March 23, 11am ~ The Legend Loop

  • March 23, 2014 · 11:00 AM
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This is a 5 mile "urban wildlife" hike.  

The Wildlife

The natural areas along the James River provide a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife species that one would never expect to see in a city.  Bald eagles, otters, muskrats,  osprey and even a heron rookery are unexpected treats in the middle of the city. The river has sturgeon over six feet long and blue catfish that weigh over 50 pounds. 

In March - May anadromous fish such as the hickory shad and herring fill the river as they migrate from saltwater to freshwater on their annual spawning runs.  We may be lucky enough to observe the birds prey on these fish.

From the Pipeline Rapids walkway, or Pipeline Trail, we have a view of the Great Blue Heron Rookery on Vauxhall Island. There were no nests in 2006, four in 2007 and 34 in 2008.  How many will we count in 2014?   The month of February saw courtship and nest building activities.  In March they are taking turns sitting on their eggs.  We will see them feed their young in the nests in April and May.  June will find the youngsters feeding in the river with their parents. As the summer progresses, the juveniles will form feeding flocks and the parents separate. Thus, every season is peak viewing season, so bring your camera!

The Hike

From our meeting point, we'll head west, then gain access to Belle Isle from the 22nd Street entrance.  We will cross Belle Isle, exiting by the pedestrian footbridge to the north shore of the James. Then we will turn east, head across Brown's Island, take the Pipeline Trail past the Heron Rookery and cross the Mayo Bridge back to the south side of the river.   Turning west, we'll hike along the floodwall and back to the Legend parking lot. 

The terrain is dirt, gravel and paved road, with a minimum amount of rocks and boulders.

No dogs allowed on the Pipeline Trail due to the narrow walkway and five foot ladder.

Optional: Après hike lunch at Legend Brewing Co.

Contact #: I will email my cell number to the attendees one day in advance.

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  • Mary P

    While the forecast was for rain during our hike, mother nature was on our side today, as she is so often. Today held two firsts - the first time 100% of the Legend Loopers stayed for a meal after the hike and the first time I called the police during a hike. We completed 5.01 miles in 2 hours 5 minutes. The rain held out until we were well established with our post-hike extended lunch.

    March 24, 2014

    • cheryl b.

      Me too?

      March 24, 2014

    • Mary P

      I will respond off-line. You know... what happens on the Legend Loop stays on the Legend Loop!

      2 · March 24, 2014

  • Barbara L

    I was wearing a Blue/green/teal hat and it is safely at home with me. But thank you for looking out for me Cheryl.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mary P

    Quotes for today:

    M: "It seems that I have gotten more concerned with safety as I’ve gotten older."
    L: "No, you’ve just gotten smarter!"

    "In Wisconsin, guys pee their names in the snow."

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • Patti E.

    Thanks Mary. You are a fun group.

    1 · March 23, 2014

    • Mary P

      Hiking is fun, isn't it! You know, without a profile picture, no one is going to know who you are; if your accent somehow came out of that generic head-shot maybe we could tell, but as it stands....

      1 · March 23, 2014

    • Mary P

      Patty R., I'll bet you 'liked' that comment cuz her accent is so darn cute!

      March 23, 2014

  • Cheryl B.

    Mary: Barbara had a grey knit hat with a stripe.

    March 23, 2014

  • Barbara L

    thank you mommy Mary

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • Patti T.

    Thanks Mary for organizing this hike. Good job keeping the rain away until we were at lunch.

    3 · March 23, 2014

  • cheryl b.

    A great day racing the rain! We won!!

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • Dave A.

    Great company, great scenery, great burger! It was a great outing! Thanks Mary!

    2 · March 23, 2014

  • Doug

    What a great way to spend a Sunday midday. Discovering more trails and off path places within the JR Park System makes a fun diversion.

    2 · March 23, 2014

  • Barbara W. M.

    Mary, I'm not feeling well this a.m. Afraid I must miss this hike I was so looking forward to. Enjoy.

    March 23, 2014

  • Mary P

    We saw lots of Blue Heron activity Thursday....bring your cameras!

    1 · March 21, 2014

    • Dave A.

      They taste like chicken!

      1 · March 21, 2014

    • Mary P

      ICK

      March 22, 2014

  • Doug

    Looking forward to this adventure !

    March 22, 2014

  • Barbara W. M.

    Rita; I can give you a ride if you need one. I live in Stony Point area.

    March 20, 2014

    • Rita

      I don't need a ride; I'm just trying to be earth friendly ;-)

      March 20, 2014

    • Mary P

      I think Barbara wants to carpool with you!

      1 · March 21, 2014

  • Rita

    Anyone want to carpool from Huguenot/Robious area?

    March 20, 2014

  • Dave A.

    I've done this hike once ; it's a great way to spend part of your day!

    1 · March 19, 2014

  • Vicki W.

    I'll be out of town that weekend, but would definitely like to see this repeated on another Sunday.

    1 · March 5, 2014

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