Monday, January 20, 2014

Bright Hope Trail, Pocahontas State Park

Thursday at work, my hiking buddy Hawkeye suggested that a few of us go for a hike Sunday (yesterday).  So we agreed to meet up at 11:00 at Pocahontas State Park, southwest of Richmond.
At the parking lot, there was a guy and his five Samoyed sled dogs getting ready for a wheeled sled ride along the trails.  How those dogs could bark!  They were so excited, and deafening.
Hawkeye selected our route, the Bright Hope Trail, which made for a pleasant and easy 5.4 mile hike.  It was a good first hike of 2014.  We started and ended at the orange star and walked counter-clockwise.
You can see that while there was some uphill and downhill, it was pretty minor with total elevation loss and gain of less than 400 feet.  Plus the trail was nicely graded and smooth, with no roots or rocks to trip over.
This was my first chance to try my new trekking poles.  The photo shows one folded up, with is a big reason that I wanted this pair.  They will easily fold up into a pack or suitcase.  They don't have shock absorbency, but I really liked them.
My hiking comrades, Hawkeye and Larry, pose near the start of our hike through the Piedmont forests of Virginia on a beautiful winter day.
There is an old cemetery along the way, the Gill-Dance Cemetery.  It was sad to see tombstones of so many very young children, many under six months of age.
I laughed when I saw an old man in this tree (with a distorted nose).  I could see an eye and mouth.  It reminded me of the ents in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
Most of the hike was forest just like this.
At the end of this hike, Hawkeye suggested we do another shorter hike of about 2.5 miles around Beaver Lake, but I foolishly declined.  I wanted to get home to watch the AFC Championship Game, which I thought was going to be a great game and a classic quarterback duel.  I was wrong.  It was a one-sided game and only one of the quarterbacks played great.  I was really annoyed with myself to not go on the second hike.  But anyway, I had fun hiking the Bright Hope Trail on a pretty day.


  1. What pretty dogs.
    Looks like a great hike. I've seen people walking with trekking poles. I don't think I'd like them. I like having NOTHING in my hands.

  2. The dogs were beauties. I didn't need the trekking poles for this hike, but brought them because they were new. Believe me, on steep trails in the mountains, they are invaluable. I became a convert a few years ago. Art