WINCHESTER — The third and final construction phase for The Trails at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is underway.

According to a media release from the nonprofit cultural museum at 901 Amherst St. in Winchester, Phase III began on March 13 and will add nearly two miles of walking, running and bicycling trails to 90 acres of rolling fields adjacent to the museum.

When finished, The Trails will be the largest outdoor art park in Virginia, open year-round and featuring more than three miles of trails through fields, wetlands, woods and outdoor art installations.

“If construction goes as scheduled, we plan an opening around Thanksgiving,” Dana Hand Evans, executive director and CEO of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, said in the media release.

Ground was broken for The Trails during a ceremony on April 20, 2018. Funding for the $9 million project came from the Virginia Department of Transportation and more than 1,000 donations and grants.

According to the media release, The Trails will include 1.9 miles of paved walking surfaces and more than a mile of rustic trails. The paved trails will be ADA-accessible and connected to Winchester’s Green Trail, a separate trail system that winds through most of the city.

At its opening, The Trails will have pedestrian entrances at the end of Jefferson Street and at both ends of the museum’s property along Amherst Street. A vehicle entrance is expected to open in June, and another pedestrian entrance at the proposed Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center on Jefferson Street is planned for the future.

“We wanted to share the news about the progress being made on The Trails in the hopes that it will give our community something to look forward to,” Evans said in the release.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is currently closed to the public until at least May 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An outdoor art exhibition, “David Rogers’ Big Bugs,” is still scheduled to open on April 18 in the gardens next to the museum.

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— Contact Brian Brehm at

(1) comment


As much as I like the idea of a walking and biking path, bulldozing down the oldest white oak that was standing near John Kerr to build a path makes me sad. Couldn’t they have moved the path a few feet over to save the tree? It’s sad to see a pretty place like that destroyed and bulldozed. A path through the forest would have been nice. A moon landscape? Not so much

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