Another hidden jewel that offers a peaceful respite in close proximity to Staunton is the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center STAR Trail in Fishersville.
The short, albeit wonderfully manicured trail on the center grounds, offer woodland and pond-side access for an easy jaunt- regardless of your physical ability. STAR stands for: Supporting Therapeutic Access to Recreation.
Vision: To be the preferred provider of comprehensive Vocational Rehabilitation for Virginians with Disabilities.
Mission: Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center provides people with disabilities comprehensive, individualized services to realize personal independence through employment.Wilson Workforce Rehabilitation Center website
In keeping with the center’s credo, it is open to walkers, joggers, and is wheelchair accessible.
The half-mile loop is sprinkled with benches and even a Gazebo, so that silent reflection (and rest) are well accommodated. The small pond has a boathouse, and so I assume small craft are made available for residents of the center.
Some of the wildlife you may encounter while traipsing the trail include black bears, white tailed deer, Canadian geese and a new one to me: the Loggerhead Shrike– a chunky bird cursed with weak feet, according to a trail placard ( I can relate!). Trigger alert: according to information about this threatened species, it uses its hooked beak to kill its prey such as insects and lizards and then impales them on thorns to feed – yikes!
Feeling like I dodged a bullet by NOT seeing this rare bird, I enjoyed a peaceful visit to the STAR Trail, and will likely go back again in the fall to enjoy the cooler temperatures and beauty of its white pine forest.