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The Rivanna Trail

Location Charlottesville, VA
State(s) Virginia
Counties Albemarle
Length 20.00 Miles / 32.19 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses
Agency Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No




photo: The Rivanna Trail is an urban wilderness trail where hikers can exercise, have fun with friends, and learn about the world of na
The Rivanna Trail is an urban wilderness trail where hikers can exercise, have fun with friends, and learn about the world of na

A twenty-mile rustic footpath that meanders through the natural greenbelt that surrounds the City of Charlottesville, the trail is bounded by the Rivanna River, two of its tributaries (Meadow and Moore's Creeks), and a small undeveloped mountain called Observatory Hill. By hiking on the Rivanna Trail, both residents and visitors alike can quickly and easily leave behind the stresses of modern city life. The Rivanna Trail is unique in that it is truly an urban wilderness trail.

The Rivanna Trail is a well-used well-loved urban treasure. It was built and is maintained entirely by community volunteers. The Trail passes through six City parks; connects neighborhoods and schools; skirts community garden plots; lies within reach of restaurants, hotels, and medical facilities; takes hikers safely under busy roads through culverts; traverses University of Virginia land; and provides hikers with views of historic mills and dams.

Members of the community highly value the opportunity to have a wilderness experience right outside their doorsteps. Within minutes, a hiker can reach a place where he hears only the sounds of nature: rushing water, wind in the trees, birds -- no cars or machines. He can walk through wetlands, streams, floodplains, and fields transforming into forests. He can touch and walk under trees more than a hundred years old. Sightings of foxes and bear are not uncommon. The Trail has been nominated as a Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail due to its mor (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Not Available - Time Closes: Not Available


Not Available


Additional Information

Width: 30 inches.

Primary Surface: Soil, compacted

Secondary Surface: None

Average Grade: 10%

Elevation Low Point: 400

Elevation High Point: 780

Year Designated: 2002

Date Last Updated: 03/11/2013


Contact Information

Trail management:
Diana Foster
Rivanna Trails Foundation
P.O. Box 1786
Charlottesville , VA 22902
(434) 964-1022


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Rivanna Trails Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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