Along the Rivanna Trail with Diana Foster

The Rivanna Trail loops around Charlottesville and Albemarle county, almost exclusively along privately-owned land. Hikers trek across pathways cared for by a couple hundred volunteers. The rustic trail is the best place to get away from it all without leaving the city, a fact that is increasingly recognized by developers, landowners, and government officials.

That’s a far cry from the early days of the trail, according to Diana Foster. She’s the past president of the Rivanna Trail Foundation, which runs the 20-mile pathway. Currently about 18 miles of the loop have been built, with another five miles of companion trails.

Every November, Foster leads a one-day trek around the trail to draw attention to the natural beauty of the urban wilderness. I recently took a much smaller trip with Foster through a small section of the Rivanna trail from Jordan park in southeast Charlottesville, to Fifth Street near the Willoughby section of town. I asked Foster to tell me about the ultimate goals of the Rivanna Trail Foundation.

4 Replies to “Along the Rivanna Trail with Diana Foster”

  1. The trails are great. The one I use most is from Melbourne to the Senior Center area, and park at Melbourne. I will be sending a letter with some trail improvement ideas for that stretch, for which I would provide labor and finance. The trail is already maintained well along that area, and often I take clippers, but am hard pressed to find errant growth this time of year. One exception is after a rain in the areas that puddle and force you off the path. A fairly recent addition is grafitti of an offensive racial nature at the railroad underpass. This seems to be getting more active, not less, and judging from the comments is being done by teenagers in the Greenbrier area. It should be covered, and a sign posted from the police Dept. about the consequences, etc. To ig- nore it seems like the wrong path. I certainly don’t want to go down there and start spraying out the existing paint without some authority. Thanks for all your work. John

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