Director of Parks and Recreation, Pete Peters, had a nature trail on the Parks and Rec radar for over a year since the 36 acre wooded hillside became a part of the system through a long term lease. Boxley Field located in Blue Ridge is part of the Parks and Rec system and is just over the hill from the old Blue Ridge Springs Hotel remains. It is also lo cated close to the Colonial Road that ran from Williamsburg into the western territories in the 17th through 19th centuries, thus giving the area not only natural value, but historic as well.
“It is a great way to get schools and youth out into the woods,” said Peters. The key component of the trail prep though is a group of volunteers who have worked with the Roanoke Greenway system. They call themselves, “The Midweek Crew,” said Bill Gorge who is a key organizer. The group splits into two smaller groups. One keeps making the trail around the hillside and in the end it will be about a mile in lenght and the other goes to the top to work with a small loader and chainsaws to form and amphitheater where 50-60 can listen to nature and history presentations.The group has much experience tending the Appalachian Trail as well.
The group comes every Wednesday, works from 9-3 and then goes home and features volunteers from all of the Roanoke Valley but one volunteer Jim Lewis lives in a nearby subdivision. Lumpkins the dachshund also comes along for a little trailblazing.
Peters hopes to have a special dedication and ribbon cutting in the spring for the newest recreation addition for the people of Botetourt County to enjoy.