The Dick & Willie Passage opens

October 17, 2010

The Dick & Willie Passage officially opened on Monday. It is 4.5 miles long and runs along part of the former Danville and Western Railroad track. The railroad was nicknamed the “Dick and Willie.”

Distances on the trail are:

Virginia Avenue to Liberty Street, 1.38 miles

Liberty Street to Doyle Street, 1.48 miles

Doyle Street to Fisher Street, 0.47 of a mile

Fisher Street to Mulberry Creek Overlook, 1.18 mile

Activate Martinsville Henry County is offering free use of bicycles along the new Dick & Willie Passage.

Activate has 35 bicycles for people of all ages and more than 100 helmets which can be checked out by area residents, said Jeannie Frisco, program director for Activate. They are located at the Doyle Street Trailhead near for the former Martinsville-Henry County Rescue Squad Building.

Activate will use the bikes for its Bike Basics class from 9-10:30 a.m. on the second and third Saturdays of the month at the Doyle Street Trailhead.

Bicycles also may be loaned out from 10:30 a.m. to noon on those Saturdays, and from 8 a.m. to noon on the first and fourth Saturdays of each month at that trailhead.

To check out a bike during the week, call Activate at 638-2523 to arrange pickup. Someone from Activate, Bike MHC, Henry County or Martinsville parks and recreation departments or the Tourism Department of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. will arrange to meet the person at the bike station.

Those checking out bikes will be asked to sign out the bike and indicate how long they plan to keep it. They may be checked out for a week at a time during the week, Frisco said, explaining that Activate encourages checkouts from Monday through Saturday morning so it will have enough bicycles for the Bike Basics program.

Also, Activate has hired a trail security officer who will visit the trail at different times and places to eliminate any safety concerns, Frisco said. He will be in uniform and can assist people on the trail if needed, she said.

The officer was hired to assure people that the trail is safe, Frisco said. Also, Activate is encouraging more and more people to use the trail, which will help make people feel there are not security issues there, she said.


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