Ravi Sattuluri hikes the trails of Deep Run Park. Photo by John Henley
Deep Run Park 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico Deep Run Park, named for the creek that runs through the middle of the more than 106 acres, is a fully equipped suburban green space with children's play equipment, soccer fields, fishing ponds and shelters. There are 3.4 miles of paved and rough trails. Decks and gazebos dot the lake shore where fountains shoosh. Coming across a footbridge from underneath the cool shade one first hears the whooshing air conditioning, then sees the recreation center. Completed in late 2004, the center with a furnished terrace offers free WiFi.
Fighting Creek Park 2200 Mann Road, Powhatan Cleared cuts for sewer and gas lines originally provided rudimentary trails for walkers and bikers, but upcoming permanent improvements in Fighting Creek Park will eliminate chuckholes. Lynne Siewers, programs and special events coordinator for parks in Powhatan County, says a $100,000, three-mile vita course loop will be completed by year's end. "The part we're working on is connecting to Scottville, a retirement center, using the sidewalk and then the loop through the village of Powhatan. You'll get a feel for the woods and the town." The Rotary Club helped with the $6,000 to acquire and install 11 pieces of exercise equipment. The park's offerings include four lighted baseball/softball fields, three lighted soccer fields and a shaded playground. Wahrani Nature Trails 1-64 East, Exit 220 to State Route 33. Gravel drive entrance on the right after 3.8 miles, New Kent Country "Don't feel bad about getting lost," says Kimberly Turner, New Kent County's director of parks and recreation. A certain reporter got off the beaten path. "The blazes are a little confusing. It's a work in progress." The property-for-sale signs along state Route 33 demonstrate New Kent's prescience in preserving these 138 acres. More than 300 years ago, the Warreneye Church stood toward the back of the park. At least two early 18th-century marked graves remain while periwinkle signifies others nearby. Chesapeake Forest Products opened the trails in 1973. Some of the signs originated then. New Kent received the land as a donation in 2001. The Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike group in 2007 started using the park and brought needed maintenance to the five miles of looping trails. Cold Harbor Battlefield Park 6005 Cold Harbor Road, Hanover Paved pathways wend amid the thick shade afforded by the 50-acre forest canopy. Well-written interpretive signs allow one to learn about the horrendous two-week military standoff that erupted into gruesome violence during the Battle of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sought a way to Richmond through a massive battle of destruction to split Robert E. Lee's army in two. Adjoining the property is the Garthwright House, now a private residence that was used as a Union field hospital. One can experience the quiet of nature and a pleasant picnic, but also feel the awful weight of what occurred here. The trails complement the nearby Cold Harbor National Battlefield Park.