Rivanna Trails

Local Area Hiking Resources

We are fortunate in this region to have many parks, natural areas, and trails that offer abundant opportunities for safe, healthy walking. Here are a few of our favorites, selected because they offer beautiful scenery and cost nothing to visit. Please be alert for each trail's particular guidelines.

  • The Ragged Mountain Natural Area has challenging, rugged rustic trails encircling one of Charlottesville's sources of drinking water.

  • Pen Park contains a peacefully quiet footpath along the Rivanna River and an accessible Fitness Trail complete with upper-body exercise equipment.

  • Sugar Hollow Reservoir is the starting point for two challenging trails that follow the two forks of the Moormans River. Both have multiple stream crossings. Sugar Hollow is located at the end of Route 614 west of the town of Whitehall.

  • Dating to the 1850's, the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel is now a pedestrian trail beneath Afton Mountain (and envisioned as a link between the proposed Three Notched Trail and the Shenandoah Valley).
  • The Fluvanna Heritage Trail in Pleasant Grove Park, near Palmyra, has an accessible trail leading down to the Rivanna River and a rustic trail extending several miles upriver.

  • The Saunders-Monticello Trail, with its beautifully designed boardwalk that meanders up Carter Mountain to Monticello, is fully accessible.

  • Terrain360.com has interactive 360-degree views of trails throughout Virginia, including portions of our own Rivanna Trail.

Other Trail Related Organizations & Links

In addition to the trails listed above, here are some other groups where you can find information about other local trails, environmental advocacy, transportation planning, and kindred spirits for safety, inspiration, and friendship.

Charlottesville Parks & RecThere are many wonderful facilities maintained by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department. Of special interest to hikers is Riverview Park and its two-mile, fully accessible segment of the Rivanna Trail.

Albemarle County Parks & RecreationYou will find lovely parks and interesting trails maintained by Albemarle County Parks and Recreation. The trails at Walnut Creek Park and Preddy Creek Trail Park are particularly worth checking out, especially for bikers.

CAMBCMembers of the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club are among the most dedicated stewards of the Rivanna Trails. They build and maintain trails suitable for mountain biking, and educate members of the mountain biking community and the public generally about effective trail construction and maintenance techniques.

Charlottesville Area Trail Runners ClubThe Charlottesville Area Trail Runners Club is a group of local trail runners who sponsor events that promote trail running, including trail races and social events, and to provide stewardship in developing and maintaining a high quality trail network in and around Charlottesville.

Thomas Jefferson Planning District CommissionLearn more about regional planning for Pedestrian and Bicycle transportation options by viewing the materials on the Planning District Commission web site.

Ivy Creek Foundation

Just outside Charlottesville are the wonderful nature trails at Ivy Creek Natural Area.

Crozet Trails CrewThe Crozet Trails Crew is a group of community members who are planning, building, and promoting pedestrian and bicycle trails in the Crozet area.

Piedmont Environmental CouncilThe Piedmont Environmental Council promotes and protects the natural resources, rural economy, history, and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont, and is championing efforts to create a comprehensive network of bicycle and pedestrian trails and greenways in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.

Rivanna Conservation AllianceThe mission of the Rivanna Conservation Alliance is to safeguard the health, scenic beauty, and cultural heritage of the Rivanna River and its watershed here in the center of Virginia.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation advocates for the health of the Chesapeake Bay, to which the Rivanna and other area rivers flow.

American Hiking SocietyThe American Hiking Society is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting hiking and to establishing, protecting and maintaining foot trails in America. With more than 130 member trail clubs and organizations and nearly 10,000 individual members, American Hiking represents half-a-million outdoors people and serves as the voice of the American hiker.

American TrailsAmerican Trails advances the development of diverse, high quality trails and greenways for the benefit of people and communities. Through collaboration, education, and communication, American Trails raises awareness of the value these trail systems offer.