James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 3.82'
Flow: 1770 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

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Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 1:36am
Low Tide: 8:36am

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Explore Caledon State Park with a 10K race

September 20, 2012 11:17am

This one may be slightly outside of Central Virginia, but it looks like a cool race in a very cool place. Back in June I made the drive to Caledon State Park (formerly Caledon Natural Area) for a column in the T-D. The park is east of Fredericksburg on the tidal Potomac River. It’s actually not a very long drive from Richmond, and once you get off I-95, it’s quite beautiful. The park has been a haven for bald eagles since the 1970s, and as eagle numbers recovered, more of the park was opened to the public. It has an impressive system of singletrack and fire road trails. I highly recommend a visit. And if you’re a runner, why not kill two birds with one stone.

Caledon State Park on the Potomac River.

This is from Johanna Petroski, District II Visitor Services Specialist with the state parks:

Trail racing isn’t getting more and more popular among runners for nothin’. There’s more to it than what you’d expect. Be the first to run this trail race at Caledon State Park! The Howlin’ Coyote 10k is Caledon State Park’s first ever trail race, happening September 29, 2012 starting at 9:30 a.m.!

With wide rock dust roads and single track dirt paths meandering through the wooded forests of the park, you wouldn’t be surprised if you found yourself at the finish line in no time.

The 6.2 mile course will take you through a shaded semi flat refuge, surrounded by mature trees with twists and turns, terrain littered with rocks, rolling hills, and the sounds of nature overhead. Trail racing isn’t for first timers though. Preparing yourself for the trail isn’t the same as pounding the pavement day in and day out. I recommend venturing out to the park and exploring the trails during your training runs so your body has time to adapt. Every footfall is a mystery on the trail, engaging muscles you normally don’t use while running on the even planed roads. It takes more balance and control than you might realize you ever had!

The competition will be toeing the line, as the Friends of Caledon are sponsors of the race, and some are participants gunning to put down a new course record. Awards will be given to the top 3 male and female overall finishers and top male and female in each age division. All finishers will receive a finisher’s coin. Race Timing Unlimited will be manually timing the race and posting race results. The Friends have partnered up with neighbors from the Fredericksburg Area Running Club (FARC), where runners from all over are opting into the trail race scene giving their legs a break from the straight even surfaces of the road. You can find the registration form at any of their events and upcoming races too.

Online registration is open, or complete and download a form and mail it in or drop it off at the Caledon’s Visitor Center. Same day registration is available starting at 8 am. Registration fee is $25.00.

For more details, visit the Friends of Caledon Website.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?