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    Member Since December 2017

    John Marshall

    Blacksburg, Virginia 

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    John Marshall reviewed Cypress Gardens [CLOSED]

    over 1 year ago

    My impression of Cypress Gardens is recorded here at goGardenNow blog:


    Just copy and paste the link in your web browser.

    John Marshall completed Cypress Gardens

    over 1 year ago

    John Marshall saved Deer Run Trail

    over 1 year ago

    John Marshall reviewed Watson Mill Pond

    over 1 year ago

    Let's be clear about the subject. This is a water trail. In fact, there are two of them. Both begin at the boat ramp near the park office.

    The first is marked by red metal tags on trees; some are faded. Red trail proceeds more or less up the middle of the lake and upstream Fifteen Mile Creek (the source of the mill "pond") to the bridge where US Hwy 80 crosses it. Current is very, very slow to the point of being almost indiscernable.

    The other trail is a loop that follows the shoreline around the lake. It is marked by green metal tags affixed to trees. These are also faded, so they may appear gray. Of course, this makes them difficult to find. If the water level is low, the green trail is impossible to follow. Furthermore, this loop trail threads through brush and around closely spaced trees. It is a navigator's challenge.

    Aside from the challenges mentioned, it is also worthwhile noting that wasp nests are sometimes found on trees. They grow as the seasons progress, so that by fall they can be pretty large. Don't mess with them. Don't bump into trees containing them or you will have a bonnet full. And you can't just jump out of your boat and run away.

    Watson Mill Pond is a very peaceful and beautiful place to canoe or kayak. Birdwatchers will be delighted with the swamp canaries, herons blue and white, chickadees, painted buntings, and many other species. You might find a beaver lodge or two. Cat-face scars can be seen on old stumps resulting from turpentine works back in the days before the pond was built.

    Watson Mill Pond seems like a likely place to fish. I have fished there many times, but have never had so much as a bite. If you want fish for dinner, you better stop at the grocery store in nearby Twin City.

    I highly recommend George L Smith State Park and Watson Mill Pond trails. For a great camping experience, pick a site in the campground near the pond and paddle your boat to your heart's content.

    John Marshall completed Watson Mill Pond

    over 1 year ago

    John Marshall reviewed Cascades National Recreation Trail to Barney's Wall

    over 1 year ago

    Signs indicated that the lower trail might be impassable due to washouts, but we ascended it anyway. It was clear, though somewhat strenuous. (I'm a senior and recovering from surgery and extended hospitalization.) We took the broader upper trail out. The scenery was lovely. The few other hikers were friendly. Access to the upper observation deck was closed due to icy conditions. Signage was good and clear. Amenities at the parking area were in good condition. Restrooms were clean. I'd recommend this trail to anyone.