Saturday, April 23, 2011

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Appomattox, VA

ABOUT THE PARK:  Appomattox Court House National Historical Park - National Park Service

GPS Coordinates 37.376238, -78.797153

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(NOTE:  Parking fees apply at the historic village unless it is a free entrance day.)

This hike consists of two separate areas, the historic village on the west side of Route 24 and the hiking trails on the east side of Route 24.  The two do not officially link together but I did make a loop out of both for this hike by walking along the grassy part of Route 24 to get from one to the other.
Historic Village Birdseye View Map - National Park Service
Hiking Trail Map - National Park Service

I highly recommend downloading the free podcast which you can listen to on an iPod for the historic village tour at the beginning of this hike.  NOTE: The National Park Service web site states that the podcast is a 5-mile tour.  That is incorrect as it is a 5-stop tour of 1/2 mile.


The historic village:
McLean House, site of surrender meeting between Generals Lee and Grant.
Store and Jonathan Woodson Law Office
Clover Hill Tavern where parole passes were printed.
Site of old jail house.
Peers House, site of final Civil War battle.
After the podcast tour of the historic village, the hike continues down to the Appomattox River and over to the hiking trails.  The northern end of the hiking trails start at Lee's Headquarters Parking.  Although I crossed over Route 24 and walked in the tall, wet grass .65 mile along Route 24 to Lee's HQ, it was not one of my better ideas and I do not recommend it although it is possible to do.  Just be really, really careful crossing over Route 24 as cars speed by FAST!  Or go back and get your car and drive there to do an out and back of the northern section of trails.  The southern trails are woods roads, therefore less interesting than the northern section so if you skip that part, nothing lost.

Trail crossed the Appomattox River on a concrete bridge.
This was a great hike to do on a dreary, drizzly day because the new spring leaves on the trees really brightened things up.
The southern section of the trail follows woods roads coming out at the North Carolina Monument.
The trail comes back out on to Route 24 at the North Caroline Monument parking lot.  On the other side of Route 24 is the Confederate Cemetery.
Leaving the cemetery heading away from Route 24, follow the fence towards the historic village back to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  From Appomattox Court House parking lot follow the podcast tour
[  0.50]  End podcast tour; continue down the hill on mowed grass trail towards Route 24
[  0.90]  Arrive at picnic areas at Appomattox River; cross river on Route 24 bridge and continue straight
[  1.00]  Sweeney historical marker and grave on left; cross over Route 24; turn left and follow Route 24 on grass
[  1.65]  Lee's HQ parking lot - northern trailhead; follow white-blazed History Trail
[  1.90]  Turn left to continue following History Trail; right goes back to parking lot
[  2.05]  Turn right on orange-blazed Nature Trail as white goes straight
[  2.25]  Cross footbridge
[  2.35]  Cross footbridge; come to end of the Nature Trail; continue across field back to History Trail
[  2.40]  At white-blazed History Trail junction, turn left briefly to Sweeney's Prizery
[  2.50]  Sweeney's Prizery; Retrace steps and continue straight on white-blazed History Trail
[  2.70]  Cross the Appomattox River on a concrete bridge and continue to the right
[  3.80]  Cross through power cut
[  3.95]  Cross paved River Ridge Road
[  4.75]  Trail switchbacks down and crosses Plain Run on wooden bridge
[  4.85]  Keep straight on white-blazed History Trail when blue-blazed Sears Lane goes right
[  5.40]  North Carolina Monument
[  5.45]  Lee's Last Attack wayside exhibit; turn right towards Raine Cemetery
[  5.55]  Cross through North Carolina Monument parking lot; follow mowed path through field parallel to Route 24
[  5.70]  Turn left leaving mowed path and cross Route 24 to Confederate Cemetery
[  5.80]  From Confederate Cemetery turn right (with back facing Route 24) and follow along split rail fence towards historic village
[  6.00]  Arrive back at parking lot

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