A portion of farm land previously used by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been transformed into the newest section of the Huckleberry Trail.

The new 1-mile section, called the Hokie Bikeway, connects the existing trail just west of Route 460 near the tunnel to the trails near Plantation Drive. Construction crews are still installing new fencing and blue light safety phones, but the trail is open to the public.

“The Hokie Bikeway is an important connection between the town and the university. Also, it gives those living in the Foxridge and Hethwood neighborhoods a safe way to bicycle to campus or the Corporate Research Center,” said Steve Mouras, director of transportation planning at Virginia Tech.

With the addition of the Hokie Bikeway, Virginia Tech now has 3 miles of bike lanes, 10 miles of shared paths, three bicycle repair stations, and several covered bicycle racks. The League of American Bicyclists designated the university as a Bicycle Friendly University in April 2013.

The bikeway is a vital for future expansion of the Huckleberry Trail. It will connect the existing trail to a new northern section that is scheduled to be completed this fall. The new trail will connect to Heritage Park, Gateway Park and eventually to the Jefferson National Forest. Current construction on the southern end of the Huckleberry will extend the trail to the Christiansburg High School.

“Friends of the Huckleberry has worked closely with Virginia Tech and the Town of Blacksburg on plans for the Huckleberry North Trail for almost 20 years,” said Bill Ellenbogen, president of the group. “The completion of the Hokie Bikeway is an important step.”

The Hokie Bikeway project was a coordinated effort by the university, the Town of Blacksburg, and the Friends of the Huckleberry. The cost of the project was $500,000, with a significant part of the funding coming from a transportation enhancement grant through the Virginia Department of Transportation.

For more information about biking at Virginia Tech visit the Alternative Transportation Office website or call 540-231-2116. Also, visit the Hokie Bike Hub weekdays from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. in the Alternative Transportation Center, 1330 Perry St.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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