A Ride Through Holly Grove

August 27, 2009

I forgot the thrill of biking through the countryside until yesterday when I drove through eastern Louisa County mapping out a biking route there. As you might suspect, I’ve spent this morning dusting off my bicycle and resolving to get my legs in shape for a long ride by fall. Here are some pics from the day to tweek your interest in taking the ride!  Watch our YouTube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lVtp5wGxMM&layer_token=fae1bbbdf665c7cc

The route I’ll tell you about starts at the Holly Grove Ruritan park on the Crewsville Road.  The Ruritans welcome cyclers to park here.  (I’ll give you directions to the starting place at the end.)  I headed east on Crewsville Road, reveling in the beauty of  hay fields against a blue sky. Just before reaching Holly Grove Road, I screeched to a halt in front of a long stretch of split rail fence and rolling pasture beyond it. Folly Hill Farm, circa 1720, said the sign at the end of the driveway. “That’s right,” I thought to myself, “This was one of the very first settled sections of what would become Louisa County in 1742.” I knew the route I planned was going to take me past the 1750 era Sunny Side, complete with an English basement and the remains on the Shelton Mill on the South Anna River, but Folly Hill was a surprise!

Just around the corner on Holly Grove Road was Mr. Nicholas’ vegetable stand. He came out, of course, to see what I was doing with my camera. I introduced myself and he seemed genuinely delighted at the prospect of being a stopping spot on a tour.  He was quick to tell me he would have sweet potatoes in just a few weeks.  His stand is ready to welcome passersby… coming on two wheels or four!

The whole tour is 17.5 wonderfully peaceful miles. It might take you an hour or two…unless you get to talking to Mr. Kersey at the store, as I did. His recollections of life in Holly Grove (well, Inez, really) since the 1940s kept me another half an hour just listening and enjoying his delight in the people who came by and the service he and his father before him have provided to the community for seven decades.  Now, I’d be remiss not to warn you that he has a very prominent sign hanging amidst the lanterns and old snow sleds that clearly says, “No Politicians or Drunk Allowed on the Premises!”  He runs a harmonious establishment!

You can get to the Ruritans Park off of Rt. 522 by turning east on Payne’s Mill Road (Rt. 601) and then left onto Crewsville Road. Coming from Rt. 33, turn onto Willow Brook Rd at McQueen’s Store and then right onto Crewsville.

From the parking area, turn left and take the Crewsville Road 3 miles to Holly Grove and turn right. Go 1.7 miles on Holly Grove Road to Kersey’s Store…be sure you stop! Take a left onto Factory Mill Road (named after the Civil War era mill that manufactured woolen fabric for the Confederacy there) and go about 4.4 miles through beautiful rolling horse county.

Take a right onto Octagon Church Road. You’ll be on smooth gravel for 1 mile.  Then take a right onto Owen’s Creek Rd.for 1.5 miles to Owen’s Creek Country Store. Go right there back onto Holly Grove Road. Be sure to look into the trees on the left just before you cross the South Anna for Shelton’s Mill. It will be a beautiful view when the leaves begin to fall.

Just before you return to Kersey’s store, take a left onto West Chapel Road. Go about 2.5 miles back to Crewsville Road, take a left on Crewsville and your car will be waiting for you at the Ruritans.  If you want a longer ride, turn north on Willow Brook Road before you return to the Ruritan Park.  Go across Rt. 33 on Bethany Church Road and go as far as you’d like up toward Fredericks Hall. You can return down Wickham Road to Paynes Mill and then back to Crewsville and the Ruritan park.  This route can add 15 to 30 more miles for those serious riders who love country roads!

Have a great time and leave a comment on the tour for others to read what YOU liked best along the way.


One comment

  1. RE: Folly Hill Rd, would appreciate any local lore about the Folly associated with naming the hill, road, and creek. Earliest documented owner of property on Maidlins Folly Creek was George Alves, but Folly most like tied to the Maidlin family found in St. Peter (New Kent) and St. Paul (Hanover) vestry books as early as 1699 and most likely came over around 1690 based on Fleming land patent.

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