•Up-coming detours and closures along the W&OD Trail

Beginning on September 17th and continuing until just before Thanksgiving, Dominion Energy will be working along a portion of the Trail that extends approximately from Smith Switch Station Road to Claiborne Parkway. Trail users are to anticipate encounters with a somewhat complex and ever shifting series of detours and stoppages. On some days all traffic will be diverted from the paved path to the unpaved one, while on others the gravel path itself will also be shut down, briefly, and flaggers will be on site to manage traffic as work is being done among the wires and pylons overhead. On any given day, the length of a work area will be less than a third of a mile in length. Stopping of traffic may be required for up to 15 minutes, although NOVA Parks has instructed Dominion Energy that it may not delay users any longer than that. Normally, the company plans to stop traffic only for the length of time required to move (some of) its temporarily obstructing equipment out of the way. Both the volume of Trail traffic below and the nature of the tasks being carried out above on any given day, however, make the exact length of any possible delay difficult to predict. In this connection, please also note that:

(1) While Nova Parks has barred Dominion from working on weekends, if circumstances put the company’s project behind schedule, it apparently remains possible that disruptions of traffic may extend beyond the normal work week.

(2) Many of the small, unofficial entrances to the Trail, and even some of the larger ones, will be temporarily closed when work is being performed along the gravel trail, although every effort is going to be made to preserve most access points to the paved section.
(3) A  FULL CLOSURE of the Trail (in the work area described above) is currently scheduled to begin on (or about) 10/18 and to end on 10/23, viz., for approximately five business days. Neither these dates nor the details of VDOT’s design of the detour have yet been finalized, however.


Paul Schmeling, who is the on-site construction coordinator, may be reached by e-mail by clicking on this link.


Dominion Energy needs to interrupt traffic beginning on Monday, September 20th. The gravel path to the west of Smith Switch Road will be temporarily stopped while work begins above the paved path (also blocked, of course). Flaggers will be in place to stop Trail users until it is safe for them to pass underneath.


•W&OD Trail remains open — for passive use only
The W&OD Trail remains open during the current pandemic (about which you may have heard, perhaps…), but for passive use only. Click on this link for details regarding the implications of the term “passive” in connection with parking, water fountains, portable toilets, et al.

•Use of e-bikes now permitted on the W&OD Trail
Users of the Tail should be aware that in March of this year the NOVA Parks Board adopted new regulations under which the operation of electric-assist bikes is permitted on the W&OD Trail. Details regarding this decision and additional information associated therewith may be found by following this link.

•Do you have a green thumb that, from time to time, you would like to place in the service of a good cause?
If so, a group of volunteers seeks your assistance with the maintenance of two native plant butterfly gardens that are located along the Trail (near mileage marker 8) across the street from one another on Lee Highway (near the Econo Lodge Metro). Each, as the picture below of one of them illustrates, has been planted beneath a prominent sign.
++You are invited to weed in either — or both — of these gardens at your leisure, or you may contact the primary gardener in order to arrange a time to work directly with others.

Click here to access the final report from the working group assembled in 2014 to address safety issues on the W&OD Trail.

Click here to access Bikeablebrews’ convenient list of the craft brew establishments that are located near the Trail.

Benjamin Banneker Park Project