The Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel is another rail trail that is nearing its final phase of renovations. The Blue Ridge Tunnel is a historic railroad tunnel built during the construction of the Blue Ridge Railroad in the 1850s. In 2007, CSX Transportation donated the tunnel to Nelson County. The tunnel will set the recreational area apart from others in the counties of Albemarle, Nelson, and Augusta. The trail is 2.25 miles in length with the trip through the tunnel about one mile long. Hikers, bikers, railroad enthusiasts, and history buffs will be amazed at the trailway through the restored tunnel. Visitors from all over the country can jog, walk, or bike while admiring the raw, exposed rock walls and ceiling. There’s another surprising twist to this attraction- since there aren’t plans to light the tunnel, those who enter must bring flashlights and headlamps. The tunnel is still closed to the public but is expected to open to the public in late 2020.
Rail trails are unique recreation opportunities that add another layer to hiking. Visitors to rail trails in Nelson will not only enjoy the views and experiences of the trails, they will leave with a better knowledge of the history of railroads in our country. For more information about rail trails in Nelson County, Virginia call the Nelson County Visitors Center at 434-263-7015.