The Mariners’ Museum Park offers visitors a 550-acre naturally wooded, quiet and tranquil place to walk, run or picnic, and is the largest privately maintained park in the country that is open for free to the public. Within the park, which was created in 1930 by museum founder Archer Huntington, is the 167-acre Lake Maury named after Matthew Fontaine Maury a renowned 19th century oceanographer and Virginia native. Circling the lake is the five-mile Noland Trail, dedicated in 1991 as a gift from the Noland Family. The trail is owned and maintained by the museum, with ongoing support from the Noland Family, and offers has fourteen bridges, picnic areas, benches, handicap access, and mile markers. This fall two local organizations are offering free outings on the Noland Trail for the public to experience the trail from a different perspective.
The Hampton Roads Bird Club is holding bird watching workshops on the trail that are free and open to the public. Join club members on a trail walk to learn how to identify local species and about their natural history from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 24 and on Sunday, October 22. Bring your binoculars for an up close look at the birds.
Join the James River Camera Club for a Sunset Photography Walk on Tuesday, October 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. where you can learn how to photograph the setting sun at the famous Lions Bridge. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 the club is holding a Fall Photography Nature Walk on the Noland Trail. Pick up some tips on how to take great photos of Lake Maury and the changing leaves. Photographers of all abilities are welcome at these free events, which are recommended for ages 10 and up. Please bring your own photography equipment.
The Mariners’ Museum Park & Trail are open to the public from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information visit www.marinersmuseum.org
Photo credits: The Mariners' Museum