New Ways to Experience Civil War History
(Richmond, Va.) May 19, 2011 - Virginia has long been a destination for visitors interested in Civil War history.
As the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation draws near, Virginia has many new touring experiences to help visitors examine the Civil War from a whole new point of view, quite literally, with tours on kayaks, segways, hiking trails and more.
Below are examples of Virginia’s newest Civil War tour offerings and trip ideas, with more information found at www.Virginia.org/CivilWar.
Combine Wine and Civil War History
Try one of Virginia’s newest wine trails and experience world-class wineries and Civil War history together on the General's Wine & History Trail. Ten wineries make up this trail just outside of Washington D.C. in the Shenandoah Valley, passing by many Civil War historic sites.
Kayak, Canoe, Hike or Bike through Civil War History
For visitors who want to be active, Virginia has several great options to experience Civil War history and the outdoors. Fredericksburg’s Trail to Freedom is as interpretive trail that tells the story of slaves crossing the river and into freedom. In April 1862, during the five-month Union occupation, slaves from Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania saw the arrival of the Union army in Stafford as a chance for freedom. Visitors can follow their voyage in a car, on foot or even in a canoe or kayak and paddle through the very waters where John Washington and as many as 10,000 other slaves crossed to freedom across the Rappahannock River.
Visitors can also take advantage of the many walking and biking trails at Civil War National Battlefield Parks in Virginia. Add to the experience with downloadable podcasts of some of the Virginia battlefields at http://www.civilwartraveler.com/audio/.
Visit Civil War Sites on Two Wheels
Tour Richmond landmarks including the Museum of the Confederacy, White House of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar with Segway of Richmond’s Landmark Tour.
Take in Virginia Civil War Battle Reenactments
Virginia Battle Reenactments give a feel for what it was like during the Civil War - witness battles, ask questions or participate in the camp life of soldiers and their families. Witness not only the reenactments, but sit in on lectures, take guided walks of the battlefields and learn about Virginia's war history in a new way.
Take a Tour with Knowledgeable Park Rangers and Historians
Every Friday night during the summer Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park hosts its History at Sunset specialized, in-depth tours in and around the battlefields. Each tour begins at 7 p.m. and is designed to last 90 minutes. The tours are free to the public and deal with a wide variety of topics.
Civil War Adventure Camp
Live like a Civil War soldier at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg. At Pamplin’s Civil War Adventure Camp, recruits dress in Union or Confederate uniforms, sleep in recreated encampments and eat Civil War era meals. As privates in the Army, recruits drill with muskets, decode signals, march into skirmishes, participate in medical demonstrations and picket duty, fire mortars and more at this fun and educational experience for children over eight, teens and adults.
Go on a Treasure Hunt – Geocaching
Geocaching in Virginia is the ultimate treasure hunt and can add excitement and fun to driving, camping and hiking experiences. The object of geocaching is to find the hidden container filled with a logbook, pencil and sometimes prizes. Once the cache is found, people write their name and the date the cache was found it in the logbook. Larger caches might contain maps, books, toys, even money. There are many places in Virginia to go geocaching, but one idea is to visit Stratford Hall Plantation, the birthplace of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and go geo-caching along the new Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail. Stratford Hall Plantation encompasses 1900 acres of farmlands and forests on a high bluff overlooking the Potomac River. Built in the late 1730s, the Great House contains some of the most architecturally significant rooms of the Colonial era. The site includes nature trails, a gristmill and formal gardens.
Find Civil War 150th Events throughout Virginia
Communities across the state will be planning special events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation including Civil War balls, reenactments, seminars, concerts, living history demonstrations, boat and driving tours, lectures and more. Get the latest on upcoming events at http://www.virginia.org/CivilWar.
Visit www.Virginia.org/CivilWar for more information and to start planning a trip to Virginia during the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation. Or call 1-800-VISIT-VA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.