Trail runs along Dan River and behind Berry Hill Plantation
In the Fall of 2012, the Southside PDC, partnered with Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails, Inc. to develop a brand new section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail (THT) in South Boston, VA. Southside PDC worked closely with engineers from Anderson & Associates on the design and direction of this second phase of the trail project. The PDC has been responsible for obtaining grant monies for the purchase of abandoned railroad corridor and trail construction. Regional Planner, Robyn Fowler, oversaw the progress of the South Boston sec- tion, liaising with engineers, contractors, and VDOT representatives.
Several historic features of this segment of the THT make the South Boston section a trail worth visiting! The trailhead is situated at the base of a former cotton mill. All that remains of the mill are two brick towers marking the once thriving cotton industry in South Boston. A short 0.4 miles from the trailhead is the Prizery, which used to be a tobacco warehouse.
At one time, the rail system would transport the tobacco along the trail corridor for trade. Other historic features of the trail are an aged sluice gate, Diamond Hill (a former slave cemetery), and Berry Hill Plantation Resort and Conference Center. As you journey on horse, bicycle or foot down the THT, you will notice the stone wall that separates Berry Hill Plantation from the trail. Each stone was hand placed by slaves who used to work the plantation.
In addition to the unique historic sights of the new trail section, there are interesting natural features. Approximately two miles down the trail, there is a duck impoundment that birdwatchers and amateurs can enjoy. The impoundment brings a variety of waterfowl as well as foxes, deer and other wildlife. A natural spring trickles down the side bank at one point of the trail and, at the terminus, you may sit at a picnic table and view the scenic Dan River.
This newly built section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail is a small taste of what's to come. This was Phase II of the future 150 mile trail that will eventually loop through Southern Virginia. Step by step, the Southside PDC will continue to work with its outstanding partners to drive the development of this outdoor contribution to the community. Until then, both local and out of town visitors enjoy using the trail.
For more information visit our website: www.tobaccoheritagetrail.org or "Tobacco Heritage Trail" on Facebook.