Vision Statement

The Tunnel Foundation envisions the Blue Ridge Tunnel as a true national treasure that will be restored to a new era of historic reuse, prominence, and community value. The tunnel project will incorporate a universal access trail through the restored tunnel, including new trailheads on both sides of the Blue Ridge providing access for trail hikers, walkers, bicyclists, and other visitors. Ultimately, the Tunnel Foundation envisions this project linking to existing local trails, long-distance trail systems, and the historic communities on both sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


The Tunnel Foundation envisions the successful realization of the Tunnel’s incredible potential to advance numerous community goals:

  • Restoration & Preservation of Historic Resources
  • Education & Interpretation of Cultural Heritage
  • Expanding Outdoor Recreation & Providing Quality-of-Life Amenities
  • Advancing a Regional Greenway System & Alternative / Non-Motorized Transportation Routes
  • Strengthening the Region’s Position as “Gateway Community” to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park / Skyline Drive
  • Maximizing the Growing Regional Tourism Industries (Eco-Tourism, Recreation Tourism, Heritage Tourism, Agri-Tourism, and Arts, Culture, and Events Tourism)

The Tunnel Foundation envisions this project as being valuable, interesting, and exciting to a rich variety of future users:

  • Local school children on educational field trips
  • Local families and groups bonding through outdoor recreation
  • History buffs, railroad enthusiasts, and Civil War battlefield visitors
  • Hikers and bicyclists (including visitors from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park, long-distance travelers on U.S. Bicycle Route 76 and the Appalachian Trail, and local cycling clubs such as Milepost Zero)
  • Bird watchers, wildlife spectators, and photographers
  • Tourists of all niches: heritage tourists; agriculture enthusiasts; breweries and wineries samplers; nature lovers; outdoor recreationalists; and more …

Blue Ridge Tunnel Regional Concept