I absolutely love discovering nature as it helps me with my inspiration for my art, and I happen to be close enough to the Saunders-Monticello Trail in Kemper Park. This trail winds through beautiful woodlands, past serene streams and ponds, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Located just a few miles from Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, this trail is perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike. I went there twice this week to prepare for an upcoming hike because it was unknown to me. I managed to hike 3.68 the first time around and then 4.67 on the second go and I want to share some highlights of the Trail:
The trail is well-maintained, and some parts are wide and flat gravel path that makes it easy for hikers of all ages and abilities. There are several benches along the way to rest and take in the beautiful scenery. Even the woodsy side of Kemper Park trails is still nicely maintained which is great.
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.
As you hike along the trail, you’ll come across several interpretive signs that provide information about the history and ecology of the area. You’ll learn about the plants and animals that call the area home, as well as the history of the Saunders family, who once owned the land.
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.
This is one of the spots on what is marked as the Jason Stevens trail on the map.
The upkeep and maintenance are well done and maintained with ample parking.
If you’re a dog owner, you’ll be happy to know that the Trail is dog-friendly. As long as your dog is on a leash, they’re welcome to join you on your hike. Which so many people ignore I could go on a rant about it but I won’t (at least not today).
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.