Editorial: The Trump Administration’s Fake Grid-Resiliency Plan

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune:Energy Secretary Rick Perry claims his plan to further subsidize the failing coal and nuclear power industries is crucial to improving the electrical power grid.The grid itself disagrees.PJM Interconnection, which operates the massive power grid covering 13 states, including Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, has told the Department of Energy that the subsidy plan is “unworkable.”Perry wants to require utilities to compensate power generators that maintain 90-day stockpiles of coal or nuclear fuel, ostensibly to shore up the grid during protracted periods of cold or hot weather. It is a transparent payback to those industries for their political support last year of President Donald Trump.Power generation isn’t the issue regarding the grid. More than 40 new gas-fueled power plants are planned or under construction in Pennsylvania alone. The supposedly free-market administration would skew the market in favor of coal by regulation.According to PJM, doing so would drive up power costs throughout its region. And a large bipartisan group of former commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the ultimate grid regulator, told the DOE that the plan would not only increase power prices but dry up investment in new, cleaner, more efficient power plants.The plan isn’t about shoring up the grid. It’s about shoring up Trump’s political base. The DOE should abandon it.Perry refuted Editorial: The Trump Administration’s Fake Grid-Resiliency Planlast_img read more

Connecticut joins no-more-coal coalition

first_imgConnecticut joins no-more-coal coalition FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hartford Courant:Connecticut will join an international coalition dedicated to ending reliance on traditional coal-fired power plants, Gov. Daniel P. Malloy announced at a San Francisco conference Thursday.The only remaining coal-burning power plant in Connecticut is the Bridgeport Harbor Station. That plant is already scheduled to be shut down by 2021 and be replaced with a new, less-polluting natural gas facility. But Malloy said joining other U.S. states and businesses on the “Powering Past Coal Alliance,” includes a commitment by Connecticut not to allow construction of any new coal-powered plants.“Climate change is the most significant global threat in our lifetime,” Malloy said in a statement issued at a meeting of the U.S. Climate Alliance. “We have seen its impacts firsthand this summer from wildfires in California to the powerful Hurricane Florence on the East Coast.”The Bridgeport Harbor Station plant is one of the last coal-fired generating facilities in New England. The massive plant has been a major target for environmental and minority community activists. The plant is owned by PSEG Power Connecticut LLC, a subsidiary of one of the largest electricity producers in the U.S.The natural gas replacement for the Bridgeport Harbor Station plant is expected to be in operation next year. Plans call for it to be capable of producing 485 megawatts of electricity, according to company officials.More: Connecticut joining anti-coal climate coalitionlast_img read more

BNEF estimates new global solar installations in 2019 at 125GW, or more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Oilprice.com:Renewable energy will march forward this year, due to “remorseless reductions in the costs of solar and wind electricity and of lithium-ion batteries,” Angus McCrone, the chief editor of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) wrote in a commentary. Clean energy will also make huge strides because of the “widening realization on the part of investors and corporations that there is this ‘sustainability thing’ and, for reasons of self-interest, they just need to do it,” McCrone added.Falling costs for wind and solar are great news, but they also make the headline investment figure appear less impressive. BNEF sees total clean energy investment hovering at around $300 billion, down from 2018’s $332.1 billion. But while investment totals will be down this year, as time marches on and costs continue to fall, every dollar invested brings more renewable energy capacity.The same will be true in 2019. For instance, BNEF predicts that the world will add between 125 and 141 gigawatts (GW) of new solar this year, sharply up from the ~109 GW added in 2018. For wind, BNEF sees capacity additions of 70 GW in 2019, up from 53.5 GW last year.One notable development is the rise of offshore wind. It will still remain a fraction of the wind installation total, but “eye-catching price drops” will make it a “must-have” technology this year, BNEF analysts argue. Europe is set to install 4.9 GW of offshore wind, with Asia installing 3.5 GW – both new record highs. BNEF says this will be the last year that Europe leads in offshore wind. From here on out, Asia will take over as the global leader.Energy storage hits a milestone in 2019 as well, adding 10 GWh of new capacity for the first time. China will “establish a truly global presence” in the energy storage market, with automakers increasingly seeking out Chinese suppliers. Average battery prices could fall below $150/kWh this year, down from $176/kWh last year, which itself was a record low.More: “Remorseless’’ cost reductions drive renewable energy revolution BNEF estimates new global solar installations in 2019 at 125GW, or morelast_img read more

Hawaiian Electric plans for 2022 closing of Oahu coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Honolulu Star Advertiser:Wanted: More sources of alternative energy to power Hawaii.In an effort to prepare for the closure of two fossil-fuel plants in the state — the coal-fired AES Hawaii plant on Oahu and the oil-fired Kahului Power Plant on Maui — Hawaiian Electric Companies is seeking more renewable energy projects.The companies, which provide power to residents on Oahu and Hawaii island and in Maui County, are seeking an array of solar, wind, storage and other projects to help generate electricity in place of the two plants.The 180-megawatt AES Hawaii power plant at Campbell Industrial Park is currently the largest single generator on the Hawaiian Electric system, providing 16 percent of the peak demand on Oahu. It is slated to close by September 2022. On Maui, the Kahului Power Plant is expected to close by the end of 2024.Both plants have been around for more than 20 years and have been good partners, but times have changed, according to [Hawaiian Electric Companies spokesman Peter] Rosegg.“The AES contract is expiring, and no one’s interested in renewing it,” said Rosegg. “It’s coal, dirtiest of all our power plants in the system. There’s no question we’ve known for a while it would retire at the end of the contract. Kahului has been more flexible, but it’s an old plant. We’ve looked at closing it before. Now we’re committed to doing it.”More: HEI seeks renewable options as end nears for 2 plants Hawaiian Electric plans for 2022 closing of Oahu coal plantlast_img read more

U.K.’s largest subsidy-free solar farm begins commercial operation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd on Monday said it has brought online a 50-MWp solar installation, which is the biggest subsidy-free solar park in the UK.The Staughton solar farm, located on the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire border in England, produces enough power to cover the needs of about 15,000 households. This is the second subsidy-free solar system switched on by NESF this year, after it completed the 5.4-MWp Hall Farm II in Leicestershire in August. The company’s portfolio of operating solar assets has reached a total capacity of 755 MWp.The company also said that the site of its next subsidy-free solar park, High Garrett, is being prepared for construction. It will be an 8.5-MWp extension to the 5-MW Kentishes solar park in Essex, which sells electricity under the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) scheme in the UK and was acquired by NESF in 2016. The new system is due to be completed in the first half of 2020.NESF plans to add UK subsidy-free assets with a total capacity of about 150 MWp to its portfolio, including 55.4 MWp that are already delivered.[Aleksandra Dimitrova]More: NESF switches on 50-MWp subsidy-free solar farm in UK U.K.’s largest subsidy-free solar farm begins commercial operationlast_img read more

Should Section Hikes Count as Legitimate Thru-Hikes?

first_imgYES: 30%It’s just a very slow thru-hike with lots of consecutive zero days.—RevLee, Wilmington, Del.I would feel the same sense of accomplishment completing a trail, section by section, as I would completing it as a legitimate thru-hike. It’s not about the miles; it’s about the smiles.—B.A., via the webAs long as each section starts exactly where the previous hike ended, then I say yes. I walked every step of the Colorado Trail that way and saw the same sites as the thru-hikers. I had to build up strength and endurance each time I started a new section.—Trip Kirk, Baltimore, Md.No: 70%A thru-hike is a continuous hike, not a bunch of day hikes strung together. The whole ethic of spending extended periods of time in the endeavor is the point—and in my opinion should be the definition of a thru-hike.—Kim Deacon, via FacebookI’ve done a fair amount of section hiking. If I ever finish the A.T., I can’t really envision describing myself as anything other than a person who has section-hiked the whole A.T. There’s a big difference between running a marathon and breaking up that distance into three-mile lengths and doing them over a long period of time.—Karl Kunkel, Hollywood, Fla.I am seven years into section hiking the A.T. When I make it to Katahdin, I will in no way consider myself a thru-hiker. A week or two versus six straight months requires completely different levels of psychological readiness.—Ben M., San Antonio, Tex.Anyone can spend 20 years hiking the whole trail in sections, but it takes a special kind of hiker to hike the whole trail at one time. Doing it in one hike means having to sacrifice everything to complete your mission.—Michael Brouillette, Austin, Tex.last_img read more

The Best Outdoor City

first_img Coolidge Park on the banks of the Tennessee River A river runs through it: From Lookout Mountain, the Tennessee River snakes through the cityBEST OUTDOOR CITY: CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEEThe city Walter Cronkite famously called the dirtiest in America in 1969 has reinvented itself into the outdoor mecca of the South and a model for green transformation. How did this traditionally industrial city once known as the “Pittsburgh of the South” accomplish such a feat? Turns out it’s because of its historical manufacturing background, not despite it.Spreading out from Moccasin Bend on the mighty Tennessee River, Chattanooga has always been a gateway to both the South and the West. The site was a hub of commerce as far back as the 17th century when French trappers established trade routes on the banks of the Tennessee. Chattanooga also played major roles in the French and Indian, Revolutionary, and Civil wars, a testament to its historical significance as a linchpin city. The steel and coal industries helped the city earn its dirty reputation, but then a funny thing happened: Chattanooga’s leaders woke up.Community businessmen realized that the city’s trajectory was not economically or environmentally sustainable. We are talking about a downtown in which workers had to change their shirts at lunch due to the grit and grime in the air, where you could barely make out the surrounding mountains due to the smog. Chattanooga reached a cultural and socioeconomic low-point in the 1980s as de-industrialization decimated its population. From those ashes, both figurative and literal, rose an idea to revitalize the downtown area with a $120 million investment in a riverwalk complete with paths, pocket parks, river access, and music venues centered around the Tennessee Aquarium and downtown art museum in one of the largest public/private development projects in the nation. Philip Grymes, executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga, says the changes not only affected the urban landscape, but the community atmosphere of the city as well.“Downtown Chattanooga was once a sleepy town you didn’t want to come into; once the doors closed at 5 o’clock it was like a runway to get out,” he said. “The community design has really changed. It’s no longer about how can we get people in and out of the city quickly. It’s more about how we can get people to enjoy the city and get out of their cars and walk around and get on a bike.”Those efforts include a progressive citywide bike share program, a model for larger cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, and because the public had significant input in the planning process, there is a sense of responsibility for the downtown area that was lacking before.“Collective ownership of this city has evolved so much over the last 10 years,” said Fynn Glover, who was born and raised in Chattanooga and is the founder of RootsRated, an outdoor startup providing grassroots trail reviews. “Chattanooga has a lot of very passionate citizens who are working very hard to continue the economic growth here in a way that does not lose our connection with our natural resources. People know that this playground is the most important thing. It’s what makes Chattanooga an attractive place to do business, an attractive place to live, and an attractive place to raise a family.”Spiral out from the revitalized downtown and it’s easy to see how the city has put in the effort to re-label itself as a model for the outdoor lifestyle. The Rim Trail on Lookout Mountain and the new Stringer’s Ridge system two minutes from downtown offer some of the best trail running in the nation. Mountain biking at Raccoon Mountain and Five Points on Lookout each boast over 20 miles of classic singletrack. The Cumberland Trail over Signal Mountain and the soon to be completed Cloudland Connector Trail are long distance hiking trails with stunning views. Need something more extreme? Learn to hang glide at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. The fact that Chattanooga will host the U.S. Cycling Championships from 2013-15 along with established events like Riverbend, a nine-day riverside music festival, only add to the city’s reputation.The recreation opportunities, Rock City, and Ruby Falls have always been there, only now the city attracts the outdoors enthusiast to not only visit, but also to stay. Those people include two of its greatest outdoor ambassadors. Grymes visited Chattanooga from western North Carolina with no plans to settle down; that was in 1996. Al Smith, the general manager at the Southside hostel The Crash Pad, came to Chattanooga for the extensive climbing opportunities at places like the famous Tennessee Wall and Sunset Rock, both 20 minutes from downtown.“You don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere,” Smith said. “You can live in the middle of a busy metropolitan city and still go rock climbing nearly every day. It’s a really easy urban lifestyle here, and it’s not too expensive. Chattanooga is like a giant summer camp. It has a lot to offer many different types of people, not just the outdoorsy person but the artist, student, and entrepreneur as well.”As more and more people come to Chattanooga because of the culture and vibe, the city has grown an extensive community of citizens who are willing to put in the work building multi-use trails at places like the Lulu Lake Land Trust and Prentice Cooper State Park. Connecting all those hundreds of miles of trails within different systems is now the name of the game, says Grymes.“Thanks to the efforts of our outdoor community, all the trails will be connected right to downtown,” he said.The mix of urban and outdoor life seems to be ideal in Chattanooga these days. People come for the outdoor recreation opportunities and stay for the urban economy and low cost of living.Best Mountain Town – Chattanooga from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.CHATTANOOGA QUICK HITS5 minutesRent a board and SUP at Ross’ Landing on the flat water of the Tennessee River right downtown. Check out SUPPaddleboard.com for free clinics and rentals. Rent a bike and pedal the Tennessee Riverwalk over the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges.15 minutesGrab your bike and ride the East Rim Trail on Raccoon Mountain for breathtaking views of the city and access to intermediate and expert trails like MegaWatt and Table Rock. Climb the best rock in the Southeast at Tennessee Wall, or just watch the experts do their thing from solid ground.30 minutesTake a trail run to Lula Lake Falls in the Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain. Get high—2,000 feet high—in a glider at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Chattanooga Bike Statue Coolidge Park Chattanooga Chattanooga will host an IRONMAN triathlon for five consecutive years beginning in 2014. RUNNERS UPRICHMOND, VA.The mighty James River flows through the heart of the city, one of only a few truly urban whitewater runs in the country. The 2.5-mile run from Reedy Creek to 14th Street is a locals’ favorite, featuring Class I-IV whitewater and well known rapids such as Lulu and Hollywood, named after the Hollywood Cemetery that overlooks it – also a great place for a late afternoon run.You can pick up the James River Park system of trails at Belle Island and run, hike, or ride over 10 miles along both banks of the river and in Forest Hill Park. You can also get some urban climbing in at Manchester Wall, a set of four railroad pillars that offer over 40 routes in the 65-foot range. City pocket parks like Powhite and Larus maximize their space with honeycomb trail systems. Head south to Pocahontas State Park for over 40 miles of excellent singletrack surrounding scenic Beaver and Swift Creek lakes.Adding to Richmond’s outdoor cred is that it’s the host of the Xterra East Championship Off-Road Triathlon, which uses the James River trails for its running and biking portions. It will also host the 2015 ICU Road World Championships, one of the world’s premiere cycling races held for the first time in the U.S. since 1986.WASHINGTON, D.CDespite the political gridlock of the District, the city has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, no matter if you are blue or red. In 2010, we named D.C. one of our top Southeastern running towns, thanks to running clubs like the D.C. Road Runners and Washington Runners Club. Runners can hop on the Capital Crescent Trail, a popular rail trail running from Georgetown to Silver Springs or join the Cherry Blossom 10 mile, one of the nation’s most popular races.Just upriver from downtown is Great Falls Park and Mather Gorge, with world class Class II-IV paddling, miles of hiking trails tracing the Falls, and biking for all skill levels. Northwest Branch outside College Park has established bouldering routes or top rope at Carderock in Great Falls. These urban adventures are great, but our founding fathers chose the site of our capital for a reason: its accessibility. Some of the best parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia are just a short drive from the city limits.CLOSE CONTENDERSKNOXVILLE, TENN.This up and comer is starting to embrace its location on the Tennessee, Clinch, and Little Rivers, and investing in the Knoxville urban wilderness with over 40 miles of trails two miles from downtown. With epic biking and climbing in Big South Fork to the north and GSMNP to the south, expect to see Knoxville contend for the top spot in the years to come.CHARLOTTE, N.C.This finance hub is the home of the Charlotte Whitewater Center, training center for Team USA. Just outside of town, climb the summit of Crowders Mountain or head east to the Wood Run mountain bike trails of Uwharrie National Forest.RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C.Tobacco Road may be dominated by hoops fans, but water flows everywhere and this area boasts a thriving music and festival scene. W.B. Umstead State Park contains over 20 miles of secluded hiking trails and is one of the few North Carolina state parks that allows biking. Smallmouth and Roanoke bass fishing can be found just outside of town on the Eno River as it flows through Eno State Park.GREENVILLE, S.C.From downtown paddling to downhill mountain biking, you can pretty much do it all in Greenville, which may become the next Asheville, with its ease of access and cool mountain vibe. The Mountain Lake Wilderness Area holds 50 miles of the best hiking in South Carolina, and the 371,000-acre Sumter National Forest is perfect for a weekend backpacking trip along the Chattooga River.ATLANTA, GA.Hotlanta’s proximity to the mountains of North Georgia make it a hotbed of outdoorsy folks: excellent mountain biking, hiking, and fishing in Chattahoochee National Forest are just an hour north of the city. Meanwhile, Stone Mountain and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area are within city limits. Throw in urban bouldering at Boat Rock and the 1996 Olympic mountain bike course in the suburbs, and some of the world’s top runners in the Atlanta Track Club, and it’s easy to see why Atlanta is one of the region’s best outdoor cities.last_img read more

The Latest DEET-Free Bug Repellent Techniques

first_imgbug-nettingHow can something so small be so annoying?I’ve heard it said more than once that the Blue Ridge Mountains are “God’s Country.” I guess the bugs missed the memo…they seem to think they run things around these parts, and attack with an apocalyptic vengeance. No more, we say! Here we’ve rounded up the most contemporary ways to stave off this plague.For decades we’ve been using harsh chemicals to combat these critters, but there are natural, safer options circling the market. We all know DEET is bad, but unfortunately, finding an effective alternative has been a challenge.Thankfully Natrapel has arrived. A DEET-free product that contains a 20-percent Picaridin formula, the spray Natrapellasts eight hours and actually works. No more bites or stings from mosquitos, black flies or ticks. The formula is safe to use around clothing, children, and fishing lines.Another option? Make your own homemade bug spray! It’s easier than it sounds. Follow our step-by-step instructions to create a soothing and effective spray that can be sprayed directly onto skin or clothing.homemade-bug-sprayThis spray begins with Witch Hazel, a shrub derived extract that is commonly used as an astringent. Next we add Jojoba oil, another shrub derivative, that aids in the absorption of oils into our skin. Then we move onto Essential Oils, plant and resin extracts that are highly concentrated and effective. We’ve chosen a combination of oils that naturally repel insects, but remain safe and harmless to human skin. While humans find their scent appealing, bugs flee away from them. We finish the mixture off with distilled water, which has most of the impurities removed. The result is an all natural bug spray that combines the pleasant scent of lavender, minty freshness of tea tree and spa soothing eucalyptus.1. Begin with 4 oz spray bottle. (A dark colored bottle is prefered.)2. Add 2 tbsp Witch Hazel3. Add 2 tbsp Jojoba Oil4. Add Essential Oils:-20 drops Lavender Oil-10 drops Eucalyptus Oil-5 drops Tea Tree Oil-5 drops Citronella5. Replace spray cap and shake to blend ingredients.6. Remove cap, fill almost to the top of the bottle with distilled water. Shake again.7. Spray and enjoy!Hesitant to put anything at all on you or your child’s skin? Try the new Insect Blocker Mesh Jacket from Columbia. This lightweight zip up jacket not only creates a physical barrier between you and the bugs, but actually repels the bugs. Columbia-JacketUsing their Insect Blocker technology, the mesh helps keep mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and other flying insects away. The drawcord adjustable hem at the bottom allows you to cinch the jacket to your body to keep bugs from flying up into the jacket, while the hood helps cover your head and neck. Long sleeve shirts and pants are also available for both men and women.Ready to keep your entire picnic area or patio pest free? The ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Outdoor Lantern offers a 15’ x 15’ zone of protection. Using the heat created from a butane cartridge, repellent is released into the air from a small mat that has been saturated in insect repellent. The vapor released is kid and pet friendly and repels mosquitos,black flies and other flying pests. The adjustable lantern also works as a great light source without worrying about a candle or open flame. We found the vapor to be odorless and the bugs disappeared within 10 minutes of turning on. The butane cartridges and insect repellent mats are replaceable, so be sure to stock up on replacements when you order your lantern.ThermaCELL-OutdoorLanternlast_img read more

On the Road Again: A Pro Photographer’s Greatest Gear

first_imgIf you’re not planning a solid road trip this summer, stop what you’re doing now and check your pulse; you might be dead inside. The road trip is an integral part of outdoor culture: a rite of passage for the young and an annual ritual for the experienced. While most of us feel like we have our road trip gear dialed in, few people have spent as much time curating their kit as Derek DiLuzio, a professional photographer who shoots everything from powder skiing in the Rockies to fly fishing in the Southern Appalachians. DiLuzio is on the road shooting for a variety of magazines at least four months out of the year, and he knows exactly what to pack to get the job done in style.“There’s a lot of unpredictability when you’re shooting pictures, so you have to be ready for anything,” DiLuzio says.Orion Cooler ($499)It’s a 65-liter, really big cooler that will keep ice for about a week. It’s such a relief not to have to buy ice every day. I can truly establish a base camp and not worry about keeping food cold.Sylvan Sport GO ($9,995)This is a game-changer for me. I can’t tell you how luxurious it is to be able to stand up and change, or sit at a table and work or eat. I can drop it anywhere, and it can be a home base for camping or just a place for wardrobe changes. It feels so civilized after camping on the ground for so many years.Boardworks Shubu Sport ($899)This board folds into a backpack, and it’s incredibly stiff after you blow it up. It handles river rapids and even ocean surf really well.BMC Speedfox 02 TrailCrew ($5,900)The Speedfox is an efficient way to explore the forest and look for different shooting locations. It’s a mix of carbon and aluminum with a Fox Float fork and XT components.Road Shower 2 ($300)It’s basically a five-gallon, solar heated water tank that you can pressurize with air. It’s great for washing off the bikes or board, or just taking a shower after a ride.Catan ($20)If my wife is traveling with me, we always bring board games because we’re incredibly competitive. The card game version of Catan is our go-to night time diversion. My wife taught me everything I know about Catan, but I’m absolutely the champ.Osprey Momentum 32 Bicycle Commuter Pack ($140)The mesh-covered shoulder straps and back panel provide ventilated comfort, especially on long, hot, sweaty commutes in the South. Laptops stay protected in a dedicated top-sleeve, and there are plenty of zippered pockets and storage compartments in this versatile 32-liter pack.Kammock Thylacine Sleeping Bag ($329)It’s two bags in one: on its own, the Thylacine Down is a 20°F rated sleep system. Combined with the zip-in Thylacine Liner, you can sleep comfortably at or above 0°F. Lightweight and durable, the bag can be tailored directly to the body with simple cinch straps.OnSight Half Nelson 2 Minimalist Bike Pack ($45)For cycling commuters or mountain bikers on an all-day ride, the Half Nelson pack holds all your essentials: hydration bladder, pump, tools, food, and a light jacket. All the main fabrics, mesh, zippers, and buckles in the Half Nelson minimalist bike pack are produced from recycled plastic water bottles.Goal Zero Sherpa 100 ($299)I need power for my laptop and cameras. This battery pack comes with a solar panel, so I can charge it off my truck engine or off the sun. It’ll run my computer, charge my camera and power some lights. And it’s small too, so you can put it in a backpack if you need to.last_img read more


first_imgConveniently located between Richmond and Washington, D.C., the Fredericksburg region, consisting of Stafford County, Spotsylvania County and the city of Fredericksburg, offers outdoor enthusiasts a nearly-endless supply of activities year-round. Here are just a few of our favorites: ON THE WATERRappahannock RiverThe Rappahannock River in eastern Virginia is the country’s longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States. Enjoy the river on your own or discover a number of river outfitters in the area that offer kayaking, fishing and tubing trips.Lake AnnaAmong Virginia’s most popular lakes, Lake Anna offers 13,000 scenic acres of sailing, water-skiing and sport fishing. Boaters can launch boats at the lake’s marinas or take a rental for a spin. At Lake Anna State Park, guests can rent cabins, yurts and lodges for up to 16 people. The park boasts miles of pristine hiking and horseback riding trails. Widewater State ParkWidewater State Park, which just opened in the fall of 2018, offers two miles of shoreline along the Potomac River. The park features beaches, hiking trails, picnic shelters, a public boat launch and a visitor center. TAKE A HIKE Government IslandNow a natural park preserve and archaeological site, Government Island contains a trail and interpretive signs to help depict its rich, nationally significant history (the stone from the Quarry was used to build the White House and the U.S. Capitol). With a 1.5 mile trail, Government Island is an ideal location to observe aquatic and native plants, as well as birds and other wildlife.Crow’s Nest Natural Area PreserveThe topography of Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve is varied, with the high narrow ridgeline rising 160 feet above two tidally influenced creeks: Potomac and Accokeek. Crow’s Nest also includes a shoreline birding/nature trail to viewpoints of Accokeek Creek, and an ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch facility for the Crow’s Nest Water Trail.BattlefieldsGeographically located halfway between the Union and Confederate capital cities, the Fredericksburg region is surrounded by Civil War battlefields and historic sites. The battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse all raged within a 20-mile radius. These battlefields are all protected by the National Park Service and offer a number of activities.GRAPES & GRAINSPotomac Point WineryPotomac Point Winery is a beautiful, Mediterranean-style winery. The estate includes a delicious bistro, tasting room, internal courtyard, pavilion and event room. Just one mile from the Potomac River, the location was selected because of its rich history, fertile soil and river influences.Smith Bowman DistilleryA staple of Spotsylvania, A. Smith Bowman Distillery balances time-honored traditions with innovation and creativity to produce hand-crafted spirits. The distillery offers a large venue to gather, as well as tours and tastings throughout the day.Spencer Devon BreweryA full-service brewery and restaurant in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg, Spencer Devon focuses on providing exceptionally crafted beer and a quality dining experience using locally derived ingredients.Start planning your Fredericksburg area adventure at visitfred.com. last_img read more