On a very warm Easter Sunday when I really wanted to be camping, I took my reticent 10 year old son and headed east to check out the Scheier Natural Area. Scheier (not sure how to pronounce it) is owned by the Rivanna Conservation Society and is located south of Lake Monticello and Palmyra. From the RCS's website:
The Scheier Natural Area is a 100 acre parcel of land with 8 ponds and over 3 miles of beautiful trails for hiking, enjoyment of nature, and environmental education.
We hiked about a mile and a half of trail, and there was nobody else in the parking lot or on the trail. Our isolation was due, according to my son, to the fact that "people on Easter usually sit at home eating chocolates all day."
The natural area had a swamp area with cattails on one end, and a stream at the other end. The stream had some very small fish swimming in it.
The area is best suited for families with children. The trails are level, the area is small, and the topography is varied. There are a couple of geocaches (we rescued a geocoin that had been in one cache for several months). The kiosk in the parking area has several interesting and informative flyers. (Did you know that 12% of the bacteria in the Rivanna River can be traced to pet waste?) And from April to October, RCS sponsors the "4th Sunday at Scheier" Education Forums.
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