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James River Park System
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A Little Bit of Wilderness in the Heart of the City

James River Park System

About A Little Bit of Wilderness in the Heart of the City

The James River Park System, a unique part of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, includes over 550 acres of shoreline and islands in the capital of Virginia, extending in 14 sections from the Huguenot Bridge in the west to a half mile beyond the I-95 Bridge in the east. It includes most of the fall line of the James River. Rocks, rapids, meadows, and forests make for an area of unspoiled natural beauty - a little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city.

The James River Park System is the most heavily visited park in Richmond, receiving well over one million visitors a year – most of whom are not city residents.

The James River Park System Loop is a loop combining the five major downtown trails: Buttermilk, Buttermilk Heights, North Bank, Belle Isle and Forest Hill Park. Loops of the system can range between 8 and 13 miles depending on the route taken. Opportunities for recreational tree climbing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting and much more are available in the park.

Source: Jamesriverpark.org, Visitrichmondva.com

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The most popular section of the James River Park System. Belle Isle offers the opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat, at a location only a few minutes from the heart of the city. Popular activities include walking the trails, swimming in the James River, rock jumping, sunbathing, birdwatching, kayaking in the James, and boulder-top picnicking only feet away from fierce rapids. It is also the home of the Belle Isle Bicycle Skills Area.