Riverwalk Trail (VA)


21 Reviews

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Riverwalk Trail (VA) Facts

States: Virginia
Counties: Danville, Pittsylvania
Length: 11.9 miles
Trail end points: Ballou Park at Browder Rd (Danville) and Stinson Dr & Airport Rd (Danville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6177680

Riverwalk Trail (VA) Description

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.

Parking and Trail Access

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.

Riverwalk Trail (VA) Reviews

Love this trail!

This trail did not disappoint (except it ended). Danville is to be commended!! Smooth well kept pathway! We started at The Danville Farmer’s market, rode the cobblestone streets to the Main Street Plaza, down to the trail which zips along the river back to where we started. Then we went across the trail bridge and followed the trail down river to the end at the airport. The trail is relatively flat until you pass through Angler’s Park! Then you have some real hills to get up!!! We were thankful for assist from our e-bikes. But oh, what a lovely ride!! We followed the trail back to the Farmers market - refilled our water bottles and headed back across the bridge to finish the other side of the trail. This part is lovely even though you are behind business for some of it. And there is one part that is not complete (i.e gravel - though someone painted the big rocks which was very nice!) We road (with some overlap) about 20 miles!! We will be back!

BERY nice trail

We haven’t been on a ton of trails, but this one’s the nicest so far. Lots of flowing river views, plenty of wildlife and a brewery too! You should check it out

Riverwalk Trail is open

I asked for an update and just received this word: "As of right now the trail is completely open. There was some flooding around Sandy Creek earlier this week, which has been cleaned up." playdanvilleva@danvilleva.gov

bridge closed

Bridge right past anglers park is washed out. Start more south than the park.


yes, only two gaps (see Aug. review)

Today we rode the center section between the gaps, plus the part on the south side of the river. North side accessible via Angler's & Dan Daniel parks, plus River St/Riverside Dr (same road) parking lots on weekends. GREAT ride even with gaps.

Two known gaps

We started at Angler's Park and rode toward Dan Daniels Park. Just before going under US-29/58 there is a section that is washed out. We next parked at the YMCA and rode to the west end then reversed and rode down-river until yet another washout blocked us. We ran out of time, but the center section between these two blockages should be reachable from Dan Daniels Park. We enjoyed the trip and will be doing this again.

trail closed

Closed where the trail crosses barkers branch in anglers park.

Nice ride along the Dan River

Took this trail in October for a nice fall ride on a beautiful sunny day. Nicely shaded for the most part. Started at the mid point near the Amtrak Station which is a great place because ample parking and if you don't bring your own bikes you can actually rent them there from a rental locked bike rack! When you cross over the river from the parking lot you can go either left or right onto the trail. We went right (after reading reviews that suggested this) and this was the longer and nicer end of the trail in my opinion. When you get to the park end and have to cross through the parking lot to the restroom building to jump back on the trail, the trail from there is hillier but I actually loved the way it wound through the hills and was very shaded with trees. When we got to the very end of the trail, we rode all the way back and then did the opposite end from were we entered from the bridge. Overall, we did about 20 miles. Was a great ride along the river, with a few little bridges, dams and benches to stop and rest if you choose.

Fun Family Ride

My wife and I took our three kids (4,4,7) on this trail looking for something easy. This trail was great! On the river so lots to look and talk about. Would recommend to families with small kiddos.

Lovely Trail Along The River

There is a lot of parking if you cross the River on Main St. and turn left and then left again in a few blocks. You can bike back across the Main St. bridge and link up to the trail going north and south. There is also a short trail on the side of the trail by the parking lot. The trail is beautiful. It meanders along the course of the river. We rode on a Sunday and there were plenty of people but not a problem.

Fall on the River Walk Trail

Pleasantly surprised by this trail! Even more so by the number of riders/walkers/runners using it! The week prior, the community of Danville experienced some severe flooding and you could see the some damage along the trail in the form of cut trees and mud. However, the trail had been cleared. To me, that seemed to be a big priority for the users of the trail. It's very smooth, very flat and very scenic. Yes, you can go off trail ( in our case, into some deep mud, but it was fun) and some short but steep climbs if your goal is to try as many trails off the main one. The locals using the trail were super friendly and very helpful, as there are not any trail maps on the route. What they do have are 2 ( all we saw) bike repair stations and one bike wash station. The bike wash station was just off the main trail that leads you into some of the single track routes. Let's just say, we needed that! Very forward thinking.
Across the river is the old mill district with these gorgeous old red brick warehouses. Although many are empty, you can tell that some are renovated with businesses, shops( auto repair) and lofts. Given some time, and this could be a very vibrant locale.
This was the perfect recovery ride for us, as we had spent Saturday on the VA Creepr and Sunday walking in Asheville. A good ride fort the distance and location to home ward bound driving.

Fantastic urban and rural, hills and flat...beautiful ride!

Wow...we were blown away by this fantastic trail system in Danville! We parked at the big recreational park and rode toward downtown, which was amazing! Beautiful railroad bridge over the river leads to the old tobacco warehouse district. Then we went the other way to Angler's park, where we explored a more rural area--huge hills and hairpin turns! The trail is paved, and there are mountain bike trails that branch off--the mtb trails look like a lot of fun too. This is a new favorite trail for us, well worth the trip to Danville!

Riverwalk Trail-Danville

I went back home to Danville for a visit, I heard about the Riverwalk Trail. My husband and I were so amazed! We just had to go back two weeks latter to experience this trail again, agaain we were just as much amazed again! Wow what a beautiful and fun trail to ride.

Beautiful ride with lots of picturesque scenes

This was one of the most enjoyable paved bicycle rides! The entire path is paved and there are optional turns and rest stops. There is a painted centerline that helps keep pedestrians and cyclists to one side or the other, which is nice. I highly recommend this rails-to-trails ride to cyclists of any experience level.

Beautiful Trail

Riverwalk Trail, Danville, VA

Directions to the trail are excellent. Once you get to the parking lot in front of the Danville Community Center, you cross a trestle bridge to the other side of the river and take your bike down a ramp to the river. If you turn right at the foot of the bridge, the trail goes through an industrial area which isn’t the most scenic, but even considering this, the river is still gorgeous. That direction only goes about a mile anyway. But…if you come off the bridge and go left, you’ll experience one of the most scenic rail trails around. I’ve ridden quite a few, and this one is near the top of my list. The first portion of this leg of the trail follows the river, and the city of Danville has put a lot of effort into making it beautiful and enjoyable. There are numerous benches, picnic tables, and pull off areas to enjoy the flowing river, the trees, green grass and geese. About 3 miles along the river you come to a park with a public boat landing. To get a more strenuous ride, cross the parking lot to your right near the picnic pavilion and start up the hill. From this point, the trail inclines about 2 or 3 more miles, but it’s worth the effort. This leg of the trail is just as beautiful as the river ride. Toward the end of this leg of the ride, you’ll cross one road at the intersection of Slayton and Stinson Steets. The trail only goes a short distance past this point. (This is as of April, 2011. I understand they plan to extend the trail in the future). Turn around and ride back down the mountain. It’s fast and fun, and then you can enjoy the river again as you head back to your car. I highly recommend this ride. I try to find a rail trail anytime I’m traveling, and I’m certainly glad I tried this one.

A Real Jewel

Wow! My family spent the afternoon biking the trail yesterday and were amazed at the beautiful scenery. We parked at Dan Daniel Park and rode all afternoon. It was very beautiful and I was amazed at how well it was laid out and there were places to stop along the way. There were parks, bathrooms, restaurants, historic sites, old bridges, waterfalls and an easy trail to ride! Very scenic. Be sure and bring your camera! This is a real jewel for Danville. We will be coming back soon!!

Great Day on the Riverwalk Trail

My wife and I rode the trail today and we were just blown away with the great condition of the trail and how beautiful the scenery is along the Dan River. Lots of waterfowl including geese, ducks and blue heron were easily observed in several locations. In the more wooded areas toward Angler's Park there were numerous native songbirds filling the afternoon air with melodies blending beautifully with the sound of water rushing over the rocks in the river. Several restuarants are easily accessible from the trail on the western end past the dam overlook at Union Street. We dined in one of the restaurants, but taking a picnic would be an attractive option with numerous picnic tables located all along the trail. The trail is paved and easy riding for even the most novice bikers so take the entire family and have a great day.
Jim Walton Stonveille NC


Well, I have to say that I was disappointed with this trail. I guess I had high hopes because it was along the river but it was surrounded by factories and businesses and just wasn't very pretty. It seemed prettier when we rode south of Dan Daniels park but then we came upon a sewage plant that was awful and made us turn back and give up on this trail.

Ever evolving trail

This is really becoming a nice trail as the city, it seems, is always adding just a little more distance. There is now more like eight miles completed. You can go from dowtown Danville almost all the way to the airport now. The last couple of miles towards the airport have some pretty serious climbs. The city is now working on extending the trail on the dowtown side. At the dowtown terminus there is a science museum as well as a beautiful ampitheatre where some good warm weather concerts take place. In addition to the paved portion of the trail, there are several mountain bike trails.

Rick Banks

Danville River walk

11/29/08 Nice trail The upriver part of the trail actually starts behind a Realty Office just west of the Holiday Inn Express. Lots of parking availble behind the businesses. Also the Super 8 motel is a good place to stay just upriver from there. Bob

Pleasant walking

A friend and I recently walked the whole length of the trail both directions as part of a volksmarch. It is really a pleasant place to walk. We enjoyed being able to see the water birds on the river and know that we were walking part of a rails-to-trail. Thanks for getting this ready for the public.

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