"The Grande Dame of Farmville" High Bridge has been on my list since she opened a couple years ago as a state park rail trail clad in her new digs.
So I decided to bite the bullet and called Dad and off we went with walking sticks in hand. Dad is a retired Structural Steel Union Ironworker and loves to go on walks so I knew this was the perfect combination for a pleasing day trip. It is not easy to spend time together, so I do it as often as I can.
High Bridge State Park has been on my list for a few years now
We are only about 2 hours from Farmville Virginia, so it was a very do-able mini road trip. The weather was not ideal, but give me a gentle rain over stifling heat any day!
Meet my Dad, he spent most of his working life erecting structural steel buildings and bridges
Final pit stop before heading out to walk to the bridge
Farmville is one of the neatest little historical towns and the bridge is the centerpiece
Here is Dad giving directions and planning the walk
Dad and I were just as interested in what was below the bridge as what was on top of it
Dad and I parked in town and wandered around a little bit. We didn't rent bikes but saw a place called High Bridge Bikes (ph: 434-315-5736)that does so right there at the main park entrance. We also made note of Greenfront Furniture warehouses.
Since we were on foot, not on a bike or horse, we decided to park at the closest lot nearest the bridge, which is called River Road. There is a restroom there, and an honor system to pay for use of the trail, it was only $3 (since it was mid-week, and $4 on weekends).The walk from the lot to the bridge is .9 mile each way. The trail itself and the bridge are flat, so anyone can walk this trail without too much difficulty.
WHAT DAD THOUGHT
"I was in awe at the isolated location of the bridge. It made me feel like it was more of a 'discovery' than an historic location."
WHAT I THOUGHT
I knew this bridge was over water, so when we nearly made it to the other side we spotted the Appomattox River below. I can only imagine this setting being quite spectacular when the leaves change, it was pretty impressive without the fall color!
SIDE TRACK IDEA
If you are looking for more challenge and adventure in the tree tops, try to The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat. They have 61 obstacle high ropes and 17 zip lines and their motto is "Challenge yourself to new heights."
ANOTHER FINE MESS YOU'VE GOTTEN US INTO
Please, if you paddle you won't want to missAppomattox River Companylocated right there in Farmville, a couple blocks from this main parking area for the trail. They have the world's largest selection of canoes and kayaks; yes I said world's largest! They also have S.U.P., accessories, clothes and more (ph:800.442.4837). If you are into this stuff, expect to spend some time there. (As you can see I do paddle and thought this place was awesome!)
Read what a few visitors to Trip Advisor.
I found some wild persimmons on the ground over near the service road which Dad tried and thought were pretty good
There are few places to stop and rest and take in the scenery along High Bridge – I recommend you bring along a picnic lunch weather permitting
HOW LONG IS THIS TRAIL?
High Bridge Trail is 31 miles long and ideally suited for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Once a rail bed, the trail is wide, level and generally flat. The trail’s finely crushed limestone surface and dimensions make it easy for everyone to enjoy. The park’s centerpiece is the majestic High Bridge, which is more than 2,400 feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. It is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and among the longest in the United States.
YES, VIRGINIA IT'S HISTORIC
High Bridge is a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. High Bridge Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail recognizing exemplary trails of local and regional significance, connecting people to nature, to each other, and to our shared histories and cultures.
WHERE TO ACCESS THE TRAIL AND THE BRIDGE
The parking lot closest to the bridge is at River Road.For pedestrians and hikers, the bridge is nearly a mile away.Trailers are not allowed at the River Road parking lot.
Bikers might prefer parking at the Rice parking lot, which is 3.1 miles from the bridge and 8 miles from Farmville. Bikers might also wish to park at the Main Street plaza parking lot in Farmville; the bridge is 4.5 miles from that lot.
For equestrians, the designated horse trailer parking lots are at Osborne Road, which is about 2.9 miles from the bridge, and at Prospect, which is 12.4 miles to High Bridge.
Hours:Dawn – dusk.
View from High Bridge itself
I went away with one thought in mind after our walk across High Bridge "I CAN see the forest through the trees thanks to High Bridge Trail State Park."