with the ghosts of conflict virginia civil war trails
Civil War sites abound in history-rich Virginia. But finding
them and interpreting them was a job left to the visitor. Many
war-related places were unknown outside their vicinities and
others faced possible destruction by commercial and residential
development. Wasn’t there some way to save the sites at
risk, capitalize on the vast untapped tourism potential, and
make the tourists experience more pleasant and informative?
What Happened Next
The Virginia Civil War Trails (VCWT) initiative was launched
in 1997 to develop and market Civil War trails in Virginia. VCWT
efforts to date include:
- developing and installing trailblazer
- producing engaging, user-friendly brochures
- developing and
installing interpretive signs
- hosting a toll-free number for
- sending out visitor information
- placing print and media advertisements
- producing a VCWT website
- maintaining trails
- Visitors can now experience the story of the Civil War
in Virginia, and the program brings visitors to previously unvisited parts of the state.
- Visits to Virginia’s
Civil War sites increased from 500,000 in 1996 to 580,000
- 50 new waysides have been created to provide vantage
points for Civil War sites.
- The VCWT program has grown to
include trails in MD, NC, SC, WV, TN and parts of PA.
- VCWT served
as the model for a new Civil War Trails organization in
- The trails build community pride and grassroots support for Civil War preservation.
- As of November 2009, the program included 1009 trail sites (908 of which have been interpreted for the first time, and 100 of which are accessible to the public for the first time).
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National Trust for Historic Preservation ®