Sunday, February 8, 2009
River Overlook Hike
It got into the 60’s yesterday (with more of the same to come...ah, Virginia), so we decided to take advantage of the warm and sunny weather with a hike in the woods. We took the recommendation of commenter Larry G, and followed his directions to a hike that starts near the “Spirit of Freedom” Garden of the unlikely-to-be-built-in-my-lifetime Slavery Museum. The garden itself is a very small plot of land with a path that winds past informational panels, with some African art and animals on the hillside, and at the center, a 5,000 lb. sculpture depicting a slave’s reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation. Here is a slideshow of the garden on the museum’s website.
The hike starts within view of the interstate and one of Celebrate Virginia’s many construction sites, but within a few steps you dip down out of view of the development and are in the woods. The marked trail runs along the ridge above the river, and eventually winds down to the river’s edge. Because of the abrupt thaw, the path was quite muddy, and footing in places was tricky, at least without proper hiking shoes, so we didn’t go all the way down to the river. The winter landscape did give us a nice view of the river, which I’m sure is obscured once the trees are fully in leaf. We’ll put this hike back on our to-do list for the future, along with a few other riverside hikes in the area.
Walk up the dirt road to the left of the Freedom Garden, and when you see this sight, turn left to the woods:
The garden in winter, with the statue called “Hallelujah” by Ken Smith of Staunton, Virginia:
Some of the wooden carvings:
Here's what most of Celebrate Virginia looks like these days. Uh oh...6 more weeks of winter.