U.Va. Graduate Guide

Parks & Recreation

Charlottesville Parks & Recreation

Charlottesville Parks & Recreation | (434) 970-3592

Pen Park

Getting there: Take 250 Bypass east to the Park St. Exit. Left on Park St. Right at the traffic light on Pen Park Rd. and go to end.

This is the largest city park, with a nature trail along the Rivanna River, handicapped-accessible exercise trail, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, volleyball, Little League fields, three picnic pavilions, and playground. Dogs must be on a leash.

Albemarle County Parks

Albemarle County Parks | (434) 296-5844

Beaver Creek Lake

Getting there: Rt. 250 West to where Rt. 240 forks off at Crozet. Turn a sharp right at sign just over the bridge onto Brown's Gap Turnpike and go another mile.

With 104 water acres, this lake is the largest and best fishing lake in Albemarle County. Water supply for the Crozet area, so no swimming. Boat launch, but no gas motors.

Chris Greene Lake

Getting there: Take Rt. 29 North out of town. Left on Rt. 649 (Airport Rd.). Right on Rt. 606 in front of airport. Left on Rt. 850 (Chris Greene Lake Rd.).

Swimming, fishing, boating, canoe rentals, picnic areas, large and small pavilions, playgrounds, boat launch, and a fishing pier. All handicapped-accessible. Spring crappie fishing is excellent. Limited walking trails. $3 for adults, $2 for children 4-12 (in the summer only).

Darden Towe Park

Getting there: Rt. 250 East to Pantops. Left on Rt. 20 North opposite the shopping center (Stony Point Rd). Left on Elk Drive.

This 110-acre park along the Rivanna River includes four tennis courts, running trails, children's play area, picnic shelters, three softball fields, and four multi-use fields for soccer, lacrosse, and football. One picnic pavilion may be reserved for as many as 80 people.

Ivy Creek Natural Area

Getting there: Rt. 29 North to Hydraulic Rd. Left (north) on Hydraulic Rd. Turn left on Rt. 743 (at the Rock Store); look for entrance on the left.

A great place for hiking, bird-watching and being in nature, while still in town. Just 10 minutes from the Law School by car. Six miles of trails in the forest, nature programs, bird walks. Owned jointly by city and county. No biking and no dogs, even on a leash.

(434) 973-7772

Mint Springs Valley Park

Getting there: Rt. 250 west to fork with Rt. 240. Take 240 into downtown Crozet. At the T-junction by the railroad bridge, turn left and immediately right (it's like going straight with a jog in the road) on to Rt. 788 (Railroad Ave.). Follow the signs to park, 1.5 miles on left.

Swimming, picnic shelters, playgrounds, fishing, and 3.6 miles of hiking trails. Handicapped accessible. Pavilions with fireplaces, grills, and tables may be reserved.

Walnut Creek Park

Getting there: Rt. 29 South about 5 miles. Left on Rt. 708 (Red Hill Rd.), right on Rt. 631. Park entrance is on left.

Great place for mountain biking. Swimming in lake, nature trails, bike trails, fishing, picnic shelters, and playground. Entrance fees between Memorial Day (last Monday in May) and Labor Day (first Monday in Sept): $3 adults, $2 children.

Rivanna Trails

Getting there: Several access points, including the Law School (start at any of picnic tables in woods behind Hunton & Williams Hall), Greenbrier Park on Greenbrier Dr., Hydraulic Rd. near Brandywine Dr.

A series of trails in town linking city parks along the Rivanna River. Trail sometimes gets overgrown in summer, but nice in spring, fall, and winter. The section behind Law School follows a pretty gorge behind Darden to University Village. See the web site for all access points and new trails.

Rivanna Trails | (434) 923-9022