James River Park System – RVA (Richmond, Virginia)

Now that I’m back to living in a city and am somewhat stable with a job and rent and bills and stuff, I have to find time and places to get decent roaming in.  Unfortunately the mountains I crave and the hikes they bestow are a good 2-2.5 hours away, and with my weird work schedule it’s not always possible to get out there every week. Fortunately though, Richmond has done a good job with the James River Park System, and a gorgeous trail is less than 15 minutes (drive time) from my home.

It’s good for me to run or hike the trail (believe it or not each activity works your body in very different ways) at least once a week. Because the system is actually comprised of several adjoining trails you can cater your adventure according to your preferred mileage or whatever. I like to do the whole loop, beginning and ending in the neighborhood where I began life (and my dad and his sisters).  For a lot of it you never know you’re in the middle of the city, and you constantly have good views of the river, trees, cool bridges, and those classic James River rocks. It’s good for hiking and trail running, and I’ve seen plenty of mountain bikes out there too. For the leather tramper, it’s moderate but I can see why it’s called strenuous for the biker. Runners stay on your toes with some moderately technical terrain. The park system urges adventurers to follow the rain rule, by avoiding the trail for 24 hours for every inch of rain that falls to prevent erosion and trail damage, as well as injury.

Very cool view of an abandoned hydro plant, the river, the Richmond skyline, and some train tracks.


Marker on the Buttermilk Trail. I love this because there is a sticker for Original Gravity down there, and that’s where I buy brewing supplies!



I have done the trail at difference paces each time but usually finish in 2-3 hours.  The loop is about 6 or so miles, I don’t know for sure. Happy Trails!





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