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The nearly 12-mile paved Riverwalk Trail, also called the “Riverwalk on the Dan,” is part of Danville’s expanding network of trails. This scenic pathway along the Dan River connects industry, beautiful parks, and natural areas.
The Riverwalk Trail travels through some of the most historic Civil War regions of southern Virginia. Throughout the war, Danville functioned as a staging area for many battles. Some of its old tobacco warehouses were turned into prisons, and the city was the last capital of the Confederate States of America after Richmond was captured by the Union army.
The trail’s recommended starting point is at the Crossing at the Dan Trailhead in historic downtown Danville, alongside a renovated tobacco warehouse and the active Amtrak station located in the Science Center campus. (The trailhead is located on the north side of the parking lot.) From here, you’ll cross the Dan River on a restored 1856 railroad bridge. On the other side, you can go east or west. If you turn left (west), the trail follows the river upstream for about a mile until it reaches a beautiful overlook at Union Street Bridge and then continues upstream with access to businesses and restaurants. Parking and restroom facilities are available at Ballou Park, where you can also connect to the 0.75-mile Ballou Park Nature Trail.
The best part of the trail lies to the right, on the eastern side. From here, the riverside trail will take you on an enjoyable trip through the many beautiful parks and natural areas adjacent to the Dan River. You may see a variety of wildlife, including geese, using the trail themselves.
Next, you’ll head through Dan Daniel Memorial Park, where a section of trail that was taken out by Hurricane Michael in 2018 has since been repaired. After leaving the park, the trail continues to wind along the river through Anglers Park, where you can access a picnic shelter and tables, a boat ramp, restrooms, parking, and a bike repair station.
At the Anglers Park Trailhead, you have the option to head north on a trail segment leading to Danville Regional Airport. Though the terrain is hilly from here to the airport, it is the most secluded section of the Riverwalk, terminating at the Airport Drive Trailhead. This section of trail connects to the intertwining 25-mile Anglers Ridge singletrack mountain bike trail system.
Stretching stations are available at each major trailhead throughout the trail for your pre-and post-workout stretching.
To reach the Crossing at the Dan, from US 58 Business in downtown Danville, take Main Street south across the Dan River and make a left on Craghead Street. Follow that for about 5 blocks until you see signs for the train station on the left. The trailhead will be on the far side of the parking lot.
Parking is also available at Dan Daniel Park on River Park Dr, at 302 River Park Drive, by Anglers Park on Northside Dr, the Crossing at the Dan Trailhead (667 Craghead St), by Newtons Landing Trailhead (101 Newton St), at Main Street Plaza (111 Main St), by the Riverside Drive Trailhead (Riverside Dr/US 58 Bus & Audubon Dr), at Ballou Park Shelter 10, and by the Sandy Creek Trailhead (Riverside Dr/US 58 Bus & Mt Cross Rd) where access to the trail is from the northeast corner of the parking lot.
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