Planning for Craig Botetourt Scenic Trail underway

Officials say the trail will run 26 miles from New Castle to Eagle Rock

(Mirko Popadic, Getty Images)

NEW CASTLE, Va. – The Roanoke area is getting funding for a new trail running through Botetourt and Craig counties.

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The Craig Botetourt Scenic Trail will run parallel to Craigs Creek, 26 miles from New Castle to Eagle Rock, county officials said.

We’re told their plan is to use existing railbeds and some shared roadways to form the gravel trail.

At their September 2022 meeting the Commonwealth Transportation Board authorized up to $1 million dollars to the trail to support pre-construction planning activities. Money will go toward bridge repairs and preparing the trail surface; a multi-use trail for walking, running, biking, and horseback riding, that provides opportunities for residents and visitors to engage with the scenic beauty of Craig and Botetourt counties and Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

“The Virginia Creeper Trail, a similar trail to the proposed Craig Botetourt Scenic Trail, generates $2.3 million annually for its rural local economy when adjusted for inflation,” says Delegate Terry Austin who was instrumental in securing funding for the Craig Botetourt Scenic Trail. “I very much look forward to how this trail will benefit the community and will open the door for more business opportunities like bike shops, coffee shops, restaurants, and lodging—all these ventures and more will be possible with the influx of trail users.”

Both counties are forming citizen committees to help avoid concerns and address potential issues that may come up along the way, leaders said.

“While this is an exciting and unique opportunity, this project is still very much in the planning phase and will be for the next several months. We know there will be a lot of questions, but right now we don’t have a lot of answers, so we ask people to be patient as we work with VDOT to develop a plan that respects the residents along the trail while also showcasing the beauty of both Craig and Botetourt counties,” said Woody Lipps, chair of the Craig County citizen committee.

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Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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