|Edgar Allen Poe
hiked the Ragged Mountains, a particularly rocky section of the
Mountain range extending south and west of Charlottesville, Virginia,
his years as a student at the University of Virginia.
The mountains are the setting for his "Tale of the Ragged Mountains," in which Augustus Bedloe has a strange experience:
Mountain Natural Area --
managed as a public natural area reserved for quiet hiking, fishing,
wildlife observation by the private Ivy Creek Foundation -- is a
forest of mature oak, hickory, poplar, pine, and maple trees
two lakes and more than four miles of shoreline. Seven miles
trail lead through the forest, encircling Charlottesville Reservoir and
providing an overview from a rocky peak (the trail gains more than 300
feet in the first half-mile). The trail covers is 5.9 miles with an
3.5-mile loop. Hiking time is approximately three hours.
"Traversing a creek-fed marsh on the southwestern tip of the lake, look for sourwood trees growing along the water's edge. Tread lightly through this marsh, and you may spot waterfowl, otters, and turtles before they spot you."
Natural Area is closed and locked
at sunset. Hikers are advised not attempt the entire loop
in the day.
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Richmond
by Nathan Lott
Menasha Ridge Press, 2005
Residents of Richmond, Petersburg, Williamsburg, or Fredericksburg -- and visitors to the area -- will find plenty of good reasons to strap on some hiking boots and get outdoors in this helpful guide.
Days hikes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty are profiled here, from a short stroll at Crump Park to a nearly 20-mile march on Rivanna Trail. Hikes across prominent Civil War sites include:
Belle and Brown's Island
Best of the profiled hikes for families with children include:
Bear Creek Lake State
There's also plenty of trails for joggers or trail runners, birders and wildlife watchers, and even the wheelchair-bound. Each trail description includes maps and GPS coordinates, directions for finding the trailhead, an elevation profile, and two or three pages of background information and advice on what to look for and expect to find.
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