Donna Callaway has worked for Virginia State Parks since 2007
That’s what many visitors tell Donna Callaway, Maintenance Ranger at High Bridge Trail State Park. A common occurrence for Donna on the job is people taking her picture. People love to photograph her on the tractor going across the bridges and she says “there are probably more pictures of me on Facebook and I don’t even have a Facebook account."
She’s been employed with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of State Parks since 2007 and has also worked at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park and Twin Lakes State Park. She started as a Grounds Keeper then advanced to Senior Grounds Keeper and has enjoyed her Maintenance Ranger position at High Bridge Trail for the last few years.
When I asked Donna if she had any nicknames, she finally shared it, “they called me Toola in school." Toola? She said it was short for “tooling around the block” as she was famous for driving by and waving at all her friends in school. Craig Guthrie, Chief Ranger at High Bridge Trail, asked her, “What kind of car did you drive back then?” She answered, “Anything that had gas and oil in it! That’s why they called me Toola.”
Donna likes to work on small engines and is currently refurbishing a four-wheeler. She also enjoys yard work and cooking on the grill in her free time but admits that she has to make things orderly and that the house has to be right and the yard has to be right, “then I can sit back and relax." And on the job, she is constantly working on making the park picturesque.
A family enjoys riding their bikes on the trail
Fall is a great time to visit the scenic and historic High Bridge as well as enjoy the cooler weather on the rest of the trail hiking, biking or horseback riding. And there’s a lot of bush hogging and grass cutting to do on the 31 mile long trail to keep it looking its best. So the next time you see Donna efficiently grooming the trail and elegantly handling the John Deere tractor or one of the mowers, just thank her, get your camera ready, and ask her to “say cheese." You will probably also get the famous “Toola” wave!
Entrances - Parking availability:
- Rice's Depot Road, 1/4-mile off U.S. 460 at Rice, near trail milepost 142
- River Road, three miles off N. Main St. in Farmville, near trail milepost 146
- Osborne Road, 1/4-mile off N. Main St. in Farmville, near trail milepost 149
- Municipal lots in Farmville where the trail intersects with Main St. near trail milepost 150
- Tuggle Road, off U.S. 460 and near U.S. 15 North, near trail milepost 156
- Prospect Road, off U.S. 460 at Prospect, near trail milepost 161
- Elam, off U.S. 460 at Sulpher Spring Rd., near trail milepost 164
- Heights School Rd., of U.S. Business 460 near Pamplin, near trail milepost 168