“A short but scenic trail on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College with lots of climbing.
— Dennis Hevener
Bikes are not allowed on Short Nature Trail. See the sign at the trailhead. Otherwise, no restrictions that I am aware of. Ride there anytime, day or night.
There is a little over three miles of riding at this park. Mostly doubletrack, but with lots of climbing and quite a few roots. Mix of pine and great hardwoods. Plenty of shaded parking. The trail is not heavily used and not often maintained, so watch out for trees across the trail.
A note about the good
rating I gave it: This is definitely not a destination trail. However, it is the only trail for about 50 miles around. If you are in the Farmville area, it is worth checking out. Ride everything in both directions -- you'll get a good workout and will have fun.
As the trail is terraced with railroad ties, it is easiest if ridden CCW.
Enter the woods, take the first right. Climb over a rooty area, then descend over the terraces. Ride along a creek. To your left will be the intersection of Hampden-Sydney College Bike Trail then (Hampden-Sydney College Cutoff trail. Bypasses the big climb on Hampden-Sydney College Wilson Trail
.) Continue straight. The trail climbs, then does a 180 and descends, passing the other end Cutoff Trail on your left.
Ride a boardwalk through a swampy area. Enjoy twists and turns over several small bridges. You'll pass the other end Hampden-Sydney College Bike Trail going off to your left.
On the right you'll see an old dam and waterwork ruins. See the web site for more info.
Continue straight to exit to parking.
The trail was cut in 1984 when Dr. Shelton Hardaway Short III, a Hampden-Sydney alumni and an expert of forest and timber management, presented a significant gift to the College with which to build a nature trail through the various forest habitats near the campus. In 1997, an anonymous donor provided funds to expand and improve the trail, and it was then named in honor of Lt. Gen. Samuel V. Wilson, 22nd President of Hampden-Sydney college. It was dedicated in 1998 with a mountain bike race.