About the Park

Wilderness in the City

The James River Park System, a unique part of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, includes acres of shoreline and islands in the capital of Virginia, extending in 14 sections from the Huguenot Bridge in the west to a half mile beyond the I-95 Bridge in the east. It includes most of the fall line of the James River. Rocks, rapids, meadows, and forests make for an area of unspoiled natural beauty -- a little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city.

South of the River

in Stratford Hills:

  • Huguenot Flatwater
  • Pony Pasture Rapids
  • The Wetlands

in Forest Hill:

  • Main Area -- 43rd St., including Buttermilk Trail, Reedy Creek Park Headquarters, and 22nd St. with pedestrian access to Belle Isle.

in Manchester:

  • Manchester Climbing Wall
  • Ancarrow's Landing/Manchester Docks

North of the River

Just west of Boulevard Bridge:

  • Pumphouse Park
  • North Bank Trailhead

Maymont area:

  • Texas Beach/North Bank Trail


  • North Bank Trail
  • access to Belle Isle via the Belle Isle Pedestrian Bridge
  • Tredegar St. put-in
  • Pipeline (or Trestle) Trail with views of heron rookery
  • Great Shiplock Park/Chapel Island

For more information on many areas of the park, go to Getting There.

rafting group

Belle Isle suspension bridge provides pedestrian and bike access to one of the most popular areas of the James River Park System.

Did you know?

The James River Park System is the most heavily visited park in Richmond, receiving well over ONE MILLION visitors a year – most of whom are not city residents. Yet, this watery and woodsy gem of a public park is funded solely by the City of Richmond.

During the spring of 2014, Friends partnered with The James River Outdoor Coalition (JROC) to fund the purchase of Park Counters to tally the number of park visitors. These were placed at the main entrances into the JRPS. The results support projections provided by a VCU student surveys in 2012. This survey predicted anywhere from 500,000 -- 1.5 million visitors per year. With the instillation of the park counters we now know that JRPS had over 900,000 visitors from May 2014 until December 2014.

James River Park System is clearly a top dog when it comes to attendance. By May 2015 the annual visitor count is expected to be closer to the 1.5 million visitor prediction made in 2012.

Who cares? Anyone who lives, works, or plays in the City of Richmond! The James River Park System provides a huge economic benefit to the City.

Using the $16 per day per user estimate for park economic impact numbers from the 2014 edition of the Virginia Outdoors Plans. JRPS right now, provides a $12,721,872 economic impact directly to the city and local businesses. This is before you buy your bike, running shoes or paddling gear!