UPDATE: 6/9/2020 After a beautiful but locked down spring, the Monticello Saunders Trail has reopened today! The home of Thomas Jefferson is due to open in the near future for house tours, but for now we are loving the trail again!!! And yes, the Michie Tavern is serving food as well! Life is good.
One of the unique features of staying at the Inn at Monticello is that you can walk or run from our front door to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
Our inn is located on Route 20 South, just across the road from Secluded Farm, a 100-acre tract of mostly wooded land that is leased by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, owners of Monticello. The Foundation has created a network of trails throughout the property, that is open to the public. One of these trails, the Lower Meadow Trail, connects with the Saunders Trail, which leads to Jefferson’s home. From the Inn at Monticello, you can walk to the mountain-top, where Jefferson’s house is located, in about 35 minutes. Part of the Saunders Trail is gravel and part is a finely-constructed boardwalk that hugs the contours of Carter Mountain.
Along the way, you’ll encounter other walkers, some runners and bicyclists, and a few happy dogs out exercising their owners. You’ll smell the aroma of fried chicken from the kitchen at Michie Tavern, a 1784 “Ordinary” that about 100 years ago moved from its original location north of Charlottesville to be near Monticello. Close-up, you’ll see many different species of birds and trees. Far-away, you’ll see the City of Charlottesville and the grounds or campus of the University of Virginia. When you get to Monticello’s Visitors’ Center, you can relax over a cup of coffee and a pastry, or look over the books, plants and beautiful handmade wooden objects at the Gift Shop.
Traveling to Monticello on foot is a great experience!