Rail-to-Trails: Seaboard Air Line Railroad Trail – Chesterfield County

19 12 2007

Was looking through a book about hiking trails made from abandoned railroads.  What a great idea!  It’s being done all over the nation, and here in Virginia there are some popular ones in the western part of the state and around Washington.

It got me thinking…this idea could be done here in Richmond.  We have several old rail lines and abandoned railbeds that could be converted into hiking trails.

The first that hit me was the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad through Chesterfield.  The line was abandoned in the 60s I believe.  It runs just over 13 miles from Centralia to Petersburg. 

I’ve marked it on maps.live.com page.

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Petersburg, Virginia

16 09 2007

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day!

I took the opportunity of the pleasant weather to head down to Petersburg to take some photos.  For weeks now I’ve been wanting to get down there for that.

First, let me just say, if you read nothing else know this: If you change out the trees that line Petersburg’s Old Towne for Palmetto Trees, you would think you’re in Charleston, SC.  Petersburg has that feel to it.

Now, I went into Old Towne to photograph the area because it is a mix of old Alexandria and Charleston.  But in saying that, it’s not really fair to compare because Petersburg has her own identity that perhaps has similar traits to her sister southern cities.  Enough ryhmes and alliterations.

I am SO enthralled with Petersburg.  Walking the streets you get a real sense of the potential for this area.  I checked out some of the antique shops, got some coffee from Java Mio and walked the streets.  Taking over 30 megabytes of photos, I posted the vast majority of them on Flickr.  My family has our roots in Petersburg, VA.  The John Baird house in the city is my great-great-great-great-great-etc. Grandfather’s.  I wanted a picture of it, but the batteries died in the camera and, alas, I didn’t bring a spare set.

Folks, Petersburg’s on the verge of something big.  It could be awesome with what they want do there.  I read the report some months ago about the master plan with the marina and the river front and along with the other plans it could be an incredible place to live, work and hang out.  Being there yesterday really made me want to have a house on Grove Avenue or somewhere around there.

The people that were around Saturday were extremely friendly.  There was no hesitation to greet one another as you pass by.  Some shop owners sat out in front of their stores greeting people and were extremely helpful with some of my questions.  If you love shopping for antiques, then head down to Petersburg, they have everything!!! Seriously, I saw it.

Bottom Line: Petersburg is an excellent place.  Full of history, the longest siege in North America occurred here, the Civil War battlefields are just minutes drive away, and the architecture is phenominal.  The people were friendly, the shops interesting, the coffee awesome! 

With the increase in population looming, more and more will get a chance to see this great city, be sure you’re one of them to check it out.  Keep reading in the news about the efforts to revitalize the city and support those who are working there.

Thanks Petersburg for an enjoyable afternoon!

P.S. – I amen my earlier post about Petersburg should get Part 3 of the Museum of the Confederacy.  It would fit nicely there in town.