Explore the most popular birding 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.

hiking
1 month 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.

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

walking
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.

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.

walking
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! (:

The best trail.

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

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.

Didn't get to hike because no dogs allowed :(

Much better than all the reviews. The trail head has maps showing extensive trail network. We walked for two hours on well marked trails. Met About 10 other hikers.

Great hike! As others said, definitely make sure your phone is charged so you can stay on the trail because it’s easy to skew off thanks to all the leaves. However, as long as you keep the reservoir in sight, it’s impossible to get lost. GPR showed a little less than 7 miles.

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trail was poorly marked, we got lost a lot. Used smart phone to help us. Very disappointed.

walking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Great little walk! If you take Barry Fleming's advice and park at the VFW you'll go down a little trail with a Rugby field at the bottom. If you were to take a left at this point, there's a beautiful section of the trail that is unpaved with gorgeous views of the river (prettier than anything you'd see on the paved part, IMHO). Unfortunately, the trail/hiking part ends after roughly a half mile. There is an option to follow signs to continue the hike (and we followed them up a hill, and along a barbed wire fence), but lost sight of the trail upon entering a residential neighborhood, and turned around). All around, great little journey for beginners! My wife and I were able to do this with 4 kids aged 2-8!

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beautiful. Delightful. Coyotes and black snakes. But as the other reviewers said, very few markers. If you plan to do the full 7+ mile loop, be sure you have a fully charged smartphone. Most who wander the 5th mile will be lost. The "All Trails" app is very helpful. Wet weather makes for some steep difficult slopes.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Not well marked

This trail is so poorly marked, it is very easy to get lost. We had our GPS, but I would not recommend using this trail until it is more well marked. We passed another hiker, and he was turned around as well. We ended up walking 10 miles and had trouble finding the trailhead where we parked. It was getting close to dusk, so it was a little scary to make it out in time.

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

A nice 5+ mile loop, very close to town. The trail is not marked well, especially on the far side, but with the help of the AllTrails GPS map, I was able to make my way fairly easily. It has some hills, but nothing too difficult, and most of the trails are highly "walkable". Makes for an enjoyable 2+ hour hike/work-out.
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hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Trails not marked very well

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great views of the reservoir and lovely forest make this loop close to downtown Charlottesville one of the best and a surprising gem when wildflowers are blooming. Highly recommended. Also no need to hike up to Roundtop if you just want to do the loop.

Very nice.

trail running
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Pretty fun but no views up top.

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