• Long Branch Trail Winston-Salem, NC

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

  by Jeff Smith
 
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Brief, fair-use:
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The Long Branch Trail, which spans the 1.7-mile length of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the north end to Rams Drive in the south, officially opened last month on a discontinued Norfolk-Southern rail line.

“On a Winston-Salem scale, this is our version of [the High Line],” said Graydon Pleasants, head of real estate development for the Innovation Quarter.

The paved multi-use trail uses the original rail bridges over Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh streets, providing a grade separation above the street grid that gives strollers, runners and cyclists a panoramic view of the downtown skyline. The original rail bridges, one of which dates back to 1916, still accommodate a single rail line that runs parallel to the trail from Third Street to 27th Street. Pleasants said the NC Department of Transportation Rail Division purchased the rail corridor from Norfolk-Southern, and it could potentially serve as a future light-rail or trolley line.

“They’ve been good partners to us,” he said.

The Long Branch Trail, named after a vanished African-American neighborhood, runs along the back side of a string of buildings, part of the historic Reynolds tobacco works complex, that are now occupied by tech workers and graduate students. As the trail runs past Inmar, [email protected], Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Piedmont Leaf Lofts, it has the feel of a railway platform.
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