Conway Robinson SF, VA Day Hike


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This 3.1 mile easy circuit day hike occurred on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Participants were Dave McIntire, Tom O'Brien, Mike Calabrese, Glenn Spain, Becky Spain and Randall Bartlett. Total crew of 6.

As usual, we met at POPUMC at 8:00 AM sharp, carpooled over to Conway Robinson State Forest in Gainesville, VA, then started the hike around 8:30 AM. The weather was perfect! 64 degrees when I left my house, 69 degrees when we started this hike and mid 70's when we finished. And we had low humidity as well. Thank You, God! It was even a bit breezy during most of this hike which made it even more pleasurable.

This was basically a 3.1 mile loop along the blue trail that went roughly around the perimeter of this forest. The trail was well blazed and mostly very level. We hiked at a good pace and talked about this and that along the way. The parking lot was crowded. There were other hikers, runners, bicyclists and famillies with those high tech running strollers.

We didn't see any animals but we saw a lot of interesting trees and plants. We either passed or were passed by at least 15 other people in this park. We saw houses that bordered the park, heard traffic sounds from US29, I66 and from a nearby construction site. The most unusual thing that we saw was what looked like a teepee frame made out of long branches. That was a missed photo opp on my part. Overall it was a great day to get out, get some exercise, see nature up close and have some fellowship time with others. We got done before 10:00 AM. So we made good time.

There were many interpretive signs throughout the forest. They told various facts about the trees in the forest. The signs also had QR codes on them. These are specially designed graphics that are designed to be read by a smartphone app. They usually link to a web site and convey additional information about the area. I could not get the QR codes to be read by my smart phone in the park. However, after I got home I enlarged one of the QR codes that I took a picture of and then was able to read the information associated with it.

Even though this is a state forest, it seemed more like a local park with all of the people that we saw having good walks, runs or rides. I'm happy that CRSF has become a nice, family oriented area. With more development happening in and around Gainesville, VA it is an oasis for people to enjoy.

Who was Conway Robinson?

(From the Virginia Department of Forestry web site) The Forest's namesake was a 19th century lawyer, historian and author who argued approximately 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Born in 1805, he became a court clerk apprentice at the age of 14; published his first book at 21; help found the Virginia Historical Society at 26; led the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad when he was 31; was elected to the Richmond City Council at 44, and served in the House of Delegates when he was 47. Robinson died in 1884 and is buried in Richmond's historic Hollywood Cemetery. The Conway Robinson Park Memorial Association sought to perpetuate the memory of this distinguished Virginian through the development of a state forest.

Mike C

Group picture before the hike
  Group picture before the hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

The group on the blue trail
  The group on the blue trail.
   By Mike Calabrese

More on the blue trail   More on the blue trail.
   By Mike Calabrese

Interpretive signs with QR codes   Interpretive signs with QR codes.
   By Mike Calabrese

Forest Pavillion
  Forest Pavillion.
   By Mike Calabrese



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