One of our favorite spots in Charlottesville is Mint Springs. This lovely little park in Crozet has a small swimming lake and a sandy beach nestled in a valley. Every summer, my children look forward to paddling in the warm, spring-fed waters right alongside the curious sunfish that sometimes like to gently nibble at swimmers’ toes.
This weekend we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to visit the park for the first time in the winter. We hiked a well-marked mountain path that loops around for a little less than two miles and has an elevation change of about 370 feet:
A view of Crozet from about halfway up the trail…
This stone fireplace is all that remains of a house perched along the trail. I wonder who lived here?
I loved this rocky outcrop..
with lichen-covered rocks.
Along the way, we passed this brave little tree, which kept right on growing despite an assault by a ruthless vine.
Our favorite spot on the hike was this one, where we paused to listen to the sweet sound of the mountain stream…