Opening of Ni River Trail – Salamander Loop

Spotsylvanians welcome first part of Ni River Trail
June 7, 2010 12:36 am

The Salamander Loop, the first phase of the Ni River Trail, was created to help inspire local residents to learn about nature and fitness.

Salamander Loop

Photo taken by LDP (not a part of article).

Chris Folger walked about 100 feet along a wooded trail in Spotsylvania County. She stopped and looked at her surroundings. “It’s such a different feel,” she said. “Route 1 is right over there, but yet you get back here, and you just have this sense of being in nature.”

Folger, who chairs the Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative, on Saturday welcomed more than 200 people to the opening of the first phase of the Ni River Trail. The event coincided with National Trails Day.

The 1.75-mile Salamander Loop is behind River Run Business Park off U.S. 1, across from Massaponax High School. It’s on land owned by Luck Development Partners and has a half-mile handicapped-accessible path covered with stone dust.

The trail also has ponds and more than 20 types of trees, including Virginia pine, American holly, white dogwood and Southern red oak.

“It took a good chunk of the community to make it happen, and that’s nice,” said Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative member Paul Gehring.  Since February, he said, as many as 100 volunteers have spent 2,000 hours preparing the trail. Boy Scout Troop 165 of Spotsylvania, for instance, constructed two wooden bridges, Folger said.

Folger’s grandson, 9-year-old Aidan, and his friend, 9-year-old Eliot Baker, searched for frogs in wetlands near one of the bridges. At one point Aidan stuck his entire hand into the muck, but turned up nothing. Earlier, Aidan said, he contributed a frog to a special attraction at Saturday’s event featuring salamanders, turtles and other creatures.
“There’s lots of wildlife out here, and it’s not completely polluted,” Eliot said. “It’s fun to find stuff and catch it.”
“And to get dirty,” Aidan added.

Spotsylvania resident Jennifer Cline came to the trail opening with her daughters, Katie, 7, and Julie, 9. Cline, who is a nurse at Mary Washington Home Health, spends a lot of time on the road and said she hopes to walk the trail after work. She said she passes it on her way home. “I have been waiting to have somewhere to go hiking near me for so long,” Cline said. “To have trails so close to home is just awesome.”

Folger plans for the Ni River Trail and a network of other pathways to connect to the four battlefields within Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The next phase is an approximately 3-mile path to Patriot Park on Smith Station Road. For now, Folger said, she’s happy creating the trail one mile at a time.
“You can forget the cares of the day and be at peace.”

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: [email protected]
The Salamander Loop
The Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative, which created the trail, is a nonprofit founded to locate, preserve and create greenways in the county. The trail is called the Salamander Loop because volunteers found unusual salamanders in a vernal pond on the property.
It is open daily from sunrise to sunset and has several rules, including:
Visitors must stay on the designated paths and take their trash home with them.
No picking flowers or damaging plants.
No smoking or alcohol.
No hunting, fishing, camping or fires.
No loud music.
Pets must be on a leash, and owners must pick up after them.
Copyright 2010 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.


  • it was very interesting to read.
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

    By blogoe :: July 21, 2010

  • Dear blogoe,

    You are more than welcome to quote us on your blog we ask of course that all materials be in the context presented and if you need clarification please don’t hesitate to ask. News to be updated quarterly so come back and visit often! May I ask where you are logging in from? and how you found us?

    At this time we do not have a twitter, guess I don’t feel we have enough “daily” information to twitter about but we will be there soon. Please don’t hesitate to email us your address so we can send you updates or great news as it occurs. Thanks!

    Joell Driver

    By JoellD :: August 4, 2010

  • Thanks for good stuff

    By livelybrowsers :: October 19, 2010

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