Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The fall weather has been perfect for some hiking, and in recent weeks, we’ve explored a couple of paths along the Rapphannock River. If you start from the small parking area across from the canoe rental place at the bottom of the Fall Hill Ave. hill, there is a wide trail that leads along the river heading west. My kind of hiking—easy. Plus lots of scenic views of the river. You pass the site of the now-demolished Embrey Dam and eventually wind your way under the I-95 river crossing to...voila!...the site of the old quarry swimming hole. I used to hear stories from the locals about swimming here, but never knew precisely where it was. Tales (exaggerated?) of teenage exploits that included jumping off the quarry’s high cliff walls into the small lake were legendary. To get to the quarry swimming hole, you pass a lot of “no trespassing” signs, but my understanding is that as long as you are just quietly walking the trail, you’ll be okay. Swimming at the quarry (oldtimers’ stories notwithstanding) can be dangerous (a UMW student drowned a few years ago), and is strictly verboten.
Site of the old Embrey Dam, with marker naming this section of the river the "John W. Warner Rapids" (because politicians can't get enough recognition).
Nice wide path for easy hiking.
Another quarry view.