Trail users are asked to be considerate of neighboring property. The Trail passes through private lands on a fairly modest right of way.
The best river access is at both ends of the Trail.
Pets should be kept on leashes for their safety and that of other Trail users’ pets and neighbors’ livestock. Owners are asked to clean up after their pets.
Plants should be left undisturbed. Volunteer crews regularly tackle “invasive” plants on the Trail – if interested, please contact and join us!
Trail users are requested to “leave no trace.” VMI is in the process of installing trash, recycling, and pet-litter stations at access points along the Trail.
Jordan's Point is one of the better places for canoes and kayaks to put in. There’s also access just downstream of the Route 11 bridge. Boaters also take out at Jordan's Point if coming from upriver. Downstream, there’s access to put in or take out, as well as a boat ramp at the Buena Vista end of the Trail. The Mill Creek Gate can also be accessed from Old Buena Vista Road. This stretch of the Trail, going east, is one of the best areas in the county to see an abundance of native wildflowers in the spring.
About a mile east of Mill Creek Gate are the ruins of Reids Dam and Lock and an excellent picnic spot below the lock. This is one of the significant historic structures from the canal era. Others include ruins of South River Lock and Ben Salem and Zimmermans locks further down river; Tankersley’s Tavern or “Old Bridge,” directly across and upriver from Jordan's Point; Clifton, an imposing brick home just above and before the Mill Creek area; and some remains of a lockkeeper’s house and old railroad ties just before the South River junction of the Trail.
The area is also rich in geology and wildlife. For descriptions of what may be found on the Trail, The Field Guide to the Chessie Nature Trail may be obtained in local bookstores or from the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council.