Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Hike Through Baylor Park

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A friend of our told us about a new, but still being constructed, park near her place when we visited. You can learn about Baylor Park and download a trail map and park guide with this link: Baylor Park

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If you click the pictures, they will enlarge and you will be able to read them.

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ICE: A Winter Crop = An Early Commodity

Norris Pond, once a very popular destination for many who enjoyed ice skating, was also a valuable source of ice for those who lived in the area up until the 1900's. Prior to having electricity, a common practice of storing ice for use in the warmer months was to store it in the ground or in an ice house. Blocks of ice were cut from the pond, then delivered to homes and businesses, or stored until needed. Evidence of an early ice pit can be seen here. Materials such as straw and sawdust were often used to insulate the layers of ice and walls of the pit.

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This is the old ice pit the community used.
It is much, much larger than the picture shows.
I'd like to see it cleaned out.

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sturdy roots

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wild life

The new park was a little hard to find. It is located behind a small power or pumping station which is near the bridge. It is still under construction and is rugged in places. Some of the trail is brushy and some walking areas are full of roots. At the present time, it is not a place to take those who have difficulty walking. The water views required us to walk through waist high grass, so we skipped those. What we could see of the pond through the brush and tall grasses was algae ridden, but there was a diverse population of creatures to observe. The designated picnic area (no tables yet) did not work for us because it was in a damp depression full of sticks and pine cones. We spread our blanket in a clearing on a hill. There were lots of mimosa trees and butterflies when we visited too. Overall, it was a good way to burn off some of the children's energy and gave us a chance to stretch our legs, but the new park still needs a lot of work to make it more pleasant for visitors. It was a unique opportunity to see a park in its initial stages. We look forward to visiting again to see how the park progresses.

There is also a new park being constructed in nearby Mathews County called Fort Nonsense Historical Park. It's at the corner of John Clayton and Windsor Road, but at this time is not open to visitors.