Discovering Nature On The Local Trail

Something I didn’t know I would experience is not only am I discovering nature, even though that might be obvious, but it has helped me feel more inspired when it comes to my pyrography.

One of the local trails, the Saunders-Monticello Trail at Kemper Park is filled with native hardwood forest, deep ravines, and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as well as Charlottesville if you come at the right time of the year.

Trail Overview

Saunders-Monticello Trail is located just a few miles from Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and is perfect for nature lovers.

Kemper Park occupies 89 acres of land along the Thomas Jefferson Parkway. The park is designed for passive recreational use, such as walking, jogging, biking, and bird watching. Its main features are:

I like to go to this trail for when I need a little bit easier terrain I can create different lengths of hikes, in one week I’ve managed to go twice and hike 3.68 one day and then 4.67 on a different day.

Trailhead and Access

There are two parking lots for available for trail users, one located on Route 53 and another on Route 20. Please follow all parking signs.  The Sanders-Monticello Trail is accessible year-round from both lots. From the overflow lot, trail users walk through a tunnel under Thomas Jefferson Parkway.

You can look at the map here and along the nature path you will see posts with different colored triangles, depending on what path you take, and a QR code that will open the map on your phone.

Trail Conditions and Difficulty

The trails are well-maintained, and with some parts being wide and flat gravel the path makes it easy enough. I would so that the trails are on the easy to moderate level.

And if you are here discovering Nature, nature will be naturing. I came across this little snake just hanging out and warming itself in the sun.

Depending on the trail of your choice, you will cross interesting boardwalk sections.

Note that dogs are not allowed on any section of the wood boardwalks. While dogs can be on the nature trails, they are not welcome on the boardwalk and they must be leashed at all times.

Discovering Nature On The Local Trail

Scenery and Points of Interest

As you hike along the trail, you’ll come across several interpretive signs that provide information about different trees and plants here and there.

Scenic Charlottesville

Scenic Overlooks

One of the highlights of the trail is the stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several scenic overlooks that offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including Charlottesville. Now this is best when there are little to no leaves on the trees otherwise you’ll just see green.

Some other highlights here that are worth checking out while you’re there is the arboretum which was designed to showcase trees and shrubs native to Albemarle County, Virginia.

And do a quick pit stop at the Carter Overlook which is a small, circular plaza, paved with bluestone and ringed by a low seat wall. It’s a great spot to eat a snack or your lunch.

Hiking Tips

Wear comfortable shoes with good traction! Even though the trail is well maintained, some sections on the Jason Stevens trail cross over some small water sections they are not big at all but having good shoes avoids blisters!

I recommend looking at the map and planning your hike in terms of what miles you would like to do and which way you’d like to go. You can go on a short walk of 0.30 miles or a long hike by combining different trails.

If you are ever in the area and love nature, history, and beautiful scenery, this could be the spot for you. And there are plenty of spots for a picnic making it a great space for a day of adventure and relaxation.

German by birth, living, hiking, and camping in the US. Addicted to Coffee. Enjoys going to concerts. Also, Artist + Author. I love to encourage you to explore beyond your backyard. 

Let’s be Friends

This is the spot where most people give you something for free in return for your email.

I’ll just say that if you’re a fan (or want to become a fan) of Ridge Raven, enter your name and email below and I promise you won’t regret it (but if you do, you can always unsubscribe and send me over some hate mail).

    Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Follow us on Social Media