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.
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.