Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Friday Lunch Walk

Because of my work last weekend, the same work that required me to cancel my four day backpacking trip, my boss told me to take a couple of hours off yesterday, so I used the time to take a three hour lunch break and get in a downtown hike on a brisk but lovely fall day.  I decided to use my time to walk near the James River, heading first to Belle Isle - my favorite spot in the city - and from there through James River Park.

I walked a total of 7.25 miles, taking the route marked in purple below, and starting and ending at the star where my office is.  I crossed the river on footbridges, having not quite acquired the ability to walk on water!  You can see where I did the loop trail on Belle Isle as part of my walk.  The route marked in red is the Richmond Liberty Trail that I walked this past spring.
My first stop was for lunch on the rocks by the Hollywood Rapids.  Here is a panoramic view of the James at this point.
And here is a close-up of part of the rapids.
After (reluctantly) leaving the rapids and doing the Belle Isle loop, I headed over to the southside of the river and picked up a path through the city's James River Park.  A good many years back, this was supposedly a pretty rough spot, frequented by drug users and associated ilk, and a good place to get mugged or robbed at gunpoint.  The city has done a great job turning this into a much-loved urban park.  I eventually was on the Buttermilk Spring Trail, which I have hiked the length of before.
After a while, I ended up in Forest Hills Park, where I have never been.  I walked about a mile in the park, and can see that I will need to get back to explore some more.  Along the way, I ran into this fellow.
Is there any time of year better than fall?
I had to turn around at the lake in Forest Hill Park to get back to work, and once I left that park and re-entered the James River Park, I got back on the Buttermilk Spring Trail.  You can see how it got its name.  I wonder how many modern day Americans can imagine not having a refrigerator?
As I crossed the utility footbridge back to Belle Isle, still maybe 1.5 miles from work, I saw this great blue heron catching some rays along the quiet backwater portion of the James.  I had to zoom my camera to its digital maximum to get this close.


  1. A great way so spend a few extra hours. You got a good long walk in and got to enjoy such pretty scenery along the way.

  2. It was a wonderful way to spend an extended lunch. I wish I could every day, especially in these remaining fall days!