James River State Park features over 15 miles of hiking/biking/horseback riding trails that meander through 1500 acres of rolling meadows and quiet forests. Three miles of river frontage offer spectacular views, boat launches, picnic areas, primitive camping, electric/water camping for various equipment, cabins, and picnic shelters. A full service canoe livery is open seasonally. See spectacular views along the James River of Norwood in Nelson County, across the river from the park.
Take US Route 60 east from Amherst to Gladstone.
At the James River Bridge, turn left onto SR 605, travel seven miles, and turn left onto Route 606.
104 Green Hill Drive | Gladstone, VA | 434-933-4355
A scenic driving and short walking trail offers views of Piney River as it cascades over large rocks. It is stocked for fishing and has good swimming holes.
Take Route 56 west to Massies Mill, turn on SR 666 (Dickie Road).
Follow SR 666 for a total of approximately 4 miles past Dickie Brothers Orchard where the road becomes a gravel road then winds up and over the mountain offering mountain views of the Blue Ridge.
At the foot of the mountain turn right onto Route 827.
Route 827 goes into the George Washington National Forest and parallels the North Fork of the Piney River.
Park along the roadside and walk beside the river (except where private property is posted) which offers scenic views of this mountain stream.
The park is located at the trailhead of the Rockfish Valley Loop Trails and at the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center at the intersection of Route 151 (Rockfish Valley Highway) and 617 at Nellysford. Includes Rockfish Valley (Kids in Parks) TRACK Trail, Spruce Creek Trail, Rockfish River Trail, Reids/Glenthorne Trail, Butterfly Trail, Beech Grove Trail, Children’s Trail, Native Plant Trail, and Rockfish Valley Geology Trail.
The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail is 7 miles and is open for hiking, biking and horseback riding year-round from sunrise to sunset. The main trailhead is in Piney River on SR 151, Patrick Henry Hwy. It has ample parking for cars and horse trailers. A smaller trailhead (at milepost 1.7) in Rose Mill on SR 674, Rose Mill Rd can accommodate only cars. Restroom facilities (portajohns) are available at both trailheads.
The mainly crushed stone trail follows a scenic route along the Piney and Tye Rivers, where wildflowers bloom from spring through summer and wildlife abounds. The trail dead ends at the 7 mile point, there is no eastern access at Tye River Depot, you must retrace your steps to your vehicle.
During the autumn hunting season, trail users should wear blaze orange clothing. The trail is open sunrise to sunset. The trail occupies the rail bed of the former Virginia Blue Ridge Railway, which ran from Tye River Depot (to interchange with the Southern Railway) to Massies Mill. Construction of the railroad started in 1915 and the line was abandoned in 1980.
VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE RAILWAY TRAIL
3124 Patrick Henry Highway | Piney River, Virginia 22964
Piney River Trailhead: 3124 Patrick Henry Highway Piney River, Virginia 22964
Rose Mill Trailhead: 1434 Rose Mill Rd. Arrington, Virginia 22922
Contacts: Nelson County, VA 434-263-7130 or Amherst County, VA 434-929-1954
Parking and Trail Access
To access the Piney River trailhead from the Lovingston area, take US 29 to State Route 56 west at Colleen; turn right onto SR 56, and travel 5 miles to turn left onto SR 151. After 2 miles you’ll see the trailhead sign on left (3124 Patrick Henry Highway, Piney River). Parking for cars and horse trailers is available. To access the Roses Mill trailhead from the Lovingston area, take US 29 to SR 56 west at Colleen; turn right onto SR 56 and go about 4 miles to left turn onto Roses Mill Road/SR 674). The trailhead is about 1.4 miles farther (around milepost 1.7 of the trail).
The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen maintains 25 miles of marked scenic trails in the mountains. Information and trail maps are available through the Foundation’s office at the Trillium House at Wintergreen Resort.
3421 Wintergreen Drive | Roseland, Virginia 22967 | 434-325-8169
Route 56 east of Lovingston beside the VDOT office
James River Road | Shipman, VA 22971 | 434-263-7130
NELSON COUNTY WAYSIDE
7 miles north of Lovingston on Route 29.
The short hiking trail has views of the Rockfish River and includes a Hurricane Camille commemorative marker.
ROCKFISH RURITAN PARK
74 Rockfish School Lane | Afton, VA 22920 | 434-361-9349
TYE RIVER PARK
Crabtree Falls Highway | Tyro, VA 22976