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Public Parks in Charlottesville, Virginia

Best Parks in Charlottesville, Virginia: A Local’s Guide

Charlottesville, Virginia, is a treasure trove of vibrant public parks that are just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a breath of fresh air, Charlottesville’s parks offer an array of exciting opportunities that are sure to invigorate your senses and leave you feeling rejuvenated. Lace up your walking shoes, grab your picnic basket, and let’s embark on a journey through the best parks in Charlottesville!


Riverview Park

Riverview Park in Charlottesville VA
First on our list is the enchanting Riverview Park. This gem on the banks of the Rivanna River is a nature lover’s paradise. Venture along the scenic trails that wind through dense forests, leading you to hidden alcoves where you can pause and soak in the unfettered nature. This trail is also part of the Rivanna Trails Foundation system, a pedestrian trail that encircles the City. Riverview Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature’s boundless energy.

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McIntire Park

McIntire Park in Charlottesville VA
McIntire Parkis a sprawling oasis in the heart of the city. The park boasts lush lawns perfect for picnics and games, winding trails for cycling or jogging, and even a skate park for those seeking an adrenaline rush on wheels. Whether you’re challenging friends to a basketball game, soaking up the sun on a lazy afternoon, or exploring the trails with your furry companion, McIntire Park offers an invigorating experience that will keep you coming back for more.

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Pen Park

Pen Park in Charlottesville VA
Pen Park is the largest park in Charlottesville, featuring 280 acers. Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this picturesque park offers an array of activities for all ages. Test your skill on the challenging disc golf course, perfect your backhand on the tennis courts, or gather a group for a spirited game of soccer on the open fields. If you’re looking for a moment of tranquility, take a leisurely stroll along the park’s pathways, which wind through groves of trees and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. There is the 18-hole Meadowcreek Golf Course with a clubhouse and pro shop for the avid golfer and an outdoor physical fitness course with 10 exercise stations. Trails wind through the natural setting toward the Rivanna River where you can find a 1 1/2-mile long trail along the riverside. Pen Park is one of the most popular parks in Charlottesville and a gem of the community.

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Booker T. Washington Park

Booker T. Washington Park in Charlottesville VA
For those seeking history, a visit to Booker T. Washington Park is an absolute must. This charming park, named after the American educator, author, orator, adviser to several presidents of the United States, and influential leader in the African-American community, is a testament to the rich heritage of Charlottesville. Take a glimpse into Charlottesville’s past and enjoy an outdoor pool with a wading area and bath house, 3 basketball courts (including a lighted court on the upper level), a recreation building, a playground area, a regulation softball field, basketball courts, a multi-use field, a picnic shelter,  and tot play area. Washington Park is a serene haven that invites you to embrace the past while enjoying the present.

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Walnut Creek Park

Walnut Creek Park in Charlottesville Va
Situated in the southern part of Albemarle County, Walnut Creek Park spans an impressive 525 acres, with 45 acres dedicated to water and an additional 2 acres of beach area. The park provides several recreational amenities including 2 reservable picnic shelters, a disc golf course, and 15 miles of trails. Notably, Walnut Creek Park has garnered recognition for its exceptional offerings, earning the prestigious title of “Best of the Best” by Cville Weekly!

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Charlottesville, Virginia, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and its public parks embody the spirit of the city. Charlottesville parks offer a diverse range of activities and breathtaking vistas, lush green spaces, winding trails, and the captivating beauty of the Central Virginia Area. Discover the public parks of Charlottesville today!