Fitness in Driver, history in Chuckatuck

Published 9:39 pm Thursday, October 8, 2015

Anyone in Suffolk who values fitness or the outdoors, or especially both — no matter your level of experience in exercising or getting outside — should be excited about new projects the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is working on.

Those who like to enjoy the water, whether for exercise or leisure, will soon have a new place from which to do so. At Sleepy Hole Park, the city is building a canoe and kayak launch and fishing pier.

Lack of public water access has been a major complaint among Suffolk residents, many of whom have to travel to nearby localities to engage in their water-based hobbies. The completion date for the project is set for mid-November, and that should allow for one or two nice days on the water before winter hits. Once next spring arrives, it’s all systems go for some nice recreation on the Nansemond River and its tributaries.

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There’s a new workout option for landlubbers, too. A 2.3-mile portion of the Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Trail will open next week.

The trail features a 10-foot-wide, paved path that is open to any non-motorized transportation. Walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters are all welcome.

The trail will be a welcome change from the workout rut for anyone who is tired of seeing his or her neighborhood in a loop morning after morning. The trail is beautiful and just the right length for pretty much any walker, runner or cyclist to make it a good workout by going back and forth on it however many times they would like. Plans to add more segments are in the works.

In other good reasons to be excited, the village of Chuckatuck recently got approved for a new historical sign that includes more information about the history of the area.

The first historical marker in Chuckatuck says only that a colonial church is located there and briefly mentions occurrences during the American Revolution and Civil War.

It should go without saying that any history of Chuckatuck — however short — that doesn’t mention the Nansemond Indians, or the fact that two-term Virginia Gov. Mills E. Godwin was raised there, is a pathetic history indeed.

The Greater Chuckatuck Historical Foundation recognized that fact and included the Nansemonds, Godwin and more, in addition to the original facts on the sign, in an updated version that was approved recently by the state Department of Historic Resources.

The foundation ought to be applauded for their work to correct this omission.