Monday, November 7th, 2011...8:53 am

Following in the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau

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I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Where can a John Tyler Community College student go to find woods and fields for sauntering? As it happens woods and fields are actually quite nearby.

Sallee Creek at Powhatan Wildlife Management Area. Photo by Laura Davis

•    Amelia Wildlife Management Area: “an excellent place for wildlife viewing, nature photography and hiking.”
•    Powhatan Wildlife Management Area located 25 miles west of Richmond offers trails that meander through trees and meadows—a good place to “hear and possibly see owls.”

•    Pocahontas State Park in southern Chesterfield has trails for hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders as well as camping.
If you are willing to go a little farther to find solitude try:
•    Cold Harbor National Battlefield Park with seven miles of maintained walking trails covering forests, fields and wetlands.
•    Ragged Mountain Natural Area near Charlottesville has seven miles of hiking trails through mature pines and hardwoods and tranquil views of the reservoir. Reportedly a favorite hike of Edgar Allen Poe during his student days at U.Va.

Ragged Mountain Reservoir photo by Laura Davis

•    Richmond Canal Walk: Despite its urban setting you can find glimpses of nature and even solitude (particularly if you go on a Sunday morning!)

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