And the boys were off!
First we stumbled upon an old tobacco barn.
Complete with a wooden wagon inside.
Pierce intuitively said that it smelled like smoke inside.
And finally the official start to the trail.
The first part of it meandered beside a beautiful creek, and the creek is called the Jack-O-Lantern branch, which is how the trail got it's name.
We couldn't have asked for a more lovely day.
Taking a little break and listening to the stream.
The trail loop was a total of 2 miles long, and had markers throughout that you could follow along with a brochure. The markers told us information about Booker T. Washington and his family, about foraging for food in the woods, about local trees, bees, and more interesting Virginia tidbits. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
However, these two seemed to lose their sense of adventure.
Yes, there was trouble in paradise. X2.
So I took turns carrying them on my shoulders for a bit.
Finally we found the old Sparks cemetary.
The simple fieldstones used to mark the graves don't tell much. I could read a letter or two on them.
The brochure said that slaves frequently used forested ridges like this one for cemetaries. But the origin of the "Sparks" name has been lost in oral tradition.
And if this slithery guy knows the secret, he wasn't telling. In fact, he was so quiet I practically stepped right on him. Lucky for me, he was a friendly sort of guy. He hung out while I examined the stones and warned the boys not to mess with him.
And finally, we descended to a field, and down a big hill, and we'd made our big loop.
Juice boxes all around!
I think we'll go hiking here again. It's a beautiful spot and we didn't see another soul.