The Park » About the James River Park System

Main Area

42nd St., Reedy Creek Park Headquarters, and 22nd St

The 2.6-mile long main area extends from the iconic Atlantic Coast railroad bridge near the Powhite Bridge to the Manchester Climbing Wall and lies between the river and rail tracks north of Riverside Drive. The park system’s headquarters is located within Reedy Creek section. Nearby is a bug garden, meadow and a canoe/kayak launch area. The trail here stretches to the east and west. Heading east along the trail you’ll find many nooks and crannies which allow for more secluded river experiences.

There is some river access with bridges to several small islands containing remnants of the past, such as part of a small canal lock and old mill foundations. At the base of the 22nd St. access tower you’ll find a short walk to great outcroppings of rocks where, when the water level is low, you can jump across to Belle Isle.

From 42rd St. entrance you can travel west through a heavily wooded section with large boulders scattered along the river bank. Just past the base of the Atlantic Coast Railroad bridge are the remains of a damn which during dry sells restricts the flow to create calm water for wading.

Buttermilk Trail

Buttermilk East and Buttermilk Proper trails are uphill from the river along the contours of the hill below Riverside Drive. This steep, winding, rugged narrow trail is a contrast to the flat trails you will find along the riverside. Access to the trail is available from each of the three parking lots.


Birding Paddle Sports Biking Fishing Hike Run Dog Walk Snorkelling Swimming Scenic View

Other South of the River Locations

Location Details

Parking: Three entrances with parking lots off Riverside Drive at 43rd Street (30 cars), Reedy Creek (15 cars), and 22nd Street (45 cars) Reedy Creek: 4001 Riverside Dr,  43th Street: 4401 Riverside Dr, 22nd St: 2101 Riverside Dr

Park Headquarters: at Reedy Creek

Changing room, bathroom and handicap Port-a-Potty: at Reedy Creek

Water fountain: at 22nd St and Reedy Creek entrances

Bike repair station: at 22nd St

Bike rack: at Reedy Creek

Canoe ramp: at Reedy Creek

Wheelchair accessible: at Reedy Creek

Trailhead: Buttermilk Trail

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

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