While walking through the Historic Area is probably our favorite of all outside activities, we have been spending a lot of time on the nearby creeks, and on the James River around Jamestown. Today we’re sharing our Top 3 best outdoor activities, social distancing included!
-Bike the Capital Trail- go up to 100 miles if you take the round trip to Richmond. Many people are enjoying shorter legs of the trail, making time for food and drink stops along the way!
-You can pedal the 3 or 5 mile Jamestown Island Loop.
-The Colonial Parkway is beautiful, and we have had a number of guests bike all the way to Yorktown; the views are stunning!
-NOTE: If you don’t have bikes with you, you can always rent them at the James City Marina (on the trail).
-In addition to bikes, the James City Marina rents kayaks and paddleboards! This marina is located on Powhatan Creek, a beautiful tributary that leads directly into the James and wraps around the backside of Jamestown Island.
Fun fact: you can actually travel into the island on many of those little creeks and tributaries that riddle the marshes of Jamestown Island. You’ll see osprey, bald eagles, blue herons, and an abundance of other wildlife, all along the waters that carried Captain John Smith and the first settlers over 400 years ago!
-Have your own gear? Great! You need not look far from our front door to begin your venture on Historic Williamsburg’s waterways- just head south on Henry St. to the College Landing Park, once the site of a great port that served the City of Williamsburg as early as 1699. This beautiful, peaceful park sits on the headwaters of College Creek, perfect for launching watercraft. For the serious kayaker, you can paddle all the way down to the James River!
Naturally, we’ve spent a lot of time walking locally this year. The William and Mary College campus remains at the top of our list when it comes to a leisurely walk…
-The historic heart of the college is definitely the Wren Building, with its tree-lined walkways that always seem to echo with the footsteps of students from the past 300 years.
-What’s more, the “Sunken Gardens” in the rear of the Wren is ringed by huge boxwoods. At one entrance you can see some of the oldest trees on campus!
-Beyond this area, you’ll find the Crim Dell Bridge. This romantic locale stretches across a pond, and it’s rumored that two people walking across the bridge while holding hands ensures you will be lifelong friends. If you kiss, you will marry.
-For the botanist among you, why not take this self-guided tour to help you identify some of the 300 species and varieties of woody plants!
-Lake Matoaka spans a broad swath of the south side of campus. You could probably spend the better part of a day just wandering along the lake and its surrounding trails.
Check out this link, Tribetrek, which has a great deal of info on hiking the W&M campus!
Here are a few more of our favorite hiking spots!
-Just past the Colonial Capitol building on Francis St. is the house that John and Abby Rockefeller stayed in when they visited Williamsburg. Behind the house are several trails that are easy to traverse, surrounded by old hardwood trees and little bridged streams- a truly novel escape out of time! There always seem to be surprising beauties of nature on the trail year-round. If you walk to the last point of the loop, you will come upon the Colonial Williamsburg Green golf course, a great place to stop for a snack or meal.
-For those few hot August days still left, the new museums at CW are now open for all-day air-conditioned exploration! You can even find some of the local craftspeople working there, anxious to engage in discussion. Another lovely place to spend the better part of a Williamsburg day!
-Most exciting- the Custis Square archaeological dig is ongoing and open to the public with interpretation. It’s perhaps the most expansive dig to take place here in decades, covering a four-acre area and expected to continue through 2025. Audiences are welcomed, and there’s nothing so exciting as being on-site at a moment of discovery!
The City of Williamsburg has put together information on their website, Hiking Trails, offering you more info on many additional Williamsburg walks.
Enjoy the end of summer, and we hope to see you out on the trail (or the water) soon!