Belle Isle Trail

EASY 240 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Belle Isle Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Richmond, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.7 miles Elevation Gain: 49 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

stroller friendly


mountain biking







3 days ago

Great trail with large loop that covers riverfront, wooded and large rocks over a stream. Good place to bring your dog also.

19 days ago

Great walk - just be prepared on a windy day, the bridge will noticeably sway. This was a little challenge with children, but still very enjoyable.

22 days ago

Belle Isle is a Richmond classic. Going over the suspension bridge you get beautiful views of the city and river. Once on the island, unless you take side trails up the hills or down to the rocks, the trail is very wide and flat. There are many opportunities to take side trails to explore different parts of the island, and if you are able, you can climb down a short ladder on the far side access the rock maze on the south side of the river (I highly recommend this as they are beautiful). There are ruins of a hydroelectric factory from the 1800’s on the south side of the island that you can see from the trail. The only reason I would give this 4 stars is because of the sheer amount of other people here. This could be either good or bad, depending on how much solitude you require. Lots of fun swimming opportunities during the warm season!

23 days ago

Always a favorite

1 month ago

3 months ago

This is an easy trail for the inexperienced, out of shape, middle aged, knee replacement needed woman like me. I love traversing the rocks out to the river and the pools and rapids that are seen along the way. I love that there are restrooms available half way through the trail as I have downed a liter of water by that point and what I haven't already sweated out, I need to get rid of as the kegels aren't what they once were. The pedestrian bridge offers beautiful views of the city. Watch out for the homeless spiders that have set up their own city between the rails. Truly, this is my favorite trail and if I die falling on those rocks by the river, I'll die happy.

4 months ago

Easy trail with lots of places to explore off the beaten path. We enjoyed climbing on river rocks and exploring historic ruins. There was some trash and graffiti but the trail was still enjoyable.

bridge out
5 months ago

5 months ago

My kids and I enjoy hiking here for the history of Richmond, but please leave the graffiti and trash somewhere else. Political and social messages spray painted on the rocks. Trash not in trashcans and camp fires being started on the rocks as well.

6 months ago

Two styles of hiking here - a narrow trail through the interior with lots of branches to explore and a wide-open flat canopied promenade around the perimeter. Both - really nice. Hot days feel cooler walking along James River rapids in the shade. Bring swimwear. Park and river offer enough room to accommodate all the people drawn here. I hiked the interior for about 30 mins on a very busy Saturday. Didn’t see anybody.

7 months ago

Was here on Memorial Monday morning. Saw a lot of beer bottles and soda cans on the rocks. Guys and gals, clean up after yourselves!

8 months ago

there's some really nice Scenic views on this Trail. It is a little hard to find the entrance to the bridge, just keep alongside the river and you will eventually find it. Don't let the private road signs fool you

8 months ago

I’m in Richmond on business and this was a very pretty trail. Lots of people, so I felt safe. Easy trail, but lots to look at.

Nice combination of woods and paved trail. Able to extend or take alternates. Didn’t do the whole loop as we saw the other bridge across the James so called an audible and took a detour. Definitely do this one again

11 months ago

Super easy! Beautiful to look at. Not advanced, but fun to do every once in a while.

Mon Jan 07 2019

It was a great little hike. It had rained two days before and it was not too flooded when we went. We were going to scope out the rock climbing and they have some good problems up with hooks all ready to go. We will for sure come back this summer to work on the problems. Four stars because it was a little dirty but that’s kind of expected seeing as there was a ton of people there. There were kids smoking pot in the woods too. But in all it was great!

Sat Jan 05 2019

If you like rock climbing this is a great spot!

Thu Jan 03 2019

One of my favorite go-to walks. It's beautiful in all seasons, always something different to see no matter how many times I go.

Mon Dec 31 2018

I mean, it's Richmond, so yeah there's TONS of trash everywhere. However, deep in the parts where people are usually to lazy to walk, everything gets BEAUTIFUL! Also, there are walls to rock climb. I do this with my parents a couple of times throughout the year.

Sun Dec 23 2018

Grew up on going here, I grew up not far away and my dad literally grew up across the river. It’s a beautiful place and a must see for anyone visiting Richmond! Pet friendly, handicap accessible,hiking,biking,swimming,rapids, views, have everything in one spot.

Mon Dec 10 2018

Definitely my favorite trail in RVA. I usually go here a lot with friends, and it’s always an easy and historic trail that never ceases to be fun.

Thu Nov 08 2018

Nice level trail. Not to crowded during the week. Little dachshund didn't have a bit of trouble walking the loop.

Sun Nov 04 2018

Easy. Fun. Crowded. Easy and fun hike for about 2 miles round trip. Parking at the lot is a challenge. Lots of people show up on a nice day. Lots of dogs. I will go back.

Tue Oct 30 2018

Great dog walk

Sun Oct 21 2018

Tue Sep 18 2018

I've been coming here since high school! It is very populated so it is best to go on week days. The parking lot is usually overflowing. It is best to drive across the bridge and park on the other side of the river and you can walk from another bridge and go about that way. There are lots of rocks to stop and swim along the way. Unfortunately, I have stopped going here due to increase in trash/broken glass. Still a very cool place to explore in the middle of the city!

Sat Aug 11 2018

Really interesting trail, but very populated. It's an easy hike with a lot to see and several spots for the pups (and you) to swim. The bridge over the James River was a really cool way to start and end the trip. The structures and rock wall along the way were really cool places to explore and take photos. I'd say it's more of an urban walk than a hike, though. We had to park a bit up the road (parking is very limited, especially for how busy it is) and in total "hiked" just over 3 miles from start to finish.

Thu Jul 19 2018

Great trail just to get out and about. Very easy. Make it longer by walking the Buttermilk trail to Belle Isle.

Sat Jul 14 2018

Very neat trail. Shaded and a lot of historical pieces along the trail. Bring water and bug spray!

Mon Jul 02 2018

Great views of the James River. Fantastic place to go for an afternoon stroll. Pack a lunch and enjoy a superb river view from downtown Richmond. Some bouldering or mountain biking can be thrown in for an extra fun element.

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