Lynchburg’s riverfront is attracting a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts like Don Dailey. His bike club travels from Nelson County to ride on the Blackwater Creek trail.
“We just love this whole area," said Dailey. "It’s just a nice safe place to ride.”
While he's in town, he spends his money along Jefferson Street.
"We go to a different restaurant every single time we're here," Dailey said.
City officials hope visitors like Dailey will venture into other parts of downtown, by following the "Bluffwalk," a $5-million landscaping project that is currently under construction.
Brick paths, staircases, and landscaping are being built on the hillside between Ninth and Washington Streets.
By installing ramps and sidewalks, city officials hope it will be easier for pedestrians to navigate the steep and rugged terrain of downtown.
The walkways also connect with abandoned buildings that were previously hard to access.
"The Bluffwalk will open up a lot of space that wasn't accessible to businesses before," said Stephanie Keener, events and communications coordinator for Lynch's Landing, a group that encourages downtown revitalization.
Keener hopes the Bluffwalk with inspire people to purchase and redevelop old buildings throughout the downtown area.
"We hope to encourage new businesses to locate down there," Keener said. "There is retail space and people will be living down there in loft apartments."
Cynthia Fann lives in a loft next to the Bluffwalk. The project gives her a better connection to businesses on Main Street.
"The walkway itself has been fantastic, because we have streets that go uphill," Fann said. "Now, you don't have to slide down the hill to go up and down."
When the project is finished next year, city officials hope it will help the downtown economy reach new heights.
"Downtown is going through a renaissance of sorts," said Keener. "Now is the time to get your foot in the door and get your investments made."