I’m someone for whom life consists of sitting behind a keyboard for extended periods of time attempting to convince people that I know what I am talking about. As a result, I sometimes feel the need to just get out. I feel like I have to step away from the laptop, get outside and walk for a little while just to be removed from work and stimulation for a time. Be alone with your thoughts in the infinite beauty of nature and be immersed in the stillness and calmness of the world.
Needless to say, this happens to me a lot.
Thankfully, Blacksburg has plenty of rewarding walking routes that provide just the right mix of natural beauty, ease of access and ease of traversal. We all need to get away from time to time, but we need not hop in the car and blaze down the road toward some secluded locale. Even the seemingly local Cascades site is at least a half a day’s commitment. In searching for these places, we tend to ignore what is right in front of us. It is thus important to note that we can, instead, find plenty of ways to have a nice walk nearby.
First off, there is the Huckleberry Trail. I know that it is quite obvious, but for that reason I begin with it. Meandering between Blacksburg and Christiansburg and ending at the New River Valley Mall, this trail is often the first port of call for those seeking to be immersed in nature. Travelers of all kinds can enjoy the scenic vistas that look down upon historic railways or magnificent geological formations through which the trail proceeds. The Huckleberry is, however, quite long, and it may be a hindrance to break up the momentum of the walk to simply turn back once you feel you’ve gone far enough. That being said, the trail is still one of the best around.
Another great is, of course, the Duck Pond trail that winds from across the road from the Drillfield around the pond itself and over toward the cadets’ obstacle course. This one is much shorter than the Huckleberry which makes it perfect for shorter excursions.
“It’s a nice place to contemplate things; a nice place to separate from campus, a great place to spot wildlife,” freshman biosystems engineering major Rachel Smith said. The trail by the Duck Pond brings one close to one of Tech’s most iconic natural landmarks and is easily accessible from campus, so those of you who live in the dorms might find this one to be particularly convenient during stressful work sessions.
And now for what has, as of recently, become my personal favorite walking spot: Givens Lane. This one is for all of those who live in places like Maple Ridge, Cambridge Square or Courtney Circle. Givens Lane is one of the most leisurely walkways in Blacksburg, and its sidewalk extends far enough along the road that walkers need not worry about crossing the street to get to one. There’s hardly any traffic, so it’s nice and quiet, and there are plenty of BT stops so that you can get there without using your own car.
Walking is one of life’s cheapest joys, and as fall rolls around and the weather becomes less and less oppressive, you might just find yourself with ample opportunity to get out and have a jaunty stroll. I for one look forward to days where I will be able to walk for more than 15 minutes without losing 17pounds of water weight on account of my sweating. I hope that you will find these walking paths to be useful in alleviating some of the tensions that come with collegiate work.