The Chessie Nature Trail is a public-access 7-mile long walking trail between Lexington and Buena Vista, along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad right of way. The trail is most suitable for walking and running, as several fixed gates make the trail unsuitable for bicycles.
The trail goes through private lands, including and active cattle farms. Exercise caution and respect.
Dogs must be leashed at all times.
Pack out all litter.
More information can be found on the Virginia Military Institute's website for the trail at http://www.vmi.edu/chessie.
The Rockbridge Area Conservation Council brought the trail to the attention of the Nature Conservancy and Virginia Commission on Outdoor Recreation, and in 1978 the Nature Conservancy accepted deed to the property. The deed was transferred to the VMI Foundation Inc. in 1979, and then to Virginia Military Institute in 2009.
The Chessie Nature Trail is open to the public. The trail may be accessed from several places including:
- North end of the East Lexington Bridge (Rt 11) over the Maury River
- Near Mill Creek on Old Buena Vista Rd (State Rt 631), about 0.6 miles East of Rt 11
- Stuartsburg Rd (Rt 608) where the South River Flows into the Maury
- The Eastern terminus, Stuartsburg Rd (Rt 608) at Rt. 60
VMI Contact: 540-464-7357
Local community groups are encouraged to hold walks or meetings on the trail. A courtesy contact to VMI is welcome, but not required for these kinds of activities.
Large or more complex events such as foot races must be coordinated in advance with VMI so as to de-conflict trail use.
Any group wishing to hold a trail clean up or other volunteer trail maintenance may contact VMI for support.