TJ Parkway: More than just a walk in the woods

Discussing the Thomas Jefferson Parkway can get confusing. After all, which is the Parkway? Which is the park? Which is the trail? Here's the bottom line: the $7 million Parkway encompasses the entire recreational area, which consists of

Kemper Park

 More than just a grassy expanse and a place to fling a frisbee, the 89-acre park includes

 

Carter Overlook A semi-circular stone plaza located on a spur off the Saunders-Monticello Trail just before the pond, the overlook offers vistas of Charlottesville and western Albemarle County.

The Pond Located near the half-mile mark on the Saunders-Monticello Trail, the pond's water comes from springs and a seasonal mountain stream. The shore features native wetland plantings and abundant birdlife.

The Arboretum A collection of trees and shrubs native to Albemarle County, the arboretum extends to the first boardwalk on the Saunders-Monticello Trail and contains the following thematically organized "rooms."

Spring Flower Room

  Fall Color Room

  Winter Interest Room

  Edible and Useful Plant Room

 

  Saunders-Monticello Trail

 Designed for both pedestrians and bicycles, the wheelchair-accessible pathway winds two miles from the trailhead, near the bottom of Route 53, across Saunders Bridge, to the Monticello shuttle bus station.

 

Saunders Bridge

Constructed of granite and fieldstone, the stone arch bridge carries both motorized vehicles and Saunders-Monticello Trail users across Route 53 onto Monticello's main grounds.

 

Parkway elements still to come:

Pedestrian underpass and overflow parking lot

Outdoor classroom

Children's garden

Rustic trails connecting Carter Overlook with adjacent 90-acre Secluded Farm