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Rivanna Trails


Here's where we will keep you up to date on what's happening at RTF and on trails in the area.  Drop us a line at if you have suggestions for news we ought to cover.

  • 30 Apr 2013 10:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Congratulations to Andrew Heatwole, who achieved the status of Eagle Scout on April 28. Andrew's service project was to design and build a new bridge for the Rivanna Trail, which was installed last fall on the Observatory Hill section. The  Trail has been the beneficiary of a number of Eagle Scout projects over the years, and we congratulate Andrew on his achievement and thank him for his service to the RTF.
  • 09 Mar 2013 6:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The March work party installed some new signposts at the Holmes Avenue trailheads, and moved a stretch of the trail between there and Locust Avenue onto higher ground. Part of this stretch has long been subject to flooding, so we shifted a bit of the trail out of standing water to what we hope is drier ground. The muck quotient is still high because of the melting snow, but the hope is that this part of the trail will now drain and dry out quicker. Please help establish the new path the next time you're in the area!
  • 01 Mar 2013 10:37 PM | Anonymous member

    In architecture, a lintel is a “horizontal structural element” used for various purposes. To the RTF, lintels are a convenient way to get hikers through shallow water. Unfortunately over time they crack and disintegrate. Luckily for us hikers, February work party leader Nick Hamblett and his merry band of volunteers were not deterred by cold water.

    Nick reports, “Despite definitely cold temperatures, about a dozen hardy volunteers showed up for the February work party, on the second Saturday. Starting from the RTF shed off Morton Drive, we worked our way clockwise on the trail. Work split into two groups. The first was a truly adventurous group who worked to replace the broken lintels (cement beams) in the creek passing under 250. Their efforts in the cold water that morning are much appreciated, as the passing can now be made with much more confidence, as none of the blocks are missing chunks. The second group got to remain dry the whole time, and cleaned up the trail from the culvert under Hydraulic up to about the first clearing made by the recent stream restoration project. We hacked back some thorns, and re-defined the trail along the restoration project, closing up the temporary trails that were in place for the duration of this project. Ramps to small footbridges were improved, as were drainage channels in some of the muddy spots. Thanks to all of the volunteers, whose efforts continue to improve the trail, a gem of Charlottesville.”

  • 16 Feb 2013 6:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The bridge connecting Quarry Park to the Rivanna Trail is closed while a replacement is installed. The original bridge was in declining health, and the RTF partnered with the City to purchase and relocate the pedestrian bridge that was used during the Jefferson Park Avenue bridge replacement. Access to this segment of the trail is available from the Route 20 and Avon Street ends. The new bridge should be open later this spring.
  • 25 Jan 2013 1:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Approximately a dozen enthusiastic volunteers gathered at the RTF shed on January 12th under foggy and cooler than expected temperatures to attack two sections of the Rivanna trail that were experiencing some erosion along Moore's Creek.  The first section that we tackled was the section from Azalea Park to 5th Street.  After crossing the creek we sidecut into the back re-routes of the trail in about 4-5 sections as well as clearing debris from a downed tree that was blocking the trail. We finished that section around 11:00 and then made our way to Jordan Park to  do the same on the section of the trail from Jordan Park to Avon Street.  Thanks go out to all who vounteered to making this a very successful work Day.


  • 06 Jan 2013 10:41 PM | Anonymous member

    On Jan. 5th several dozen enthusiastic coated, hatted, and gloved kids hit the Rivanna Trail with bunnies, bears, caterpillars, dinosaurs, salamanders, dolls, and monkeys for the 8th annual Teddy Bear Hike. Thank you, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, for hot chocolate! See more kids and animals in the RTF website photo album.

  • 04 Dec 2012 6:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    After a two-year absence, the RTF newsletter is back! For our members and e-mail contacts for whom we have mailing addresses, look for a copy in your mailbox during the second week of December. For an advance look, click here for a pdf version. It's been a good year for the RTF and our network of trails, and with the support of our friends and volunteers the best is yet to come.
  • 04 Nov 2012 8:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The annual Loop de Ville has consistently enjoyed perfect fall weather, and this year was no exception. Leaving from Riverview Park at a dark and brisk 6:30 am, the group made its way through clearing skies and pleasant temperatures, returning exactly eight hours later. Thirteen people completed the entire circuit, including five who made the drive up from Richmond! Check out some photos here.
  • 04 Nov 2012 8:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Boy Scouts and prospective Eagle Scouts are major contributors to the Rivanna Trail, and October saw the latest example. Andrew Heatwole (front) led a project that replaced a decaying and undersized bridge on Observatory Hill, one of the most-used segments of the Trail. As part of his Eagle Scout qualifications, Andrew designed the bridge, raised the funds to purchase materials, and organized a work party of friends and fellow Scouts. The new bridge went in on October 14. Thanks to Andrew for the improved bridge and for supporting the Rivanna Trail!
  • 14 Sep 2012 3:20 PM | Anonymous member
    Preliminary design of the “southern terminus” of the Route 29 Charlottesville Bypass with the Rivanna Trail inserted.

    Bypass is light yellow. Rivanna Trail is green.

    Dear Friends of the Rivanna Trail,

    The RTF is grateful to generous landowners who have given permission to the public to walk on trails on their land, and we include in this list the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). In our capacity as stewards of the land our trails traverse, the RTF has historically not made public statements about land use issues, but we wish to inform our members of the impact VDOT’s proposed Route 29 Charlottesville Bypass will have on the Rivanna Trail.

    Specifically the “southern terminus” of the proposed Bypass will lie near, along, or on the path of the Rivanna Trail behind UVa’s JAG, Law, and Business schools, from near Barracks Road to Ivy Road. As currently designed, the southern terminus has the potential to close off access to trail users permanently.

    We invite you to read the following information:

    VDOT’s website about the Bypass -

    On the above website, scroll down to

    Southern Terminus Concept Drawing, Sept. 26, 2011  (6 MB)   to see the preliminary design of the “southern terminus” in the vicinity affecting the Rivanna Trail.

    On the above website, scroll down to “Skanska-Branch/JMT Technical Proposal, June 20, 2012” to see other preliminary designs of the Bypass.

    Proposal Submittal - Volume 1 and 2  (28 MB)

    On the above VDOT website, find the environmental assessment under

    New Environmental assessment Aug. 23, 2012 (4 MB).

    What you can do:

    Attend VDOT’s public information meeting about designs for the Bypass. Thursday, September 27th from 6 - 9 p.m. at Jack Jouett Middle School.

    Encourage VDOT to include the Rivanna Trail in their designs of the Bypass, to accommodate hikers and bikers in the region of the Bypass, and to protect trails.

    Information about alternatives to the Bypass:

    The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has created a plan entitled “LetsGo 29” that brings together ideas that could be implemented in the Route 29 corridor, projects that done together would cost less money than VDOT’s Bypass and that would not impact the Rivanna Trail.

    SELC’s information:

    SELC’s LetsGo 29 video:

    A bit of historical background:

    SELC’s “LetsGo 29” plan references “Places 29 Master Plan.” This latter document encompasses the Route 29 corridor and includes multiple spot transportation improvements. The Places 29 Master Plan, created with public participation, was adopted by both the Albemarle County planning commission and the Board of Supervisors.

    Information and documents: