Finally--a sunny, warm afternoon on a weekend! Today we ventured to the Chesapeake Arboretum. I found out about this place via Doug Gelbert, author of the "Hike with your Dog" books, blog and website. The arboretum is a treasure just off the main drag of Battlefield Blvd.
The paths are wood chips--which are very easy to walk on for both humans and canines.
I was surprised that we had the whole trail to ourselves on such a beautiful day! There are 3.5 miles of trails with a stream running through the middle. You can download a copy of the trail map.
There are bridges every so often so you can cross back and forth over the stream. The flowing stream is clear and provides some nice water sounds for the walk.
All the trees are covered with these vines. Probably not good for the trees! The February tree of the month is the Red Maple.
There is a lake about halfway through. Lake Hughes. I was surprised at all the McMansions around the lake. This 45 acre woodland is surrounded by houses and shopping centers but when you're on the trails it feels like you are in the mountains somewhere. This is the kind of place where I would have played as a kid.
There is a whimsical sculpture of two otters laying on their backs, eating some fish at the trailhead. The dogs were hoping that we'd see some otters on our walk but no luck!
We went to the Inn at Little Washington to celebrate our wedding anniversary this week. Dogs are NOT allowed at the inn--but they did recommend a great boarding kennel close by where they could spend the night. We picked them up the next morning and traveled to Barboursville Winery on our way home.
In the middle of the week in the winter--Barboursville was not very crowded. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed in the tasting room. Barboursville Winery has a really great winemaker, some great wines and a wonderful restaurant called the Palladio. Since it was winter and I didn't get the greatest photos--you should check out their website.
While my husband was in the tasting room with a roaring fire, the dogs and I decided to walk around the vineyards. He tasted 15 wines for $5. He could have tasted more wines and he could have kept his glass if he wanted to.
We walked to the ruins. The ruins are the former mansion of James Barbour, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of War and Virginia Governor. The mansion was designed by Thomas Jefferson, one of Barbour's friends. Everything except the masonry walls and the columns of the porticos burned in a fire on Christmas day in 1884.
The vines aren't very pretty in the middle of winter--but the dogs were still interested in checking them out. As we were walking through the vineyards, I could hear workers in the vineyards whistling while they worked! It must be a happy place to work!