BRISTOL, Va. — The public is invited to a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bristol end of the Mendota Trail on Friday.

The ceremony will be held at the trailhead on Island Road near the Interstate 81 underpass. The entrance can be accessed 0.2 miles west of the intersection of Island and Pittstown roads. Del. Todd Pillion, R-Abingdon, and leaders from Washington County and Bristol are scheduled to speak.

“We are so excited about the long anticipated opening of the Mendota Trail for hiking, biking and running!” said Bob Mueller, volunteer project manager for the trail. “Many volunteers have generously given their time, energy and financial support in order to have this 3.1 miles completed for the public to enjoy. In October 2017, the first mile of the Mendota Trail opened on the Mendota end. Following this opening on the Bristol end, our focus will be the middle 8 miles of the trail.”

Once completed, the trail will be a 12.5-mile hiking-biking recreational corridor between Bristol and Mendota. The former railroad property offers tranquil countryside and forests on gentle grades comparable to favorites like the Virginia Creeper Trail.

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