The Plantation Interpretive Trail is a moderate 1.2-mile loop that winds through ruins and remnants of a historic garden. The large self-sufficient farm was built around 1839 by William Townes. In the late 1870s or early 1880s, William Townes, II, sold the plantation to Dempsey Graves Crudup. The country home included a huge 20-room house that was flanked by two annexes, a kitchen, an icehouse, smokehouse, slave quarters, stable, blacksmith shop, pottery shop and carpenter shop. Mr. Crudup along with his wife and son remained at the plantation until 1889 when tree candles caught fire Christmas Eve and subsequently the entire house burned to the ground. The foundation remains today along with many of the outbuildings and the five-terraced garden. Boxwoods graced each corner and the brick path that stretched the length of the garden. Steps led from one terrace to another. The upper two terraces were lined with white, pink, red and violet roses. The lower terraces were lined with crepe myrtle and osage oranges. A sprinkling of spices, bulbs, and perennials remain in the beds.
The trail is easily accessed from Campground B park road. As you wind down the road, park at the large lot marked Terrace Gardens. Upon approaching the trail, notice the hillside of spring-blooming periwinkle and the flanking of American boxwood.
Directions: From Clarksville, VA, Occoneechee State Park is on U.S. 58, 1.5 miles east of Clarksville in Mecklenburg County which rests on the North Carolina border. After entering the park and passing the contact station, turn left and loop around to the first park road marked as Campground B. A short distance down the campground road, you'll see a sign marked Terrace Gardens. This is the trailhead. The trail is also accessible from Warrior's Path and Campground B trails.
Elevation: 370 feet
Elevation Gain: Minimal
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Occoneechee State Park, Virginia
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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