Sunday, November 10, 2013

High Bridge Trail State Park

When I woke up yesterday, the miracles of chiropractic care and ice had my back feeling almost normal, so I decided on a hike on a nice late fall day.  I didn't want to drive all the way to the mountains and do something rugged until I test the back out.  So I went to High Bridge Trail State Park, a converted rails to trails project, near Farmville.  The trail is 31 miles long and ideal for walking and bike riding.  I don't think that the state park encompasses the entire trail length, but it has the part with the High Bridge, which looms 125 feet over the Appomattox River and is nearly a half mile long.  And that is the high point, literally and figuratively, of this hike.

The map below shows my route, just over three miles out and three back.  It also shows thumb nails of three of the photos later on.

The current bridge was built in 1914, the one before that in 1853.  It must have been an engineering and construction marvel.  The original bridge was involved in military action just days before Lee's surrender of his army in April, 1865.
Here is a view back after I had crossed about a third of the bridge.
The Appomattox River far below is little more than a wide stream at this point in its journey to meet the James River at City Point in Hopewell.  From there, it will have a date with the Chesapeake Bay.
Here is a view back showing some of the outside of the bridge.
If you click on the photo, you will see the bridge on the left the river right of center.  You can see that peak foliage is well past here.
Here is the gravel trail looking back from the south.
This nice field was one of the open views along my hike.
 If you look at the topo map above, you might notice a short branch on my hike.  I saw a narrow and rutted gravel road climbing through the woods and decided to see where it went.  After maybe 0.2 miles, I came to two parked trucks and several guys.  I asked them if it would be disturbing to any hunters if I continued.  The oldest said to me, "You shouldn't be walking back this way.  Stick to the trail.  There are people hunting in here."  We chatted for a minute or so and then I turned back.  I didn't want to disturb anyone, nor did I want to be mistaken for a deer.


  1. Wow that is some bridge. I'd love to walk it.
    Smart not to walk where hunters are!!

  2. It is pretty cool, and as easy as hike as you will ever fine. I think in the spring or earlier in the fall, the scenery from the bridge would be really fine.

    It is tempting fate to be out walking in the woods in deer season especially.