Saturday, July 4, 2015

State Park Challenge Park #5

  If you have been keeping up you know my family and I have been on a mission sponsored by virginia state-parks to visit 5 parks.  We started out late but we were able to visit 5 within a couple weeks before the deadline of June 30th.  It was a great journey and as I received a confirmation email yesterday I just decided to write my last summary of our 5th park!  Along with the state park pass I will be receiving I also get pins for the 1st and 5th visits.  Of course with my newly earned pass I will not give up. I will keep exploring other parks just not at the speed I was to visit these first 5. Virginia has 36 parks! 5 down and having been to one before and not included in this mission leaves 30 more to go!! How exciting!

  I am pleased to tell you about our 5th state park visit.  It was to Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, VA.  A few short miles from the virginia ferry-jamestown.  So you can make it an adventure. This park doesn't surprise me as it is its own unique park like all the others.  Pool, camping and trails

 were there.  These trails were nice as for the most part they were hard, flat  and covered by blacktop.  Great for strollers or wheelchairs.  In addition to great water views

a working farm and animals.

  The trail takes you past these views and a forestry exhibit on the way to the mansion.  I was met by a lovely lady on the driveway who guided my family (my two little ones) to the drinking fountain and a nice seat on the covered porch as it was high 90's that day.  After a replenish and rest period we were given a great tour by a very educated curator she provided me with a lot of information on the contents and history of the mansion.

How many rugs does one house need, you will see?  What are those step stools for in the bedrooms?  How do you clean your boots before you enter the home?  The house was so beautifully put together.  The last owner the Mrs's of the Stewart family took great pride in decorating the home.  Tours are offered on specific days and times so call ahead.  Near the house is also a gift shop that houses a variety of handcrafted items made by the friends of the Chippokes that donate proceeds back to the park programs. 

  One concept I found here was that in addition to renting GPS units for geocaches.  They also have MP3 rentals and park packs.  The MP3 rental allows you a personal tour while the park packs are also free and include binoculars, field guides and more for several themes to include: wildlife, history and fossils to name a few.  I thought this was a great concept to help incorporate a little more learning of your surroundings.  Adults and children both could benefit from these packs. 

As I finish my last park it just wouldn't be right if I didn't share with you the critter of the trip. Look closely!  I took a picture from the path with my children ahead of me and told to stay there a second.  Ironically the first thing we saw when we entered the trail was a black one.  Lucky us that we saw two. This fella here for some reason was so dead still I was surveying the grounds at all times and there was a car in front of us so I was looking at walking around them. I am glad we walked right by them without going all the way around!! Must have been my sixth sense kicking in!!
Check out your local parks! You never know what you will see. It's a great way to spend time with your family.  Explore and learn together.

Thank you Virginia State Parks for this great challenge and getting this family off their bums, out the house getting fresh air and exercise!  Keep up the great work.

If you missed the last 4 parks here they are:





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