Hiking in Charlottesville VA


Does your annual business meeting, weekend girl’s trip, family get together, or a solo trip to recharge your batteries have you at Charlottesville, VA, and Boar’s Head Resort? If the answer is yes, do not forget to pack your best pair of hiking boots to hit some of the outstanding trails in the area.

Boar’s Head Resort is not your typical hotel type establishment in the Charlottesville area. The resort encompasses more than 570 acres and offers pathways to take you down around lakes, ponds, and wetlands. There is even a cemetery with some history to view while out strolling.

Lace-up your hiking shoes and hit one of the L. F. Payne Heritage Trails. There are five ranging from gravel, grass, or woodland available for your hiking pleasure.

Butterfly Trail can be found near the resort and is a comfortable gravel and grassy .45-mile adventure. The cemetery trail is .25 miles and is a moderate grass-covered walk. Muddy Spur is also .25 and grass-covered.

Main Trail is a mixture of gravel, grass, and woodland, thus comfortable, moderate, and challenging. There are also different lengths throughout, so do not worry and bring the kiddos as there are several 0.5-mile sections.

Foxhaven Run is 2.0 miles and includes a mix of moderate and challenging difficulty.

Head outside of Boar’s Head Resort and explore the Charlottesville area with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Find a great place to park and set off on an adventure to view some sunsets, overlooks, and challenging climbs.

Humpback Rocks Trail is one of those outstanding trails. A one-mile steep climb that goes up to around 700 feet gives you a small challenge. The result, though, is fabulous. Do not forget your camera as The Rocks provide excellent sunsets and sunrises. The Appalachian Trail also crosses this trail, so plan accordingly should you wish to hike a few more miles.

The Saunders-Monticello Trail only has one drawback, and that is that it is pretty darn popular. To achieve an experience, unlike any other when at this trail, it is best to arrive in the early morning. No matter when you decide to visit, this two-plus mile trail is fantastic!

As you wander along the trail, take in the spectacular views of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. If the trees are bare, snap some unforgettable memories of those lavish views.

Another Albemarle County place to head to is Ivy Creek Natural Area. This natural area provides hikers with a variety of mostly flat trails. The kids are welcome here; unfortunately, Fido will need to sit this one out.

Rivanna River Trails are part of a trail system that encompasses the city limits of Charlottesville. There are points to access the spectacular trials about one to two miles from the Downtown Mall. Hikers, bikers, and runners will love the wide, paved trails.

One of the most magnificent trails off Skyline Drive is Riprap Trail. You will be sitting in the Riprap Trail Parking lot from the downtown area in less than an hour. How cool is that! This nonstrenuous hike out to the impressive ridge provides you with a jaw-dropping view of the Shenandoah Valley.

Hiking the entire nine miles takes about 5 or 6 hours, and about 2.5 miles round trip out to the ridge.  There is an entrance fee to Shenandoah National Park, so plan accordingly. This fee grants unlimited park access for a week.