Chessie Nature Trail

EASY 22 reviews

Chessie Nature Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lexington, Virginia 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.

DISTANCE
11.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
731 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

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. 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.

17 days ago

mountain biking
25 days ago

Fun family adventure with little ones.

mountain biking
25 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Easy walking trail. Lots of spring wildflowers! Beautiful scenery. We walked through gated private property with cows, and the cows were laying on the trails. We just walked around them . They didn't bother us. The trail follows the water most of the time. Geese were fighting in the water over a female. That was interesting. Well maintained.

walking
2 months ago

Nice walking, running trail. Wide trail. Goes through some cow pastures so watch your step. Great starter trail or a just need to get out. Pet friendly.

walking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

3 months ago

walking
10 months ago

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.

rails trails
11 months ago

hiking
Thursday, June 09, 2016

Thursday, September 10, 2015

great trail for pets...plenty of trails leads to the water to cool them down and even allow them to go for a swim.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Always lovely. Great for younger kids.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Super flat, easy, wonderfully scenic, lots of swimming holes along the first few miles!

walking
Monday, March 23, 2015

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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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.

hiking
Sunday, October 13, 2013

very nice trail system with great scenery. many people use this trail for hiking , biking and running. Flat trail system.

nature trips
Sunday, August 25, 2013

my favorite local trail!