NORFOLK, V.A. – (September 2020) The Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) Foundation is pleased to announce the new obstacle course at the Plum Point Park Trailhead opens September 5. The official virtual ribbon ceremony via Facebook Live will be held on September 5 at 10 a.m. Special guests include Norfolk City Councilmembers Andria McClellan and Courtney Doyle, as well as a few dedicated athletes from Latitude Climbing + Fitness and The Adroit Collective ready to run an inaugural lap around the course.
The obstacle course will officially open for public enjoyment at 1 p.m. This project was made possible by the ERT Foundation with grant funding from KOMPAN and the SunTrust Foundation and additional support from ADS, Inc., Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architects, Elizabeth River Crossing, Furniture Classics, Miller’s Energy, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) and the Virginia Department of Forestry.
The site was originally owned by NRHA, and it sat vacant for many years with limited accessibility. The ERT Foundation worked with NRHA, and subsequently the land was donated to the city of Norfolk. The site has been developed as a public recreational space for the ERT’s first signature trailhead.
The Double Turbo Challenge Course by KOMPAN features a circuit of fun and challenging elements to improve agility, muscle tone and strength. Course elements include: custom hurdles and steps, pull-up station, vertical rope net, overhead ladder and balance beams. The durable,TerraSafe surface system is designed to safely cushion falls or stumbles. The course can typically be completed in minutes.
“We at KOMPAN are thrilled to help activate the Elizabeth River Trail with our fitness equipment,” said President Tom Enright. “The Trail will improve the community of Norfolk for many years to come”
Located between historic Fort Norfolk and Chelsea, neighboring working shipyards, the Sentara Healthcare/EVMS Medical Complex and Harbor’s Edge, this section of the ERT sees nearly 1100 users daily. The roughly one-acre site sits on the north side of the trail between Plum Point Park and the midtown tunnel and overlooks a beautifully restored wetland area on the Elizabeth River. Local firm, Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architects, worked in collaboration with ERT volunteers to design the site featuring native plants, benches, picnic tables and bike racks. New trees, including nine native longleaf pines donated by the Virginia Department of Forestry, will be planted this fall.
“We are thrilled to open the obstacle course when trail usage is at an all-time high,” said ERT Foundation Board Chair Kevin Murphy. “It’s a first-class amenity that sets the standard for future projects.”
“”I am so excited to see all of the ways that the ERT is bringing people together in fitness and community,” said Jill Brietweiser, runner and trail user. “The new obstacle course is just one of many free activities available along the beautiful ERT. I can’t wait to try it out!”
The Plum Point Park Trailhead is the first of 11 trailheads the ERT Foundation plans to develop, and the inclusion of KOMPAN’s dynamic obstacle course at this mid-point trail location is crucial for ERT’s rapidly growing fitness community. The Plum Point Park trailhead already features a newly opened ADA-accessible kayak launch, and construction will soon begin on dynamic playground equipment and a meditative walking labyrinth
Click on this link for new images of the obstacle course courtesy of ERT volunteer Jeff Helgesen. There are also two GoPro videos of Helgesen running the course. This one is a longer version. And this one is a one-minute version.
The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation’s mission is to promote, enhance and transform the Elizabeth River Trail into the most iconic urban riverfront trail in the country. The ERT runs 10.5 miles and connects businesses, historic attractions and 28 neighborhoods within a five-minute walk. The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections and 11 trailheads from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals along the Elizabeth River. Highlights include Harbor Park, Downtown Norfolk, Freemason Historic District, Sentara campus, Fort Norfolk, Chelsea, West Ghent, Lambert’s Point, Old Dominion University, Larchmont and Lochhaven. In 2018, the ERT Foundation launched a $4 million comprehensive capital campaign to raise funds to activate and enhance the 10.5-mile trail. It successfully achieved the goal in 2020. For more information, visit www.elizabethrivertrail.org.
City of Norfolk press release: norfolk.gov