Richmond Liberty Trail
Posted on 12/29/2018 in misc
The Richmond Liberty Trail is Richmond's attempt to be like Boston with its Freedom Trail. I don't think Richmond is putting as much effort into their trail as Boston, and it shows.
The history along the six mile walk is certainly compelling, but we are locals and were hiking with an actual history professional to add context. Without my son, it would have been a less compelling experience. The trail needs more waysides, or even just a comprehensive guide to download before walking it to tie the history together. The trail covers the first white people to set foot in what would become Richmond, the Revolutionary war, slave trade, Civil war, and post Civil war segregation. There is a lot of history in Richmond and I don't think the trail really does it justice.
The trail is a loop with no defined starting point. We parked near the Civil War park at Tredegar and walked clockwise. So our route started through the city streets to the capital and then through Shockoe Slip and up to Richmond Hill and Saint John's church, then going downhill to the canal and returning to the car via a pleasant walk along the canal path.
The trail markers were sometimes hard to follow and just missing in several points. The markers are blue logos painted on the sidewalk, and they are faded to near invisibility in places, and just missing on a few corners, leaving hikers the option of reading a map (not a common skill in these GPS enabled days) to just guessing which way to go and watching for another marker.
It was a fun way to spend a few hours on a crisp 50 degree day, but the trail sort of feels like an afterthought, and not an experience to feature as part of visiting Richmond.
These are the markers you are following.
John Marshall's House. It was closed for the season.
George Washington statue at the capital. At least it was larger than the statues of various traitors to the US also honored by Virginia with statues.
Saint John's Episcopal Church. This is where Patrick Henry gave the famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.
This is entry #29 in my attempt at 31 days of blogging for December 2018. I've haven't posted here daily since about 2007, so this should be interesting.