Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

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Country Park and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

While in Greensboro, we visited Country Park and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

I used to walk around Country Park’s paved trail during the few months I lived in Greensboro several years ago. The paved trail is hilly and winds around man made lakes.
Many families, walkers, dog owners and bikers use this trail. There are paddle boats, fishing, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

What I consider the main entrance is north of the Natural Science Center’s parking lot on Lawndale Drive, so it was a nice addition to our trip to the science center. (There’s also a second entrance located south of the science center. The park runs behind the center.)
From Country Park, we walked along a trail that connects to the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. This national park has a paved walking, biking and driving trail and some dirt trails through woods on the property.
Throughout the park there are monuments, grave stones and interpretive signs commemorating the Revolutionary War battle here. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse weakened Cornwallis’ army and he surrendered several months later in Yorktown, Va.

Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Va.

This weekend was absolutely lovely! If you were in the N.C./Va. area, I hope you got outside to enjoy the sunny, warm days.

We took a day trip to Abingdon, Va. on Saturday to walk the Virginia Creeper Trail and to check out Main Street.

This is the trail head off of Pecan Street, Abingdon, Va.

Chris and I had visited Abingdon together before, but it was just a quick evening trip. I’d also been with friends to see “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Barter Theater and to the federal court house to cover a drug trial for work.

So this trip was a special treat.

The Virginia Creeper is off of Pecan Street, which is just down the street from the Martha Washington Hotel and Spa.

The 33-plus mile trail starts (or ends) in Abingdon and heads south to Whitetop, Va., which is in Grayson County and is the state’s highest peak. Lots of people ride bikes from Whitetop to Damascus — all straight down hill. A shuttle in Damascus will carry you up the mountain so you can ride back down.

In Abingdon, the trail is pretty much flat and goes by cow pastures and suburbia, including a large golf course community.

Here’s some shots:

Lots of people were out on the muddy trail Saturday.

This end of the trail is perfect for a good, simple hike, bike ride or stroll. I was glad to see so many people using it.

I’ll write about the businesses in a future post.

Canal Walk and other trails, Richmond, Va.

To stretch our legs while in Richmond, we checked out the Richmond Riverfront Trail and the Canal Walk in downtown.

We parked at the Great Shiplock Park, where the Richmond Riverfront Trail starts. The park is below Tobacco Row, which I talked about here.

Here’s some Shiplock Park shots:

Parking for the Shiplock is to the right and the Riverfront Trail is just beyond that. See the brick building in the background? That’s part of Tobacco Row.

Richmond Riverfront is part of the Virginia Capital Trail, which is expected to be completed in 2014. The Capital Trail will connect Richmond, Williamsburg and Jamestown — the state’s two former capitals and current capital.

From Great Shiplock Park, Richmond Riverfront Trail heads west, following along Dock Street. To the south of the trail is a canal and a railroad bridge. Sidney was pretty scared of the train that passed on the bridge overhead. Other than watching for glass shards and the train, we liked this part of our walk, though it’s not very scenic.

Tobacco Row is to the right. The canal is to the left.
I think this is actually part of the Canal Walk or this is where Riverfront and Canal join.

The paved Riverfront Trail connects to the Canal Walk 1/2 mile away. I enjoyed this part of the walk best.

The Canal Walk follows along two canals and is decorated with murals and historical markers up and down the trail. It’s just over a mile and sections of it is lined with benches and trees. I thought it was very pleasant and would be a good place to take a lunch to escape during a work day. I would love to see what the tree-lined walk looks like in the spring!

Someone seems bored with this section of the trail.

This is so pretty! I love it!

If you decide to explore these trails, the Richmond Slave Trail, which explores the history of the city’s pre-Civil War slave trade, is also nearby.

Old Salem Tavern and Edward McKay

Hello! Last weekend was very lovely. Chris, Sidney and I spent time outdoors on some trails and doing some Christmas shopping.

Here’s a quick recap of things we did and places you might enjoy checking out.

On Saturday we headed to Winston-Salem, N.C., where we walked around at Historic Bethabara (always a favorite), dined at Old Salem Tavern (loved it!) and bought a mountain of books at Edward McKay (first visit to this Winston store; we usually visit the Greensboro store).

Historic Bethabara
Historic Bethabara is were the Moravians originally settled before moving to Old Salem. We always enjoy walking around the gardens, old buildings and trails.

On this particular day, we finally made it to town while the visitor center/museum was open. We only had 10 mins. to browse around, but at least we got to see it. I really want to go back when we have more time to look at all the exhibits.

Old Salem Tavern
At Old Salem Tavern, which is located in Historic Old Salem, Chris had a steak and I had salmon in a pumpkin and sunflower seed crust.

The waitstaff dresses in period clothes and each table has a candle. I wouldn’t think, looking at the menu and set up, that this would be considered a family-friendly place, but families were there, including a mom with her two grown daughters and a toddler grandson and a family of five with children ages 7 and under who sat in the same room as us.

It’s great the restaurant is so accommodating that families fell free to come. The kids were really well-behaved, so the unique atmosphere and our experience wasn’t ruined by wild kids running around. Definitely grab a bite to eat here when you visit Old Salem!

Edward McKay
Next up — Edward McKay, a used book store with locations in many cities through N.C. I’d already taken Chris to the Greensboro location, where I used to visit when I was a student at UNCG. I had just heard about the Winston location and we went to check it out.

Jackpot! We bought $200+ worth of books for under $70. I so love used book stores! Chris found a lot of books. He said he can never find anything that interests him when we go to big box, new book stores, but this place is a gem.

I left with four text-like books, a knitting book, a color guide used for design and a dog training book. Chris bought a bunch of fiction and some non-fiction.

On Sunday we headed up to Christiansburg, Va., to do some Christmas shopping.

There’s not really that many cool places to tell you about, but we stopped at the Bed, Bath and Beyond where we bought some really cool dishes and a Ross Dress for Less (my favorite store!) where to grabbed some bed sheets and shirts. We were able to put a small dent in the gift lift.

On the way to the city, we stopped at Radford to walk on the Riverway Trail, a 3.5 mile, paved trail. It’s a very nice walk through the city’s Bissett and Wildwood parks. We’ve walked it a few times before and some of the trails at Wildwood Park. It’s a pretty neat park system for such a small city.

Bissett Park is a large recreation park with fields and playgrounds. On this day, we walked by several soccer games.

Wildwood Park is a wooded park with dirt paths going up and down the side of hills along a creek. We probably walk the most on this trail. It’s located across the road from Bissett Park, but the Riverway Trail connects both parks by a tunnel under the road.

I wish we had something like that in our town!

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Beaver Dam Trail and New River Trail at Pulaski

Hubby Chris, pup Sidney and I usually take our daily walk along the Beaver Dam Trail off of Beaver Dam Road, Hillsville, Va. A joint project of the town and Carroll County, the trail is a little over 2 miles long.

The town’s portion runs from Beaver Dam Road along the banks of the Beaver Dam Creek, woods and a couple of horse pastures. We frequently see wildlife, such as turkey, deer, groundhog, butterflies and birds. Among our favorite birds that visit the trail are king fishers, blue heron and cedar waxwings. Here is a swallowtail we saw today:

There’s also an abundant of flowers to enjoy, such as this cardinal flower I took earlier today:

You can also find lamb’s ear, may apples, jewel weed, joe pye weed and flame azalea among the many flora in the area.

But sometimes we all need a change of scenery, so we’ve been exploring areas we haven’t been to before or haven’t visited in awhile.

Among those have been the Pulaski end of the New River Trail State Park in Pulaski, Va., and Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The New River Trail is 39 miles and runs from Fries, Va., to Pulaski. There’s also a trail extension that runs to Galax, Va. visitors can bike, hike or ride horses on this trail that runs along the New River. It’s built on a former railroad track bed.

Historic Bethabara Park is a National Historic Landmark and is the 1753 site of Moravians, a German-speaking, Protestant settlement. The park offers 183-acres of wildlife preserve with 26 species of birds. Besides the 20 miles of trails, museum, reconstructed village, archaelogical ruins visitors can explore, the park offers a varieties of activities like yesterday’s Apple Festival.