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 in addition to the Rivanna Trail, selected because they offer beautiful scenery and cost nothing to visit. Please be alert for each trail's particular guidelines.

  • Ivy Creek Natural Area contains both rustic and handicapped trails, many overlooking Ivy Creek.

  • 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.

  • The Fluvanna Heritage Trail 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 kindred spirits for safety, inspiration, and friendship.

There 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.

You 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.

Members of the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club have been 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.

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

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

The 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.

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


The 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 Trails leads the nation toward the creation and implementation of a comprehensive trails infrastructure that meets the recreation, health, and travel needs of all Americans.