Hiking alongside rivers and creeks the whole way around Charlottesville, this low-traffic loop feels fairly isolated and gives a unique perspective on Charlottesville.
Need to Know
Please respect all the signs. Local property owners allowing people to use this trail are incredibly gracious. If you're able to support the Rivanna Trail Foundation monetarily or by helping with Saturday work groups, it's greatly appreciated.
Starting counter-clockwise from the southwest corner near Nob Hill: head east along Moore's Creek, going downstream all the way until it ends in the Rivanna River. The highlights along this section include Azalea Park, with community garden plots and a dog park (stop by the nearby IRC's New Roots farm to meet the goats); and great views of Monticello from the area near Quarry Park.
Once you get to the Rivanna River, you'll head north through the most trafficked part of the trail and the only paved portion other than short segments along roads to avoid private property. Highlights of this section include the train bridge, some options to stop for food and drink in the Pantops area, and the views of the Rivanna River.
The trail departs the river and continues upstream along Meadow Creek all the way back across Charlottesville. Two poorly indicated sections here: you want to turn right to go north along the John Warner Parkway, and you want to turn left off of that section on the north of Meadow Creek, despite the trail sign being on the south! Along this section, you'll see a lot of the very scenic Meadow Creek until you turn off it after the Meadowcreek Disc Golf Course.
After continuing a short section south on Emmett Street and west on Barracks, the trail heads back off road to begin the southward, final leg of the loop. You'll pass UVA's law school, business school, and main campus in that order before crossing Fontaine Ave and getting through the last bit of it back to Sunset Ave.
Shared By: Twenty Hoover