Appomattox River Trail || University Blvd Trailhead

One of the reasons I started Navigate to Your Adventure. Was to inspire others to explore the world around them. For the last couple of months, life has very been busy. I was placing pressure on myself to follow my outdoor pursuits and to have something to post on the blog. I was coming up short, trying to plan out an epic adventure. It seemed that anything outdoors was further away than my time and commitments would allow.  

Sometimes, I have to remind myself of my own words. I thought that I needed to travel a few hours away to a remote trailhead for that perfect adventure. I need to adjust my self-imposed expectations and get out there and explore. In previous posts, such as Canal Walk, and Flatwater Kayaking the James River. I shared some of the wonders that can be had within the city. It is amazing what adventure you can find in an urban environment if you explore it.

About 25 minutes south of Richmond lies the Appomattox River. The Appomattox forms the boundaries of the Tri-Cities. The Cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell make up the Tri-cities. This area has been an underserved area for outdoor activities for years. But there are efforts underway to change that.

Appomattox River
A view of the Appomattox River from the University Blvd Trailhead.

So, let's take a journey together while I explore the Appomattox River. The Appomattox is a major tributary of the James River, by hiking the Appomattox River Trail. On this day, I am exploring a small section of the trail. Located down the hill from Virginia State University, a historically black college. 

Appomattox River Trail
Volunteers working on a native plant garden.

As soon as I crossed Chesterfield Ave to start my hike at the University Blvd Trailhead. I was greeted by a group of volunteers. Which came from the Master Naturalists of Pocahontas State Park and FOLAR. They were preparing to plant a native plant garden at the trailhead. The group of volunteers was putting the finishing touches on the trailhead. This was in preparation for the upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Appomattox River Trail
When the river is up this section can have class II and III whitewater.

A 19.2-mile section of the Appomattox is designated as a State Scenic River. It's hard to believe that, less than a half-mile from Virginia State Univerity. The river offers up its rugged beauty. The Appomattox River Trail is not completed. The best way for me to describe the trail. The trail interconnects a series of established small counties, city parks, and waterways. A better visual is the Map Guide from FOLAR. What I am looking forward to is that Petersburg will be the confluence of the Appomattox River Trail. The alternative Petersburg Loop of the East Coast Greenway, and the Fall Line Trail. A few blocks away from the University Blvd Trailhead is the Ettrick Amtrak station. Access from the train station will allow trail users a multi-modal experience of the trail. 

Appomattox River Trail
Overlooking the river and taking in the fall colors.

This section of the trail provides. Great access to a natural shoreline and some amazing viewpoints of the river. 

Appomattox River Trail
Target Rapids E1 and E2.

This wasn't going to be an all-day epic adventure. Matter-of-fact, this hike was more about developing my mobile photography skills. What is mobile photography? Well, my definition of mobile photography. It uses the camera and camera apps on your smartphone and action cameras such as GoPro to capture pictures and video. These two devices I have with me all the time. It makes sense to master what I have and then purchase a dedicated camera. It's amazing what you can achieve with a smartphone, action cameras, and mobile editing apps. I still have a lot to learn, and I want to provide better images for my post on the blog. All the images in this post were taken with my smartphone and GoPro. 

Appomattox River Trail #wildflowers
Not up on my wildflowers, but I believe it's from the Aster and Allies family. 

I took the time to slow down to observe what the trail and river had to offer. I was very surprised to find wildflowers in late October.

Appomattox River Trail
Freshwater Mollusks.

Exploring the things around you and finding that special place in your local area. Those are the things that recharge your outdoor spirit. There was so much to see and I only hiked about two miles. If you hiked the trail each season, the river and the trail would provide a different experience each time. 

Appomattox River Trail
I enjoyed this vantage point of the river so much. 

While I didn't get to the mountains to catch the fall colors this year. I was not disappointed by the fall colors on the banks of the Appomattox River. 

Appomattox River Trail
Flatwater area just above the rapids.

This quick hike was only 15 miles from the house and was everything I was looking for that day.  I hope that if you live in the area you get out and explore the Appomattox River Trail. If not, I hope this post inspires you to get out in your local area and explore and discover what is around you.

Activity: Photography, Day Hiking
Route/Place: In & Out/Appomattox River Trail-University Blvd Trailhead
Activity Type: Exploring nature, Urban adventure
Trip Results: Successful
Rating: Easy/kid friendly/ADA
Road Conditions: Road suitable for all vehicles

How Can You Help Out?

Head over to Friends of the Lower Appomattox River or  Fall Line Trail to get involved. Or get involved in your own favorite local trail.

Now It's Your Turn- 
Have you explored the Appomattox River Trail? What is your local favorite hike?

To see more photos of the Appomattox River Trail, navigate over to Navigate to Your Adventure on Flickr


Jan R said…
Thank you for exploring some of the trail and sharing with your readers. I spend much of my time at the PG County end of the trail and love that section but it is all beautiful. Thank you for making the point that it is accessible from the Ettrick Amtrak Station.

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