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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 surfaces, but the route is clearly marked with green trail blazes for the main loop and brown trail blazes for spur trails.
A good place to begin your trail journey is in Riverview Park on the east end of the city. There's a large parking lot there and, as the pathway winds through the park, it's paved and offers views of the Rivanna River. You'll follow the river going north, head under US 250, and then journey through the city's northeastern neighborhoods. Here, you can access Pen Park, Charlottesville's largest park, which has a playground and several sports facilities. From there, the trail heads west, following the curves of Meadow Creek.
Norfolk Southern Railroad bisects the city and, west of the tracks, the trail traverses Greenbrier Park, then begins to head southwest under a pleasant tree canopy. As the trail meanders through the northwestern corner of the city, it skirts the Darden School of Business campus. This section ends at Old Ivy Road. There's a short gap in the trail here, just before the trail begins its more southerly route, which loosely parallels US 29. The trail picks up again south of the CSX Railroad tracks and US 250.
As it curves around the southern end of the city, the trail follows Moore's Creek. Here, the pathway passes through Azalea Park, Jordan Park, and Quarry Park.
The best parking access areas for Rivanna Trail visitors are:
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