Rail to Trail Study

See all the latest updates on our Rails to Trails page.

October 23, 2020 

Eastern Shore Rail to Trail Study Presentation
Click on the image to access the portal. 


Update: VDOT has released the results of the public comments for the Eastern Shore Rail to Trail Study in this Virtual Public Information Presentation portal. 

An announcement from the overview states, "The study team has received a great deal of public input to-date, and we are excited to present a summary of the public input along with the alignment concept and related feasibility study information.

The materials shared in this virtual presentation include a brief overview of the project, an update on the progress made to-date, a summary of the online survey results, sample sheets from the concept alignment plans, preliminary cost-estimates and grant application efforts, and highlights of next steps toward project completion." 

The public is encouraged to continue to discuss the project and has an opportunity to leave comments for the study team at the end of the presentation.  

May 18, 2020

Public Comment Opportunity


VDOT is inviting public feedback and comments on the value of a shared use path through an online survey. The survey is available Friday, May 15, 2020 until Sunday, May 31, 2020. 

Eastern Shore Rails to Trails Study Public Survey and Comments (link)

Additionally,- members of the public may submit written comments mailed to:

Mr. John Bolecek
Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220

or via e-mail to [email protected] with reference to “Eastern Shore Rail to Trail Study” in the subject line.

Posted on 10/23/2020

Moonrise bike ride
Photo Credit: William Dyas

April 9, 2020

SUFFOLK - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will conduct a planning study to assess the feasibility of constructing a shared use pedestrian and bicycle path along the Eastern Shore Railroad’s right of way in Accomack and Northampton Counties. The study area also includes railroad right of way in the Towns of Hallwood, Bloxom, Parksley, Onley, Melfa, Keller, and Painter in Accomack County and the Towns of Exmore, Nassawadox, Eastville, Cheriton, and Cape Charles in Northampton County.

In December of 2019, both the Accomack and Northampton Board of Supervisors passed resolutions of support approving the conversion and development of 49.1 miles of railroad corridor from Cape Charles to Hallwood for a rail to trail project.

"As owners of the existing rail corridor we are excited to work with VDOT to study implementation of a trail to provide healthy living to citizens and visitors on the Eastern Shore" said Donald Hart, Chairman of the Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission.

The VDOT study will conduct the planning and engineering work needed to allow localities to pursue grant funding to develop a shared use path along the corridor in phases. The study will recommend an alignment for the path, develop cost estimates, estimate maintenance costs, and provide options for a management structure.

"VDOT is looking forward to working with our project partners as we study the potential conversion of the previously used rail into a trail that promotes safety, healthy living and tourism on Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore," said Chris Isdell, Accomac Residency Administrator.

Public meetings to solicit feedback from residents and Town leadership are planned for this summer. Contingencies are in place if these need to be virtual meetings. An online survey to get feedback about the project will be sent out in the coming weeks.

For more information about the proposed improvements and creation of the trail, please visit the project website.

For information about the planning and engineering study contact John Bolecek, VDOT Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner ([email protected])

For information about the Railway’s involvement in the study, contact Canonie Atlantic Company General Manager, Jim Outland ([email protected])