Richmond, VA: Belle Isle Loop

This seven-mile circuit traverses a mini wilderness right downtown, cruising the south banks of the James River before crossing onto the maple-shaded shores of Belle Isle. From there, head to the north shore hills and views of the river’s class IV whitewater.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.3


Dogwood Dell parking area

Location: 37.538073, -77.481701

There are several places to start this trail. This is Dogwood Dell parking lot. You could also start from Reedy Creek or the Belle Isle parking area among others.

The Nickle Bridge

Location: 37.53303, -77.4831


Location: 37.52535, -77.47584

As you descend these switchbacks you will see a bridge being built on your left. The trail is being rerouted around this eroded unsustainable feature.

Buttermilk’s stairs

Location: 37.52503, -77.45619

Here you will come up to a covered bridge that ends with a set of stairs. Take these stairs down then follow the trail that heads east, along the fence next to the railroad.

End of Buttermilk

Location: 37.52623, -77.45361

Here is a wooden bridge over the river. Take this bridge to Belle Isle

Belle Isle

Location: 37.52732, -77.45308

End of the footbridge

Location: 37.53438, -77.44964

Begining of Northbank

Location: 37.53507, -77.44864

After the footbridge turn left (west) on the gravel road, follow signs to Northbank Trail.

End of gravel road

Location: 37.53443, -77.45301

the gate here is always closed, the trail goes south around this small fence, follow it.

Maymont Park

Location: 37.53198, -77.47604

Japanese gardens