One of Wheeling’s greatest assets is the Wheeling Heritage Trail. Whether you are getting your heart rate up on a long run, taking a leisurely stroll, or commuting by bike on foot, the trail provides access to several of Wheeling’s neighborhoods – and there are so many sights to take in! I recently hit the trail with my camera to capture all of the sights that many of us can take for granted after several visits to this hub of the community.
There is something grand about the Suspension Bridge-even if you’ve seen it before. The stone gateway structure takes me back to a place in history. I wonder about all of the people who used this bridge through the years.
Even looking into the sun, the suspension bridge spanning across the Ohio River allows for a place of shadow in the glimmering water of the river.
In the afternoon sun, it struck me how peaceful the trail can be, this meeting of the city buildings up against the trees on the trees on the bank of the Ohio River. What a great place to decompress.
Looking north and south on the trail behind the Orrick building feels like a savanna opening along the trail. The landscaped grass looks so inviting. It’s easy to imagine people sitting on blankets with a picnic or a group tossing around a frisbee at this location.
Behind Wesbanco Arena, the trail narrows as if both local events and nature compete for the same space or maybe share it.
Heading north from the arena, you see the trail guardrail ushering in a view of the Suspension Bridge, tall city buildings, and Interstate 70. There’s a lot to take in on this view, probably too much for a photographer to focus on any one thing.
The scenic view of the Suspension Bridge from the viewpoint of Adirondack chairs. In an airport or on cruise ships, these chairs would be taken. Today, the empty chairs have the view all to themselves by the trees and the Canada Geese. The viewer’s eye brings you right to the bridge.
This cement bench looks like a quiet place to sit in the shade behind the privacy of a wall while allowing a view of the trail.
The trail route sign lets you know that you will be meandering through the edge of Wheeling.
What a surprise to find a rose bush along the trail. The flowers provided a contrast with the wildness of the Ohio River.
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One of several monuments to veterans and others along the trail. I wondered how groups were able to place their monuments along the trail.
The stairway down to the river looks covered with mud. It was a reminder to me how even the organized plan of this trail cannot hold back the flowing of the seasons-the rising river in spring.
I do not know this tree species, but the red leaves contrasting with the beautiful blue sky caught my attention.
Yes, Canada Geese can get a bit overwhelming in their numbers. But seeing a family making their way by the Heritage Port reminds me that so many families are trying to get by, trying to care for their little ones.
When I saw this ring attached to the wall on the Heritage Trail, it made me wonder why it is there. Is it for decoration, or did it at one time have a purpose? Did someone tie a horse up to this ring? It seems too far from the water to be of use for tying up a boat. So why is it here?
I’m always on the lookout for wildlife. This woodchuck or groundhog is the largest mammal I’ve spotted on the trail after the many squirrels I came across on my walk. The woodchuck seemed to feel more comfortable in the shadows just off the trail.This must be the line of safety between the city and nature that the animal can experience.
These flowers look like daisies, but I believe they are a type of Fleabane resting just off the trail on the edge of the embankment. The contrast between the eye-catching flowers and the afternoon shadows looks pleasing and peaceful.
The children’s playground, the Fort Henry sign, and the background building show that the trail serves multiple purposes and has something to offer for many age groups and interests.
One of many memorial locations along the trail. The American flags resting quietly in the afternoon breeze remind me of the sacrifices so many have made and the memory that we hold in honor and respect.
I took this photo of a rose because it appeared to be just at its peak of beauty.
The late afternoon sun warms the Ohio River just off the trail. The Adirondack chairs in the shadow of trees are a wonderful reminder of how the Wheeling community connects to the river heritage.
• Daniel Caron is a speaker, photographer, and nature enthusiast.