2016-11-02 / Announcements

County opens new trail along the Appomattox

Chesterfield County has put in motion one part of the adopted Bikeways and Trails Plan by opening a 1/3-mile section of trail along the Appomattox River. Just the first phase of a broader vision, the new trail system is expected to eventually run the entire length of the Appomattox in the county.

County and state officials, including Virginia State University President Makola Abdullah and Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Elswick, dedicated the paved trail in Ettrick on Oct. 19.

“This project, and some of you know that, has been a long time coming,” said Stuart Connock, chief of parks/design and construction for the county. “We actually started it back in 2000, and it’s gone through quite a few obstacles to get here. But I think you will be very pleased on the results of what you’ll see.”

The trail begins at the parking lot and then meanders easily down into the flood plain. Though the river remains elusive and hidden from the trail, future earthen trails will take visitors along the bank.

The trail also provides a glimpse into the past. Running parallel to the trail and cloaked in thickets and shrubs are the remnants of the historic Ettrick Canal. Built in 1836 and running barely over 1 mile, the canal delivered water to power the many mills located further downstream.

The trail currently ends at the CSX (Chessie and Seaboard Coast) Railroad Bridge. But once funding becomes available, the trail will be extended another mile upstream.

According to Connock, Virginia State University provided a no-cost lease to the 50 acres along the Appomattox River for the new trail and its proposed 1-mile extension. A $375,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation and matching funds from the county were used to develop the trail.

“This is a regional asset,” Elswick said at the ceremony. “When we get this completed, this will mean so much to this region. We’ll have people coming from all over just to view this beautiful Appomattox River.” – Mark Battista, contributing writer and naturalist for the county parks department


Students from Millwood School’s human anatomy class recently visited the Northern Virginia Medical Education Center’s Anatomy Lab in Springfield. During their visit, they encountered a fully preserved and previously dissected human cadaver and organs from the pathology collection, as well as the center’s hightech simulation lab and talking automaton patients.


The Little Bookshop is now open at 1318 Sycamore Square, Midlothian. The shop carries a wide selection of books for all ages, hand-selected greeting cards, Aurora brand stuffed animals, Claire Fontaine journals and Sock Smith socks. For more information, call 464- 1244 or visit

Virginia Credit Union recently launched VACU Voice ID, a voice-based security enhancement that uses members’ unique voice patterns to establish and confirm their identity when they call the credit union to conduct business on their account. The service is free to members and optional to use.

John E. “Jay” Burchell Jr., president and executive manager of Heritage Chevrolet in Chester, has been nominated for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award. Burchell is one of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 100th Annual National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Exposition in New Orleans in January. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors.

Announcements can be emailed to, faxed to 744-3269 or mailed to Chesterfield Observer, Attn: Announcements, P.O. Box 1616, Midlothian, VA 23113.

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