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Curtis Memorial Park,
Hartwood, VA Day Hike

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This hike at Curtis Memorial Park, Hartwood, VA along the Orange Trail on Saturday, August 7, 2021 was rated at 3.1 miles on the park map but only 2.6 miles on the AllTrails app. It felt more like 2.6 miles. Participants today included Dave McIntyre, Tom O'Brien, Laura Bartlett, Randall Bartlett, Julie Turner, Mary Gordon, Abby Brue, Jason Brue and me.

We met at the rear parking lot of Prince of Peace United Methodist Church and left precisely at 8:00 AM as usual. Taking backroads, we made it to Curtis Memorial Park by 8:50 AM. Jason and his daughter Abby Brue joined us at the park. We had a great turnout today of nine people. Julie Turner was our newest hiker. We enjoyed her company and hope that she becomes one of the 'regular crew'.

I was concerned about the weather. We were right on the edge of a low pressure system producing rain that was passing east of I95. The weather forcast was always changing the few days before this hike. I thought that we could dodge this system. We almost did.

We started the hike around 9:00 AM. We walked past the swimming pool and immediately lost the trail. I asked a gentleman on a mower if we were on the orange trail. He said that he didn't know as he just started working there. So we kept walking and shorty found the trail. We entered the woods and were hiking counterclockwise around the northern area of the park. There were some hills but the trail was fairly level. We all talked about this and that along the way. We did encounter one blowdown across the trail. But we got around it without too much trouble.

Besides hiking, running and bicycling this trail was used by people playing frisbee golf. There were signs saying to watch out for flying discs. We did see only three people playing frisbee golf later along the hike. We crossed the park road, used the restrooms, read the bulletin board and then started along the southern portion of this park. We would be intersecting the red, yellow, green and blue trails along our trek.

We made good time along this section. I told the group where I got lost reconning this trail so we were able to avoid doing so this time. The trail was dual track, well maintained and was a pleasure to hike on.

More great conversations ensued along this stretch. We passed two old family cemeteries. Right before we got to the west side of Lake Curtis it started sprinkling. Since we were under tree canopy we didn't get rained on much. We crossed the main park road and started the final up to the parking lot. We were in the open between the pool and the parking lot so we got more wet on that stretch. It was a warm, refreshing rain. We passed one last family cemetery, then made a mad dash for our vehicles in the rain.

The hike ended around 10:30 AM. Thanks to my fellow hikers for partipating in this hike today. Nice camaraderie, great trail, perfect length and excellent conversation!

Mike C

Group pic @ start of hike
   Group pic @ start of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese
Blowdown within 1st Mile
   Blowdown within 1st Mile.
   By Mike Calabrese
Along the Orange Trail
   Along the Orange Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
Bulletin Board near Park Office
   Bulletin Board near Park Office.
   By Mike Calabrese
A doe & 2 fawns
   A doe & 2 fawns.
   By Mike Calabrese
Lake Curtis, VA
   Lake Curtis, VA.
   By Mike Calabrese
End of the hike
   End of the hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

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