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