Whether you are on foot, peddling a bicycle, paddling a kayak, or driving a car, a host of trails will guide you to new experiences in Charles City County. Follow the trail of an historic figure like Captain John Smith or Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Hunt for prothonotary warblers or spotted salamanders. Discover African American history hidden in the landscape. Appreciate the architectural details of a home on the National Register of Historic Places. Let a trail be your guide!
American Presidents: Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
The American Presidents Travel Itinerary features the White House and more than 70 other sites nationwide that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Begin your exploration of the lives and contributions of all 43 American presidents here in Charles City at Berkeley Plantation, the birthplace of William Henry Harrison, America’s 9th president, and at Sherwood Forest Plantation, the home of John Tyler, America’s 10th president.
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - James River Water Trail
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network connects over 140 museums, parks, refuges, historic sites and water trails around the Chesapeake watershed. Eight Charles City County sites are noted on the James River Water Trail, Lower Section (Shirley, Rice Center, Berkeley, Westover, Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, Kittiewan Wildlife Refuge, Fort Pocahontas, and the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area). In addition, Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park is a Cheasapeake Bay Gateway site. For more information visit www.baygateways.net.
Freedom’s Jubilee Driving Tour
Freedom’s Jubilee explores 400 years of African American History in this county through a series of exhibits connected to a driving trail. You can save gas and take a virtual tour online. Or you can see the landscape come alive when you learn the stories of slaves imported from Africa and the legion of their descendants who have lived and labored to transform this land.
James River Plantations – A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
If you love the architecture of old homes the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary is the site to visit before you visit the county. Ten Charles City County homes that are open to the public are listed in this itinerary which describes the unique architectural features and history of each one. Click here to find the itinerary.
Whether you visit by boat or by car the John Smith Adventures on the James Water and Driving Trail offers maps and exhibits that will introduce you to the first encounters between European and Native peoples along the James River. Pick up a map at Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park or at the Visitor Center or click here to learn more.
Turn: The Trail
The Trail is a series of Colonial and Revolutionary War-era attractions where this made-for-television Revolutionary War spy thriller was filmed. Fans of the series will recognize scenes from the series when they visit Kittiewan, Shirley and Westover Plantations.
Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail
Seven Charles City sites (Berkeley Plantation, Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery, Lawrence Lewis Jr. Park, North Bend Plantation, Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation, Sherwood Forest Plantation, and Westover) are a part of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. For information about the Birding & Wildlife Trail and the birds and wildlife to be seen, click here and look for the Coastal Area and Plantation Loop.
Charles City is a great place to watch for birds. The Audubon Society has been conducting a Christmas Bird Count for more than 100 years. For more than the past 50 years the Richmond Audubon Society has conducted the count in 15-mile diameter area called the Hopewell Sector which includes Shirley, Berkeley, Westover and the Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery. In the last count for which data is available online, 37 bird watchers in the Hopewell sector reported sighting 103 species. The rough count included 61 Bald Eagle sightings. For more information on bird counts since 1954 click here.
The Virginia Capital Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect the historic Virginia capitals of Jamestown and Williamsburg with the contemporary capital of Richmond. When completed, the trail will run east to west along the Scenic Route 5 corridor. The trail is already completed from the Chickahominy River to Jamestown. The Charles City Courthouse phase from the courthouse to Kimages Wharf Road is also now open. Construction of the Sherwood Forest phase which will run from the courthouse to the bridge over the Chickahominy has begun and is scheduled to be completed by October 2015. The New Market Heights phase which will run from Kimages Wharf Road to Varina is expected to begin constructionin late 2012/early 2013 with completion in spring 2015.
Follow the national network that traces the movements of Union and Confederate forces as they crossed Charles City County. To learn more click here.