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Sunday, January 26, 2014

#6 Fredericksburg Boundary

Historic Fredericksburg
With snow still on the ground, and wanting to pick up the miles, Bonnie and I turned today's hike into an urban hike of Historic Fredericksburg. Actually, it would be better defined as a hike of the boundary of Fredericksburg, as the history echoes throughout the area and side streets - and one happens upon it ready or not.

Fredericksburg is bordered to the north and east by the Rappahannock river, a scenic river whose fall line tumbles from the rocks and rapids from the west, settling into tidal waters as it eases past the city. The towns history is more like the rocks and rapids of the fall line, as its history is awash in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. The calm tidal waters that follow represent more of today environment, where people stroll down historic streets, passing shops, stubes, and cafes.

City Map including Rappahannock River and Rappahannock Canal
Following along the river and the canal, this starts out much like any other rural hike. The rivers' beauty and wildlife never disappoint, and the canal takes you back to 1849, when it was constructed to make the river navigable up and beyond the fall line rapids.

Rappahannock Canal Path

The canal brings you into town where history starts to come into focus. As you enter, you happen upon Kenmore - the home of George Washington's sister, Betty. A short walk further, you come across the home of Mary Washington, George's Mother. The homes are close enough that Mother visited daughter often, and she is buried on Kenmore property.

Kenmore - George's Sister's House (Betty Lewis)

Mary Washington's House (George's Mother)
As we hiked on and on, we passed more and more reminder's of our nation's history. When we arrived at the City Dock, we saw the area where a ferry crossed the river a long time ago - over to Ferry Farm - George Washington's boyhood home. Legend has it, if there was ever a cherry tree, it was here at Ferry Farm.

Ferry Farm - Across the river - Standing at the Ferry Crossing

We covered the boundary of the town. 6.8 miles in all. We stopped when done, grabbing a cup of coffee from a local cafe and visiting an antique shop. Our hike was done - but our time back to the 1600's, 1700's, and 1800's, was not.

If you get the chance, explore Fredericksburg. I recommend by foot.

See you on the trails...


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