The drive down was pretty dull (though scenic at this time of year - lots of fall color) until the last couple of miles where I was delayed by a massive accident which had one lane closed. Still, it took just over 2 hours, including a stop in Spotsylvania to buy gas. I had no problem finding the starting point, which is a restaurant in what looks like a semi-industrial zone. The directions said there is a start box outside on the veranda for people who want to walk before the restaurant opens. Finding the start box was a bit tricky. Actually, I had to call the point of contact because I couldn't find it. It turns out to be the thing that looks like a fuse box bolted to the fence. Some kind of sign on the outside might help. And, since it was closed with two bolts, finding it was not the only complication. Fortunately, I had a few coins with me and a penny makes a perfectly adequate screwdriver.
The walk instructions were, fortunately, considerably easier. The route included several urban trails around the James River and associated canal system, as well as the Tredegar Iron Works / Civil War Visitor Center, White House of the Confederacy, Museum of the Confederacy, and Capitol Square. I know that Thomas Jefferson designed the capitol building and he is just about next to G-d in Virginia, but I prefer domed capitols myself. Richmond's Old City Hall is pretty spectacular, though, resembling a gothic cathedral in design. I also thought that the statue of George Washington is pretty spectacular. It also has smaller statues of other Virginia patriots. I admit to only being familiar with Patrick Henry and George Mason and I only know Mason because every third building in Fairfax County is named after him. The disappointing site along the way is the Falls of the James River. They're really just a bunch of rocks and rapids, without any significant drop.
Overall, it was pleasant walk, but I still think Annapolis is a more attractive city. Hell, if I could handle the commute, I would happily live there.
My drive home was probably quicker than the drive down. Or, it would have been, had I not gotten a bit lost trying to get back to I-95. It was a good day trip, as long as one ignores the inherent absurdity of driving 100 or so miles each way in order to walk just over 6.