Last Updated: 2012-10-04

4301 Riverside Drive, Richmond, VA

Richmond's largest, most unique and best known park is actually a system of parks along both sides of the James River as it passes through the city, making Richmond the only urban city in the country with Class IV white water rapids in the middle of downtown. The 550-acre park itself is an area of unspoiled natural beauty and adventure recreation unlike that found in any other city in the country. It is internationally known as the site of the XTERRA triathlon and has been recognized as the Southeast's Best Urban Park and named Best in Dirt for its running trails.

Recognizing its great value, in 2009 the city placed a conservation easement on the park, legally protecting it from development. With its headquarters at Reedy Creek at Riverside Drive at Hillside, the park stretches from Ancarrow's Landing on the East to Huguenot Flatwater on the West.

The park's wilderness shoreline amid woods, islands, meadows and rocks offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, walking, jogging, hiking, rock-climbing, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, sunning, bird -watching, and nature study, with many of these activities just blocks from the City's downtown residential, business and financial district. The park trails are excellent for hiking and mountain biking and offer new enjoyment in each season.

For more information, a park map can be purchased for $2 at Park Headquarters or on the fourth floor of City Hall.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset. No alcoholic beverages, glass containers or unleashed pets are allowed in city parks.

By law, when water levels are at 5 feet and above, everyone on the river must wear a lifejacket. When water levels are at 9 feet or above, no one is allowed on the river without a permit.

Park Rules

  • Park hours are from sunrise to sunset
  • Glass is prohibited in city parks
  • No parking on the grass
  • No amplified music without a special permit
  • Dogs are allowed only in the following parks:
    • Barker Field dog park
    • Byrd Park
    • Chimborazoo dog park
    • Forest Hill Park
  • Service dogs are allowed in every park
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed in city parks
  • No open fires are allowed outside of park fireplaces and grills
  • No golf or archery is allowed in city parks
  • No tents, stages or other special apparatus is allowed without a permit
  • No cutting of park trees or shrubs in city parks is allowed

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