Charlottesville, VA Running Trails and Maps

140 Reviews

Looking for the best Running trails around Charlottesville?

Find the top rated running trails in Charlottesville, whether you're looking for an easy short running trail or a long running trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a running trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Length
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11 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail

2.25 mi
State: VA
Crushed Stone

Coal Tower Trail

0.5 mi
State: VA
Asphalt

Hawksbill Greenway

2 mi
State: VA
Asphalt

High Bridge Trail State Park

31.4 mi
State: VA
Crushed Stone

John W. Warner Parkway Trail

1.6 mi
State: VA
Asphalt

Lifecore Trail

3.3 mi
State: VA
Asphalt, Concrete

Railroad Ford Trail

1.6 mi
State: VA
Dirt

Rivanna Trail

21.5 mi
State: VA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Saunders-Monticello Trail

2 mi
State: VA
Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone

South River Greenway Trail

1.2 mi
State: VA
Asphalt

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail

6.9 mi
State: VA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia, lies the Blue Ridge Tunnel, designed by French engineer Claudius Crozet. It was built to allow the passage of the Blue Ridge Railroad through...
VA 2.25 mi Crushed Stone
The Coal Tower Trail is an 8-10-foot wide path adjacent to Water Street connecting downtown Charlottesville to Carlton Road and the Meade Avenue Trail. The tree-lined path also parallels an active...
VA 0.5 mi Asphalt
The Hawksbill Greenway is a 2-mile non-motorized pathway in the town of Luray, Virginia, two hours from Washington D.C. It extends from Linden Street in the west to the Flowering Forest in the east....
VA 2 mi Asphalt
The central feature for which the High Bridge Trail State Park is named is an unforgettable experience, towering 125 feet above the mighty Appomattox River and nearly a half-mile (2,440 feet) across...
VA 31.4 mi Crushed Stone
The enhanced bike-ped trail snakes alongside the John W. Warner Parkway for 1.6 miles, from East Rio Road down to McIntire Park. It mostly lies on the route of the old Southern Railway.  Points of...
VA 1.6 mi Asphalt
Fishersville is a small community located between Staunton and Waynesboro in Augusta County. This pedestrian and cycling path was added as part of Fishersville's road improvements and useful for both...
VA 3.3 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Railroad Ford Trail is located in beautiful Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County near Richmond, Virginia. The park boasts 2,463 acres with swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding and...
VA 1.6 mi Dirt
Spanning more than 20 miles, the Rivanna Trail surrounds Charlottesville, connecting several parks along the way and providing a recreational outdoor amenity for city dwellers. The trail has a mix of...
VA 21.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
While the Saunders-Monticello trail leads to the home of one the United States most prominent presidents, it is quickly becoming a destination in itself. It’s less than ten minutes’ drive from...
VA 2 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The South River Greenway is a 1.2 mile multi-use trail running along the South River through Waynesboro's Downtown corridor. Views along the way include those of the river, Blue Ridge Mountains,...
VA 1.2 mi Asphalt
Closure notice: Starting in August 2020 and continuing as of January 2021, the Piney River Trailhead will be subject to ongoing closures due to nearby environmental cleanup work. Please use the Rose...
VA 6.9 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

High Bridge Trail State Park

The High Bridge is the high point, but otherwise not as appealing as other top VA trails

May, 2022 by jonesandrewd_tl

I rode this trail on 5/11 and 5/12, 2022. I'd divide it into roughly three sections - west, from almost-Pamplin to Tuggle, central, from Tuggle to the eastern cutoff to the Spur Line Trail a bit east of the bridge, and eastern, from that point to the eastern terminus.

The Central section (4.5/5) is by far the most interesting. Tuggle to Farmville is relatively scenic. Farmville to the High Bridge is decently scenic. The High Bridge is impressive; yes, it's "just trees", but you are above them, can see 20 miles, watch the crows and other birds flying above the tree or landing on the bridge, relax with a great view, and see the Appomattox from a great height. In my opinion, the Bridge itself delivered on what was promised online, and at nearly half a mile long, it's probably the longest bridge I've biked across, and quite possibly the longest as well.

Then, you can then lock your bike to one of the racks east of the trail, and take the Camp Paradise and/or Spur Line Trails. If you only have time for one, take the Camp Paradise. Not so much for Camp Paradise itself - a Confederate camp meant to guard the bridge; you can still see the earthworks, but it's not particularly impressive. Instead, take that trail because it takes you below the High Bridge. This gives you another perspective on just how impressive the bridge is, particularly for being originally built in the mid-1850s, lets you see more of its construction, and shows why it was strategically important. Hike back up the southern side of Camp Paradise to get a hint of what it may have been like to move an entire army, carrying packs with supplies as well as rifles, up from crossing the Appomattox without the bridge. It was much easier for the Union to catch the Army of Northern Virginia with the bridge still relatively intact!

The base of the bridge by Camp Paradise also happens to be a butterfly hangout.

The Spur Line Trail is a nice hike through the woods, though the promised overlook is fairly obscured. Still, it's a nice break from the relative visual sameness of most of the trail.

The Rochelle Area mountain bike trails are also in the eastern section; I didn't have enough time to try them out.

The Eastern part of the High Bridge Trail (4/5) is, as another reviewer mentioned, a "zen trail". If you've had a stressful week and just want to get away from it for a while and pedal, without having to think too much about the scenery, this would be a great option. It doesn't change direction much, sometimes the rail bed is above the surroundings, sometimes below, giving a cozy feeling, but it's always visually pleasing but not in an attention-demanding (or especially memorable) sort of way.

The Western part (3/5) has similar scenery to the eastern part, but parallels Route 460 (the Prince Edward Highway) pretty closely. Route 460 gets a fair amount of traffic, including truck traffic, which spoils the zen aspect of the eastern part. I'd rather ride most of the trails near where I live in Ohio, not just my favorite local ones, above re-riding the western section.

I'd put all the other Virginia trails I've ridden ahead of this one in terms of scenery - Jackson River Scenic, New River, and Virginia Creeper. Those are also all farther west, and if you are in the area, it's worth at least riding the Central section. There's also a bike shop in Farmville, right near the trail, where you can rent bikes, so you don't even have to plan very far ahead to make a trip out to the Bridge.

Rivanna Trail

hiking great, road bike or hybrid… no

April, 2022 by scott.pillath

If you’re looking to go biking, do not use Azealia Park. The trail is best fit for hiking not any kind of biking. If one person comes the opposite direction you will probably run into a tree because the trail is very thin.

High Bridge Trail State Park

Originally intended to end in Burkeville. Why was it not completed?

April, 2022 by barrynewcomb1961

Originally intended to end in Burkeville. Why was it not completed?

Accordion

High Bridge Trail State Park

Can anyone explain why high bridge trail was not completed to Burkeville as originally intended?

April, 2022 by barrynewcomb1961

Can anyone explain why high bridge trail was not completed to Burkeville as originally intended?

High Bridge Trail State Park

Can anyone explain why the trail was,not completed to Burkeville ad originally intended?

April, 2022 by barrynewcomb1961

Can anyone explain why the trail was,not completed to Burkeville ad originally intended?

High Bridge Trail State Park

Well-maintained, quiet & pretty, but not that interesting

March, 2022 by bikeridesandbreweries

The trail is what we call a “Zen ride,” which means there’s not a lot of visual variety so it’s great if you just like being in your head while you pedal. We parked right in the center of town on Main Street which bisects the crushed limestone trail almost exactly in the middle. Conveniently at this intersection, there are clean, air-conditioned restrooms, while more rustic ones with “vault toilets” are located along the trail. There are no other amenities along the trail except the trailer that we encountered on our first trip that sold water out of an ice-filled cooler, along with various tourism chotchkes made by local artisans. We don’t think you can count on it being there, though, so fill up your water bottles before you set out.
First we headed west 4.5 miles to see the famous High Bridge, which oddly, was more interesting to read about than to ride over. It looks out on a wide expanse of trees…just trees. For as far as the eye can see. We continued to bike approximately 10.5 miles past the bridge and, having passed only a handful of walkers and bikers, a few deserted intersections and some vault toilets, the trail ended abruptly at a lonely picnic table surrounded by woods. The other half of the trail runs east briefly then due south. While hauntingly familiar (it’s almost identical to the western portion of the trail), brief glimpses of water, overhead bridges and slightly more varied scenery made it more interesting.
A very good brewery abuts the trail close to the midway point.

High Bridge Trail State Park

Rode the trail from Tuggle to the bridge and back. 20 miles total. It was 40F but not much wind. The trail is in GREAT condition. No rough spots at all. Although we didn't stop because of time constraints, the town of Farmville, VA looks inviting.

November, 2021 by dundeeyank

Rode the trail from Tuggle to the bridge and back. 20 miles total. It was 40F but not much wind. The trail is in GREAT condition. No rough spots at all. Although we didn't stop because of time constraints, the town of Farmville, VA looks inviting.

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail

Worthwhile historical Railway Trail Experience - Bike, Hike or Run (6.5+ One Way)

September, 2021 by neschultz3

Checked out trail while in the area with our single speed fatties and throughly enjoyed the Ride. Access to the trail is limited to the Piney River and Rose Mill trailheads and not the far western end point. Getting to the end point from Piney River was a smooth roll that goes along and across the River. Very nice bridges and shaded hard-packed surfaces. Trail was frequented by more runners than cyclists during the Saturday morning I was there. Nice place for a long run. Everyone knew to move the right and we pedaled single file. Didn't see any horses, but that could have been entirely possible.
Discovered many interesting historical events about the area and why this was built. This place is a gem. Short, sweet and easy 75 minute ride for the wife and I. Slightly off the beaten path. I'd stop there again.

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail

Worthwhile historical Railway Trail Experience - Bike, Hike or Run (6.5+ One Way)

September, 2021 by neschultz3

Checked out trail while in the area with our single speed fatties and throughly enjoyed the Ride. Access to the trail is limited to the Piney River and Rose Mill trailheads and not the far western end point. Getting to the end point from Piney River was a smooth roll that goes along and across the River. Very nice bridges and shaded hard-packed surfaces. Trail was frequented by more runners than cyclists during the Saturday morning I was there. Nice place for a long run. Everyone knew to move the right and we pedaled single file. Didn't see any horses, but that could have been entirely possible.
Discovered many interesting historical events about the area and why this was built. This place is a gem. Short, sweet and easy 75 minute ride for the wife and I. Slightly off the beaten path. I'd stop there again.

Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail

Did not enjoy the biking experience.

September, 2021 by shcavan

Trail would be very nice for walking.

Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail

Awesome trail for pets

September, 2021 by hftxnqd576

My family and I took our Husky with us and all had an enjoyable day. The entire trail is very well maintained. The inside of the tunnel is extremely nice but the sides do tend to get washed out from the water. Be sure to stay close to the center to avoid slipping and falling. We took headlamps and it made the trek easy.

John W. Warner Parkway Trail

Well paved, not a lot of signage. Good parking. You have have cross traffic quite a bit which wasn't great for my ride..

September, 2021 by jmunzing

Well paved, not a lot of signage. Good parking. You have have cross traffic quite a bit which wasn't great for my ride..

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