Charlottesville proposes expansion of Ragged Mountain trail use

Change would allow cyclists, joggers, dogs in addition to hikers, boaters

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The potential increase in activity will likely not have a negative effect on the hikers, boaters or wildlife currently using the trail, Gensic said.

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

The Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department recently proposed rules which would expand the use of a series of trails in the Ragged Mountain Natural Area located west of Charlottesville.

The trail is currently only open for use by hikers and boaters, who are permitted to fish in the lake. The proposed changes would open the trail up for use by cyclists, joggers and dogs, Charlottesville Parks Planner Chris Gensic said.

The area was previously owned by the Ivy Creek Foundation, but was transferred to the city of Charlottesville in September.

"We are looking to expand people’s recreation opportunities,” Gensic said. “We've also had some requests specifically from mountain bikers who were wanting to use the trail.”

The area became more accessible following the recent construction of the Ragged Mountain Dam. The new dam and accompanying parking lot make it much easier for visitors to reach the trails, Gensic said.

The potential increase in activity from cyclists, joggers, and dogs will likely not have a negative effect on the hikers, boaters or wildlife currently using the trail, Gensic said, as similar changes have been implemented at other parks and have not negatively impacted existing users.

"We will keep some places hiking only so that there are some quiet spots for people who want to have a quiet, relaxing hike,” he said.

Charlottesville city council will hold a hearing Oct. 19 to discuss the proposed expansion. Depending on the results of the hearing, the rules could be changed as early as the next day.

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