The Huckleberry Trail is undergoing construction as part of the Southgate Interchange Project, and public safety officials are asking visitors pay attention to changes.

The roughly seven-mile nature path connects the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library on Draper Road in Blacksburg to the Christiansburg Recreation Center in Christiansburg. Each year, thousands of people walk, bike, run, shoot nature photography, and sightsee along the trail.

An underpass for the new Research Center Drive is being built in the same location of the trail’s old underpass that went under the farm road. During construction detours will be in place to ensure the safety of trail users. The detour will be in place until the trail is completed in December 2017.

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When finished, the trail will have a new tunnel under the new Southgate Drive. The tunnel under Route 460 will be extended, improving sight distance for trail users, and three new trail roundabouts will be installed to improve flow across trail-to-trail intersections.

During construction it is important for visitors to travel at safe speeds and pay attention to changes in the road surface and any heavy machinery that may be in operation.

The Virginia Tech Police Department recommends that individuals employ the buddy method when using the trail and avoid the area at night. When an in-person buddy is unavailable, Virginia Tech's LiveSafe mobile app has a SafeWalk feature that allows users to send a virtual request to a buddy who can monitor their location on a real-time map. SafeWalk users can also chat with one another or call 911 in the app environment if needed.

A variety of resources, including maps and a listing of things to do on the trail, are available on the Friends of the Huckleberry Trail website.

Written by Abbey O’Farrell.

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