Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 14

T H E G O O D WA L K

WALKING AT MONTICELLO

Easy Walk,
Presidential
Delights

Thomas Jefferson's dedication to walking is palpable as you make the easy walk amid his grounds.
Text by LEONARD ADKINS | Photos by LEONARD AND LAURIE ADKINS

WHEN YOU

GO

THE WALK: The nearly effortless 2-mile
Saunders-Monticello Trail descends at an easy
five-degree grade through the mature forestlands of Monticello. Although a round-trip walk
would double the mileage, it would still be
nothing more than a moderately easy outing.
An additional 6 more miles of connecting trails
provide options for further explorations.
GETTING THERE: Take I-64 Exit 121 at
Charlottesville and turn onto Va. 20 South. Go
to the second stop light, turn left onto Va. 53
(Thomas Jefferson Parkway), continue for 1.75
miles, pass under the Saunders Bridge and turn
right. Follow this road to the parking lot for
Monticello. (If doing a car shuttle for a one-way
walk, you would have left one automobile in the
lot near the intersection of Va. 20 and Va. 53.)
MORE INFORMATION: A map of the
trail system is available on monticello-www.
s3.amazonaws.com/files/old/inline-pdfs/
TrailMap.pdf
14

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

"The object of
walking is to
relax the mind.
You should
therefore not
permit yourself
even to think
while you walk.
But divert your
attention by
the objects
surrounding you.
Walking is the
best possible
exercise."
"If the
body be feeble,
the mind will
not be strong.
The sovereign
invigorator of the
body is exercise,
and of all the
exercises walking
is best."

T

homas Jefferson made his thoughts on walking
abundantly clear in two separate letters to relatives in the 1780s (see excerpts at left). So, it seems
only appropriate that the Thomas Jefferson Foundation developed (free to the public) a system of
trails coursing through the grounds of his home
on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The upper portion of the Saunders-Monticello Trail,
the main route that all of the pathways tie into, begins as
a boardwalk. However, to call it a boardwalk is an understatement. With gently curving lines and an infrastructure that enables it to rise high above the sloping ground,
it reminded me of a miniature Linn Cove Viaduct on the
Blue Ridge Parkway, but one made of wood.
Information on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife
Trail's website (dgif.virginia.bov/vbwt) states that the
boardwalk's elevated position "leads to eye-to-eye contact
with many species more usually seen from below." Alas,
the thick early morning fog floating across the hillside
kept us from spotting any woodland creatures. Nevertheless, placards placed on trailside plants helped us fulfill
Jefferson's admonition to pay attention to the "objects
surrounding you." Two in particular caught my eye, boxelder and black haw. Both are here because Jefferson included them in his inventory of cultivated shrubs "not


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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 9
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 37
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 40
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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