Pictured: Local dignitaries cut the ribbon at the second phase of the Eastern Shore Bike Trail.

By Ted Shockley

 

A one-of-a-kind bicycling and hiking trail on the Eastern Shore of Virginia continues to grow.

The ribbon was cut Friday afternoon on the second phase of a 4.9-mile paved trail running parallel to Lankford Highway from Capeville to the Eastern Shore’s southern tip.

“This is just a beautiful asset for Northampton County and the Eastern Shore,” said John Coker, vice chairman of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors, to a large audience of dignitaries, community members and second-grade students from Kiptopeke Elementary School.

He called it, “a great piece of tourism infrastructure.”

Kiptopeke Elementary School WESR ShoreDailyNews

Kiptopeke Elementary School students

Developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the trail runs north from the Eastern Shore of Virginia Wildlife Refuge along the old Kiptopeke Branch railroad bed.

The railroad bed was purchased in 1985 by The Nature Conservancy. The first phase, completed in 2011, runs 2.5 miles and the second phase, completed this year, runs 2.4 miles.

The land for the trail was donated by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission and The Nature Conservancy.

Before the ribbon cutting, students from Kiptopeke Elementary School took a stroll down the trail and then attended the ceremony.

A future phase of the trail will proceed north and west to the town of Cape Charles.