at http://www.vmi.edu/chessie. The Rockbridge Area Conservation Council brought the trail to the attention of the Nature Conservancy and Virginia Commission on Outdoor Recreation, and in 1978 the Nature Conservancy accepted deed to the property. The deed was transferred to the VMI Foundation Inc. in 1979, and then to Virginia Military Institute in 2009.
I haven't done all of this trail yet and am only in this area for a week, so don't know if I'll get to hike it all, but I did do a 5 mile RT hike on it this evening and it's beautiful. Very well maintained. Mile markers every 1/2 mile. Beside the river. Rock walls next to the trail. A few other walkers and runners, but a nice respite from people and cars. Birds singing.
great trail for pets...plenty of trails leads to the water to cool them down and even allow them to go for a swim.
Always lovely. Great for younger kids.
Super flat, easy, wonderfully scenic, lots of swimming holes along the first few miles!
A fun, casual, easy 7-mile walk with lots of changes in the scenery. I walked from Lexington to Buena Vista, traveling along the Maury River for the first half of the trail. At one point you pass under the interstate and then begin coming to a number of gates, as the trail crosses private land. Right of way is granted to trail walkers. On the half of the trail closer to Buena Vista, be prepared to share the trail with lots of cows. They can be intimidating if you haven't spent much time around cows, because they're so large. But you'll find that they're docile and disinterested, and that they'll generally walk off the trail as you get closer to them. If they don't, just walk around them. The farmland and pasture areas that the trail crosses are just as beautiful as the mountain and river areas, just be prepared to step over and around a little manure. OK, a lot of manure. The trail is very popular, and on a warm day you'll be sharing it with a number of running students, older folks, children, dogs, and other animals.
A scenic, wide, easy, flat, well maintained trail with wildlife and a river that parallels it most of the way. Has a fair amount of foot traffic and dogs (some of which are on leashes.) Has maybe 80% tree cover, so it makes for shady walking when leaves are on the trees. There are several benches along the way for when you want to take a break. The trail is shared with (2) farmers where beef cows & bulls are kept. Haven't experienced or heard of there being problems w/ bull attacks though.
very nice trail system with great scenery. many people use this trail for hiking , biking and running. Flat trail system.
my favorite local trail!
Beautiful rails-to-trails hike that runs along the Maury River. Very easy terrain, good for all members of the family, as long as you watch the little ones (steep drops on the river side). Due to the fact that it was a former railway, the grade is almost nonexistent. Gorgeous scenery. My favorite trail I've visited so far.