Missing link: State Farm gift connects Albemarle trail
The little-known Old Mills Trail soon will become a viable path from Darden Towe Park to Shadwell with the Earth Day dedication of a half-mile section of land along the Rivanna River donated by State Farm Insurance.
"This is an important piece because it connects the hospital," says Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd April 22 at the Pantops site neighboring the under-construction Martha Jefferson Hospital. "Ultimately we'd like to connect it with Monticello," he says.
With the 10-acre gift from State Farm, Old Mills Trail meanders six miles along the Rivanna and takes in historical sites such as the Woolen Mills dam, Port Pireus, a canal towpath, and ancient Three Chopt Road.
Albemarle's Dan Mahon was in negotiation with State Farm for four years, and isn't quite ready to declare the trail open for business, but says it could be by this summer.
"Even with concerns about budgets, we can embrace this and its value to the community," says Mahon. "This works on so many levels.
"If you look around," he adds, "you'd hardly believe it's Pantops."
Volunteer and inmate labor will keep costs down.