James River Park SystemVisit Website
The James River Park System is a 550+ acre oasis in the middle of the city, part of the city of Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities. It is possible to hike or bike an 8 or more mile loop along the park's North Bank and Buttermilk trails using the Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Belle Isle Pedestrian bridges. Opportunities for recreational tree climbing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting and much more are available in the park. At the end of S. 12th St. downtown, a lovely getaway spot to see the Pipeline Rapids up close and, in season, catch Great Blue Herons nesting in their riverview rookery. There’s parking for only a few cars, but the overlooks are worthy and, if you don’t mind climbing down a metal ladder and walking on the pipeline, the walk is an unexpected treat in the middle of a city. Of course, pay attention to water levels for safety’s sake. Parking for 7 cars. The easternmost section of the James River Park, it’s a popular fishing spot with a concrete boat ramp and a parking lot that accommodates over 100 cars and trailers. It’s also the beginning of the Richmond Slave Trail. This section is located at the end of Brander St. Take the Maury St. exit off I-95 and turn right.