“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Pipeline Trail

Pipeline Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, April 13, 2014
1. Pipeline Trail Marker
Inscription.  The stairs below you lead to a narrow catwalk that rests on top of a large pipe. It’s a wonderful place to watch nature and escape the city for even just a few minutes. Located underneath the rail line, it follows the river and crosses above some of the rapids. (The metal grid walking surface and access via a ladder makes it unsuitable for pets or persons with disabilities.) The pipe itself carries storm water and sewage down to the huge holding tank located just beyond the Mayo Bridge on Chapel Island. The pipe and treatment plant are the reasons the river is clean today!

The Pipeline Trail leads to a sandy beach.
In Spring there is a good view of the nesting Great Blue Herons and in Summer a chance to wade in a pool below the rapids. The trail goes upstream about ¼ mile to Brown’s Island.

Be aware that the last part has no handrails and is absolutely not passable when water crosses over it – in fact, there is almost no chance of escape if you fall in!

The Trestle above you holds the CSX rail line. It links the coal fields of the Appalachian Mountains with the huge coal depot at
Pipeline Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, April 13, 2014
2. Pipeline Trail Marker
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Newport News. It is the heaviest used coal line on the East Coast with a train every hour or two. Full cargoes can be as long as a half a mile and empty cars returning to the mountains can be over a mile long.

Constructed in 1903, it eliminated the accidents and travel delays that were occurring along Dock Street where wagons were unloading the boats in the Great Shiplock Canal. Three miles in length, it is the longest double-track elevated freight line in the nation.

Pipeline Rapids are considered Class III. There are many eddies for kayakers and whitewater rafts to surf and the catwalk offers a up-close views from above the action. When river levels are above 15 feet, water can begin to wash over the catwalk.

Sign funded by a contribution to the James River Park System by Phil Riggan and family (November 2012).
Erected 2012 by James River Park System.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironmentRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1903.
Location. 37° 31.949′ N, 77° 26.048′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Byrd Street and Virginia Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map
Great Blue Heron Rookery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, April 13, 2014
3. Great Blue Heron Rookery
. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James River Bateaumen (within shouting distance of this marker); James River & Kanawha Canal (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Use of Arms (about 300 feet away); Heron Rookery (about 400 feet away); Tidewater Lock View (about 400 feet away); Tidewater Connection Locks (about 400 feet away); African Americans and the Waterfront (about 400 feet away); Canal Walk / Historic Canals (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Also see . . .  Friends of the James River Park. (Submitted on May 23, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 459 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 23, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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May. 16, 2022