Williamsburg, Virginia is my favorite city. It has a rich history, popular attractions, a great college, and is near amazing wildlife sanctuaries. People from all over the country come to play golf at Kingsmill, challenge the thrill rides of Busch Gardens, cheer the William & Mary Tribe in athletic events. Williamsburg stays busy with one thing or another. It makes you wonder where the locals go to for a little peace and quiet when things get hectic in town.
One answer can be found in a charming little park on South Henry Street en route to Rt 199 and the Colonial Parkway going to Jamestown. College Landing Park isn’t nearly the size of Waller Mill or York River State Park. It does not have to be.
This piece of grass borders College Creek and offers kayakers plenty of room to paddle toward the James River or, during high tide, explore it’s headwaters. A wooden walkway gives visitors an up-close view of a small marsh as a smaller channel feeds into the main portion of the creek. There is a stairway that leads to an overlook of the park. A group of domestic ducks have taken residence here. But, wilder birds, such as herons, egrets, and even bald eagles frequently visit as well (my best bald eagle shot came from here).
The variety of two-legged flightless visitors add to the experience. Fathers tend to bring their kids with little rods and reels for fishing. Dating students take a break from classes to sit and talk. Repairmen of all sorts eat their lunch while admiring the water’s edge. One particular day, I found a pair of retirees catching and releasing white perch as another guy played what looked like a ukulele as he enjoyed a pipe.
Wherever you go, take the time to find local hide aways. They will not be advertised at IHOP nor will there be a sign posted on the interstate. Just ask a local. He or she will lead you to the place where all walks can enjoy a common peace.