Run the trail with the best new marathon in the United States! The seven-mile Chessie Trail, situated at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, parallels the scenic Maury River and connects historic Lexington, Virginia, with the boom-town community of Buena Vista. The smooth gravel and grass trail runs along the former Chesapeake and Ohio rail line and parts of the earlier James and Kanawha Canal towpath. You’ll run through an ever-changing landscape along the wild Maury River, through farmland and leafy canopies at their peak of fall color, past ruins of massive stone locks and dams. View wildlife from fish and ducks to rabbits, wild turkeys, and even bald eagles (if you are lucky), feel the cool moist air as you pass small caves, and enjoy the serenity of a breeze rustling through a bamboo forest.
For the first time, this year we are including a full marathon! Runners will get to see the whole trail twice. You will be amazed at how the landscape changes as the sun comes over the cliffs transforming the narrow valley and the sparkling river at its bottom. Spectators will agree that this is the best marathon course ever as they cheer on their loved ones five times without ever having to leave the park-like setting of the start/finish area. And while we certainly hope this doesn’t happen, if you have to change your marathon run to a half marathon or ¾ marathon, you won’t have to worry about hitchhiking back to your car. Ideal for the first-time marathoner!