September 11, 2023
Imagine stepping outside your door and taking in 84 acres of rolling farmland, a breathtaking view of
the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an accessible and diverse system of walking trails. For residents of
Kendal at Lexington, this benefit is a significant draw to the community, which supports an active
and vibrant lifestyle.
One group of residents particularly interested in the great outdoors set out to improve access to the
Lexington campus, which hosts various ecosystems, including rural pasturelands, meadows, forests and
wetlands. Headed by resident Bruce Dwyer and fellow residents Wick Walker, Bruce Summers and Vic
Crane, they set to work on the hiking trails on and surrounding the campus to expand them and make
them safer to navigate. The trails, which total 2.12 miles and boast a total ascent/descent of 336 feet, are now ready for walking adventures with brand new pathways.
Residents were quick to enjoy this updated amenity, with some taking advantage of Bruce’s guided,
and impromptu, walking tours and many others exploring the trails independently. Whether you’re seeking a brisk aerobic walk or an aesthetically pleasing stroll, the trails offer an opportunity to bask in nature’s beauty. Walkers may spot milkweed wildflowers that are intentionally left undisturbed to support the butterfly population,
benches made from recycled plastic film, groves of recently planted trees, and open fields where the
cows graze. The views from atop of Sycamore Hill will blow you away.
Residents aren’t the only ones enjoying the new terrain. Wick Walker and his border collie Misty are two
of the most frequent users. Unsurprisingly, the dogs may enjoy the trail even more than their human owners.
In December, Kendal at Lexington added a new dog park that connects to the trails, where residents
with and without dogs enjoy hanging out, soaking in the company of the community’s four-legged friends.
In addition, the community has intentionally designed the trails to be inclusive to residents with
less mobility. Parts of the course are accessible by motorized carts, allowing everyone to experience the
sereneness of the trails. Others may enjoy the picnic tables at the trail entrance or take a break while walking
on the benches available.
The trails are also enjoyed by members of the local community, including school groups that walk through on their way to the neighboring Boxerwood Garden & Nature Center.
“Improving the walking trails has added another innovative option for residents to enjoy. I never tire
of hearing residents share that the campus truly has the ‘wow’ factor,” said Jan Bigelow, CEO of Kendal
at Lexington. “The campus amenities, including the improved trails, allow the community to enjoy the
beauty Kendal at Lexington has to offer.”
It doesn’t take more than a warm invitation from a neighbor to get the community moving. Residents
and staff are in no short supply of ways to stay active. So, if you visit the campus, bring your walking shoes
and be ready to revel in nature’s bounty.