Below please find some of the most frequently asked questions about The Trails at the MSV. Do you have a question about The Trails that isn’t answered below? We’d love to hear from you; ask a question.


When are The Trails going to open?

The Trails at the MSV will open in fall of 2020.


How much will it cost to use The Trails at the MSV?

The Trails at the MSV will be open to the community free of charge, year-round, from dawn until dusk.


When will The Trails be open each day?

The trails will be open to the public daily—free of charge—from dawn until dusk.


How long will The Trails be?

More than three miles trails will be built, including nearly two miles of ADA-accessible trails. Future plans call for additional turf trails to be installed.


What is going to happen to the cows?

There will still be cows at the MSV! New farm fencing was added as was a crossing with cow gates on the new main entrance road. On occasion, traffic on the main entrance road may be stopped as cows move from one field to another; however, visitors should not expect to encounter free-range cows.


How much of the MSV landscape is going to open with The Trails?

90 additional acres of the MSV property will be open to the community when the trails open. In its entirety the MSV property is 214 acres. The MSV is the largest green space and only remaining working farm in the city of Winchester. After the opening of The Trails at the MSV, 83 acres of the Museum property will still be dedicated to farm use.


How much does this project cost?

$9 million. Along with building more than three miles of trails, the project includes a new Amherst Street entrance to the MSV site, a new entrance road to access the site, new parking lots (at the trailhead and in front of the museum building), overlooks from the trails, and outdoor art installations. Note: rising construction costs and a required expansion of the storm water management system to accommodate future improvements to the entire MSV site resulted in an increase in the total project cost.


How close are we to reaching the goal of $9 million dollars?

Thanks to generous community support, the funding goal for construction of The Trails at the MSV has been reached! Donations received above the cost of construction will fund landscaping and maintenance of The Trails at the MSV.


Will the MSV trails be connected to the City’s Green Circle Trail system?

Yes, the trails will be connected to the City’s Green Circle Trail system. 


Will dogs be allowed on The Trails?

Absolutely! The trails are pet-friendly.


Can I bike on The Trails?

Yes! Bicycles will be welcome on the trails.


Will horses and recreational vehicles be permitted on The Trails?

No, the trails are not designed to accommodate horseback riding or recreational vehicle use.


Where will I be able to access The Trails at the MSV?

The trails will be accessible from a main trailhead at the new MSV entrance, a pedestrian entrance near the Old John Kerr School (future Winchester Public School’s Innovation Center), a pedestrian entrance at the end of Jefferson Street, and a pedestrian entrance on the northeastern corner of the MSV property on Amherst Street (close to the Wellspring building).


What is an art park?

An art park is a venue that combines the experience of an art gallery with the setting of an outdoor park. The Trails at the MSV will be an outdoor extension of the museum galleries. The MSV will become Virginia’s largest public art park when the trails open, creating unique place to learn about the Valley’s culture and interact with art in a whole new way.


What kind of art will be on The Trails?

The trails will feature permanent and changing displays of contemporary 3-D art, including sculpture and installation art by local, regional, and national artists. Severa karge installations have been completed, including the silo, a standing stone circle, and a stone ha-ha wall (read a blog post about these installtions HERE). 


How many parking spaces are there at the entrance circle Trailhead?

There are 18 marked spaces on the east side of the entrance circle (just off Amherst Street) with a grass verge on the west side that will allow for parking expansion if needed.


What are the primary trails made of?

The Trails at the MSV will be a paved tar-and-ship surface, to provide a soft yet stable path for walking, running, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs.


How wide are the paths?

Primary trails will be 8 to 10 feet wide. Secondary trails will vary based on the terrain.


Who will maintain The Trails?

The MSV will be responsible for maintenance of the trails. Contributions to the MSV Annual Fund will support operations and maintenance of the trails. Events, such as 5K races on the trails, will be organized as additional fundraisers to support The Trails at the MSV.


What will happen to the wildlife at the MSV site when The Trails open?

The trails will open up woods and wetlands areas to pedestrians, but several areas will remain relatively untouched, providing cover and protection for the wildlife at the MSV. Over time, MSV staff will work to eliminate invasive plantings and replace them with native trees, shrubs and perennials that will provide food and shelter for animals.


Will there be additional parking for The Trails at the MSV?

The project includes several parking expansions. First, the primary parking lots by the Museum building were expanded in 2019, creating a parking garden with double the amount of parking spaces that the previous lot provided. Second, there are now parking spaces along the traffic circle at the new entrance. Third, a small parking pad for several cars will be available off Jefferson Street for the connecting trails.


Will the Trails impact any possible archeological sites on the MSV property?

No. The MSV is dedicated to preserving Shenandoah Valley history, and the trails have been designed to avoid any areas that may be of future archeological significance based on surveys of the property done in 1996 and 2009. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has approved the designs for The Trails at the MSV.


How can I help make The Trails at the MSV happen?

Please donate to help build The Trails at the MSV and spread the word about this exciting project with your friends, family, and neighbors. Donations received above the cost of construction will fund landscaping and maintenance of The Trails at the MSV. Thank you!