Roanoke River Greenway, Huckleberry Trail subject of merge discussion

CHRISTIANSBURG,Va. – Nathaniel Porter works at Virginia Tech and uses the Huckleberry Trail to get to and from work.
He says it is about a 7-mile ride each way. 

"In fact, I was just biking home to drive home for an appointment," said Porter. 

Porter wants to bike to Roanoke and would like to ride all the way to the Roanoke River Greenway.

"I would love to see it extended even further," said Porter. 

On Monday, the Christiansburg Town Council and Montgomery County's Board of Supervisors discussed extending the Huckleberry Trail to the Roanoke River Greenway. 
Greenway officials are on board. 

"The big change is that the Huckleberry Trail is getting to Christiansburg, and for years, it only went to the New River Mall. And the next step is, definitely, let's go to Roanoke," said Liz Belcher, coordinator of the Roanoke Valley Greenway.

Belcher tells me the first step of merging the two trails involves adding the plan to other developmental plans.

“We have to look at the feasibility of doing it, which includes money and where it’s going to be. And always, if we can tie (it) into another infrastructure project, it will reduce the cost,” said Belcher.  

Officials say the idea is still in the early stages of planning. 

Connecting the Roanoke River Greenway and the Huckleberry Trail would create close to 20 miles of trail, and with both valleys expanding, officials say it’s just a matter of time. 

"I know that there are some race areas around here that host a lot of sports and races that I am sure would utilize that expansion to its fullest," said  Lisa Dowell, Christiansburg resident.