The Mayo River Rail Trail is in downtown Stuart, VA, just off Commerce Street following the path of the Danville and Western Railway. This 1.8 mile trail is good for walking and bicycling. It has an asphalt smooth level surface. The trail also follows the Mayo River with an additional spur leading to the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection Landmark Assisted Living Center.
Parking lots on both ends of the trail, with handicap accessibility parking. It is great for families with children strollers and wheelchairs. The Mayo River is almost always in view.
Near the middle of the trail you will find one of the Trail H.A.N.D.S. sculptures, made by a local artist.
At the end of the trail you will find a kiosk with information about Bull Mountain and a telescope from which you can get a better view.
The Danville and Western Railway grew out of the Richmond and Danville RR. A narrow-gauge line was extended from Danville to Martinsville in 1882, then to Stuart in 1883, where there was a turntable to head the locomotive back to Danville. In addition to passenger service, the D&W served the wood products and agricultural businesses in Patrick County. This meant people could buy a ticket to Danville and beyond, and farmers, loggers, and sawmills in Patrick had a much wider market for their products. Sadly, roads and cars were the demises of passenger service. Later, the D&W freight business in Patrick dwindled, and the line from Martinsville was abandoned in 1942.