It's official! The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has officially closed the trails at The Third Battle of Winchester site.
This is truly a sad day for the area as it was a well used and valued site for bikers, runners, and walkers. The foundation has previously claimed that the trails weren't sanctioned, yet they were, and they claimed that there was a two-year study that showed damage was being done by bikers. I doubt it exists.
They mention on their website that they work with the local community, yet they have no idea what the local community uses this land for -- we really don't need another museum.
I do applaud their mission to preserve the site for folks to visit, but to do so means there needs to be a reason other than a museum and walking path. The folks who have visited in the last 10 years were there for alternate reasons such as biking and running and hiking.
Seeing the historical markers and such were a bonus.
They have now limited the reason for exposure. I invite all who have been affected by the decision to close these trails to help the foundation celebrate its 150 year celebration on Sept 19 by being there to show support for use of the trails. I personally will be there with my bike and signs.
Hunter Hagerty, Winchester