CHRISTIANSBURG – What could become a national-caliber cycling destination is in the works across our region.
Leaders across the Roanoke and New River valleys are working to connect existing trail systems, creating more than a more 100-mile ride across southwest Virginia.
It's called the Valley to Valley initiative. Montgomery County Supervisor Steve Fijalkowski explained the ultimate vision would be to connect a network of trails that include the Huckleberry Trail, the Roanoke River Greenway, the Virginia Creeper Trail and more.
“We see it as an economic way to better both valleys, but it also connects the valleys,” Fijalkowski said.
Kevin Byrd, executive director of the New River Valley regional commission joined Fijalkowski along with dozens of other community and government leaders from the Roanoke and New River Valley Thursday in Christiansburg to talk about the initiative.
"The benefits are multifold. It's unbelievable when you look at trails and the use of them. The numbers are really up over the past few years. There are health benefits. There are economic benefits. People coming in to use the trails and then going to have lunch....or spend the weekend,” Byrd said.
The vision is to create one trail that would connect Roanoke to Galax. The ultimate vision could take 10 to 20 years to complete.