In November, the City of Martinsville and Henry County reached a milestone in the continued development of the Dick & Willie Passage Trail – the completion of a new segment of this trail from a new trailhead at Spruce Street to the Smith River Sports Complex. This new segment is approximately 2.7 miles in length and was funded by the Harvest Foundation, an organization founded through the sale of Martinsville’s Memorial Hospital; this foundation funds many quality-of-life initiatives throughout the City of Martinsville and Henry County.
This new segment offers trail users scenic views of Mulberry Creek, which runs over and alongside that portion of the creek closest to the Spruce Street trailhead. In addition, the trailhead features full-service restrooms with running water, ample parking, and a combination water fountain and doggie fountain for our four-legged friends.
This new segment of the Dick & Willie is not yet connected to the original trail, but likely will be sometime in 2021. Henry County will construct nearly three miles of trail extending from the trailhead of the new segment discussed here to the terminus of the original segment utilizing VDOT’s Revenue Sharing and Transportation Alternatives funding, along with funds from the Harvest Foundation. When this next segment is complete, the Dick & Willie will be a seamless trail approximately ten miles in length, extending from Virginia Avenue (U.S. Route 220 Business) near Wal-Mart to the Smith River Sports Complex.
The original segment of the Dick & Willie Passage Trail was constructed in 2010 and is 4.5 miles in length. Two spurs were since constructed off of this main trail, forging connections to uptown Martinsville as well as more direct access to the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the YMCA within the city. The trail, built on the former right-of-way of the Danville and Western Railroad, extends through the center of Martinsville, serving as an excellent means of alternative transportation linking multiple areas of the city as well as a commercialized section of Henry County. Once the next segment is completed, residents of and visitors to Martinsville and Henry County will be able to travel between the Smith River Sports Complex and the commercialized area of Henry County along Virginia Avenue, with multiple opportunities to stop in Martinsville. This trail will become an even greater asset to the city and county with regard to the promotion of active lifestyles and alternative transportation options.