Explore the most popular trails near Charlottesville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



nature trips

kid friendly




trail running


no dogs

Charlottesville, Virginia Map
25 days ago

The Highland Trails system at James Monroe's Highland offers three types of trails. There are easy trails through pastureland, a moderate trail through hilly hardwood forest, and the green trail; a one mile, shaded walk through pine forest over gently rolling terrain. The Green Trail offers visitors to the Highland historic site an approximately one hour, gentle walk through a peaceful pine woods setting.

There is a new interactive ecosystem guide for this area at https://centerforurbanhabitats.com/rmnawebmapintro/

The city has a new trail mobile app under the Charlottesville/ParksandRec app that includes ragged mountain trails.

This is a good paved urban trail the follows the thick overgrown tundra along a creek/river. An out and back loop. Stop by the veterans memorial at the entrance of the park.
Parking is in front of the VFD located by the flashing lights.

Overall easy trail with very little views. Boring to hike

fun off the path trail near carters overlook on monticello trail, has a couple trees on the path but just some different obstacles to climb over definitely recommend if youre near monticello or carters mountain

nice easy walk along wood path and gravel, recommend doing the dirt orchard trail near carter overlook.

2 months ago

excellent weather and beautiful trail.
had 2 hrs to kill waiting for my kids at the university.
easy walk

2 months ago

This was more of a greenway than a trail. It is paved and goes through the city. It isn’t well marked so it was hard to find. Agree with parking at the VFW and cutting through the back to get to the trail. It is also wicked overgrown so you can’t really see the river. They need to go through and probably just burn it and let the vegetation start over.

This is great all ages. Don’t come if your looking for a challenge or big views. Kind of boring.

Nice scenery along the river. A trail map in the kiosk at parks would be good.

Beautiful, easy access from interstate. Old signs mixed with new signs made it hard to follow. But reservoir always in sight so hard to be truly lost. I expect to keep this on my favorites list.

Great trail been using it since it opened. Well kept and safe, marked every 1/4 mile

Easy stroll. Pretty and pastoral.

Not sure how one gets lost on these trails. The lake is almost always in view and the path is easy to see. I thought it was an enjoyable hike. Highly recommended for a nice moderately challenging day hike.

4 months ago

We walked our dog here on the Fourth of July. Trail wasn’t too busy and our dog had a lot of fun. We parked in the neighborhood and had a sort of hike along the water in the sand before we made it to the pathed path. Really fun! (:

It was more of a walking trail then a hike and the trial was very overgrown.

A nice and easy trail for running. What most interested me were some of the side trails. The Jason Stevens trail is super steep but I don’t know how far it goes. I stopped after awhile. But I want to research it more. There also seemed to be some unnamed trails off of Carter’s Overlook. More to explore later.

What a magical location.

It is a gentle uphill trail from the parking lot to the visitors center. The crushed limestone is great for jogging strollers. Very well maintained. If you are visiting Montecello, you can also skip the shuttle and continue your hike to the summit.

Very well marked, very pleasant, loved this hike and would definitely go again.

The best trail.

6 months ago

Great little trail...easy and mostly flat. Perfect trail for a baby stroller

A couple trees have fallen across trail, but in good shape. Gets narrow at top, and a good test for beginners!

Great trail and stroller friendly!

trail running
6 months ago

This was the perfect out-and-back trail run to start my day. I started at the parking lot at Kemper Park, so the trail ran uphill to Monticello but the incline was gradual. The flowering trees were at their peak today—lots of redbuds, dogwoods, and cherries in bloom, with the very first green leaves from the maples, oaks, and ash starting to show. Just gorgeous! The trail was well-maintained and not too crowded. I will definitely go back next time I’m visiting Charlottesville.

I went counter clockwise and was lost a few times. Almost all the markers on the west side were clockwise facing only.

I would recommend going clockwise and bringing a fully charged phone.

This was a solid hike, made more enjoyable for me because I like hiking near water.

The trail is now very well marked. I used a paper map and never had to refer to GPS.

I parked at the lower lot and went clockwise - and only saw one other person until the last mile. The trail is soft with almost no rocky areas which was nice on the feet. The elevation change was moderate. If you go up the Round Top loop towards the end you can add an 1/8 mile ascent - I recommend doing the Round Top spur.

The trail was slick in a few areas and I was happy I had my poles.

Adding the Round Top loop and a couple of other short detours the trail took just under 4 hours with 3 brief stops for snacks.

trail is clearly marked, nice for a short, day hike. would definitely go again!

8 months ago

Good moderate hike but trails poorly marked and no real views

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