You don’t have to go far to enjoy the stunning nature right here in the Richmond area. The city and the surrounding counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, Goochland and Hanover are loaded with plenty of FREE parks and fun natural places for kids and adults, where in the fall you can capture the bright reds, orange and yellow leaves blazing in the trees and underfoot. Most of the city, county and state parks are FREE and accessible for activities as diverse as hiking along the James River, throwing a Frisbee or canoeing on a lake.
Check websites for prices for special events, exhibits, rentals, and other costs. While this listing is alphabetical, the addresses identify the geopolitical location of the parks, specifying if the attraction is in the Richmond City or the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, Goochland or Hanover for easier understanding of the place’s proximity and features. ENJOY!
Featured locations and the parks therein include:
- Chesterfield County: A Playground for Katie and Friends, Pocahontas State Park, Robius Landing Park, Robius Landing, Rockwood
- Henrico County: Armour House & Gardens at Meadowview Park, Cheswick Park, Crump Park Playground and Meadow Farm Museum, Deep Run Park, Deep Bottom Park, Dorey Park, Springfield Park, Three Lakes Park & Nature Center
- Goochland County: Arts Academy of Goochland, Central Recreation Complex (Old Middle School), Courthouse Trails, Goochland Sports Complex (Old High School), Hidden Rock Park, Leakes Mill Park, Reynolds Recreation Complex , Tucker Park at Maidens
- Hanover County: North Anna Battlefield
- Powhatan County: including Powhatan State Park
- Richmond City: Bryan Park, Byrd Park, Forest Hill Park, James River Park System, Louis Ginter Botanical Garden, Maymont, Virginia Capital Trail
A Playground for Katie and Friends at Huguenot Park – 10901 Robious Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23235. The park is fenced, and the equipment is meant for young children. The ground is covered with wood chips so falls are cushioned. Two pillars decorated with colorful tiles of children’s art support the arch at the entrance. Most of the equipment is purple and yellow, and the bright colors and winding shapes are enticing as they offer children lots of fun. Great place to play or just relax. Smooth surfaces for wheelchair and resilient for kids or adults who fall! FREE.
Armour House & Gardens at Meadowview Park – Clarendon Rd. Henrico, VA 23223. This Victorian style home is located directly behind Arthur Ashe Elementary School. The surrounding property boasts a scenic walking trail, tennis courts, a garden, flowing fountain surrounded by arbors with blooming vines, and children’s gardens and play areas. Available for rent, The Armour House and Gardens is an ideal setting for small gatherings, celebrations, meetings, or retreats. A large shelter facility with a fireplace is also available for rent. A variety of classes and events are offered for both children and adults throughout the year. FREE (some exhibits/events incur fee).
Bryan Park – 4308 Hermitage Road, Richmond VA 23227 Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park was the site of a planned slavery insurrection known as Gabriel’s Rebellion. To learn more of the park’s history, you can purchase “An Illustrated History of Bryan Park” from the Friends of Bryan. Park, a non-profit group that supports the park and offers many park activities. The Audubon Society hosts bird walks in Bryan Park on the first Sunday of each month, 30 minutes after sunrise. The park also offers a disc golf course and is home to many festivals and events. The Market Emporium, a farmer’s market, is held in the park on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. May through November. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. FREE.
Byrd Park – 600 S. Boulevard, Richmond VA 23221(Dogwood Dell: 804.646.DELL) This 287-acre park in Richmond’s Near West End is one of the city’s most popular. Spread along both sides of The Boulevard and Blanton Avenue starting at the Columbus Statue you will find Fountain Lake, a self-lighted tennis complex for anytime play, and two softball fields. Sunbathing and pedal boat rides at Fountain Lake are popular in the summer, and a full-service concession building at the lakes offers snacks, lunch, restrooms and free Wi-Fi during the summer season. Dogwood Dell’s amphitheater is location of the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department’s Festival of the Arts is held from June through August. FREE.
Chesterfield County Parks – Over a dozen public areas make up Chesterfield public parks with amenities ranging from linear parks, athletic complexes, boat landings and playgrounds. FREE with some activities incurring a fee.
Cheswick Park – 1700 Forest Ave., Henrico, VA 23229. Henrico’s oldest neighborhood park features picnic shelters, approximately a mile of walking trails, and a playground. Open daily from dawn to dusk. FREE.
Crump Park Playground & Meadow Farm Museum – 3400 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060. A great playground for kids and lots of wide-open spaces. Meadow Farm, one of the last remaining 19th-century farms in Henrico County, Virginia, is now an 1860 living history farm focusing on middle-class rural life just before the upheaval of the Civil War. On select weekends, they demonstrate daily and seasonal activities in the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith forge, kitchen, fields, and pastures. The Museum also offers a full schedule of workshops, special events, living history programs and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. The Meadow Farm Museum Orientation Center features a reception area for visitors, exhibit galleries, a gift shop and program room. FREE (some exhibits/events incur fee).
Deep Run Park – 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico, VA 23233. The park includes ponds, walkways, playgrounds, and open space as well as a gazebo. A variety of classes and events are offered for both children and adults throughout the year. Two playgrounds, trails, and lots for kids and adults. FREE (some events incur fee).
Deep Bottom Park – 9525 Deep Bottom Road, Henrico, VA 23231. Ride your boat, pier fish, or picnic on the James River. Deep Bottom Park features two boat ramps for access to the James River and a canoe launch on Four Mile Creek. Picnic facilities and fishing are also available at this site. The boat ramps are available twenty-four hours a day to launch and retrieve boats. The park grounds are open from dawn to dusk. Information: Richard Huddleston, 501-5127. FREE.
Dorey Park – 2999 Darbytown Road, Henrico, VA 23231. Available for rent, Dorey Recreation Center is an ideal facility for various size gatherings, celebrations, meetings, or retreats. Open daily dawn to dusk. Dorey Recreation Center is located within beautiful Dorey Park. The park includes a large pond with walking trail, meandering walkways through the woods, a playground, and open space as well as a gazebo and picnic shelters. Dorey Park also has an off-leash dog park, 1 acre in size, with 5 foot enclosed fence with two areas – one for small dogs and the other for larger dogs. A variety of classes and events are offered for both children and adults throughout the year. Dorey is connected to the Virginia Capital Trail! The 0.4 mile connector trail begins near Dorey’s dog park and passes near the disc golf course leading to the Virginia Capital Trail. This will give trail users access to restrooms and additional services at Dorey Recreation Center/Welcome Center. Fishing, horse ring and trails, disc golf course, and more. FREE.
Forest Hill Park – 4021 Forest Hill Ave. Richmond, VA 23225. Forest Hill Park hosts FREE Music in the Park concerts monthly through October. Music in the Park Concert Series is all about fun, family, friends, and neighbors congregating one Sunday evening a month to picnic, recreate, relax, and enjoy great music. Sponsored by the wonderful Forest Hills, Westover Hills, and Woodland Heights Neighborhood Associations along with the City of Richmond Parks and Recreation. FREE.
Goochland County Parks – Walking trails, baseball fields, soccer fields, picnic shelters, volleyball courts, basketball, walking trails, playgrounds, concession stands, restrooms, gymnasium and dance studios, and much more. Hidden Rock Park, Tucker Park at Maiden’s Landing, and Goochland Sports Complex all 3 offer plenty of fun for kids and adults. There is also a Central Recreation Complex with 2 multi-purpose athletic fields, walking track, and picnic area. For more information on classes, programs and special events offered by Goochland County Parks & Recreation, please visit the department website at www.co.goochland.va.us or call the office at (804) 556-5854 for further details. Free (some events incur fee).
Facilities and General Information – Arts Academy of Goochland 2938 River Road West, Goochland, VA 23063. The Arts Academy of Goochland is located adjacent to the Courthouse Complex on Route 6 in the heart of Goochland. The building consists of 5 classrooms, administrative space and houses the Department’s preschool programming.
Central Recreation Complex (Old Middle School) – 2748 Dogtown Road, Goochland, VA 23063. The Central Recreation Complex is a 23 acre outdoor facility comprised primarily of multipurpose athletic fields. The facility also includes two picnic areas and quarter mile walking track.
Courthouse Trails – 2938 River Road West, Goochland, VA 23063. Courthouse Trails is a 55 acre parcel of densely wooded and hilly terrain located behind the Goochland County Courthouse Complex. The two mile trail system has a soft surface multi-use trail featuring scenic views, natural water features and areas to enjoy the natural environment. The trails may be accessed adjacent to the Goochland County Annex Building in the Courthouse Complex.
Goochland Sports Complex (Old High School) – 1800 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland, VA 23063. The Goochland Sports Complex is an 8 acre facility consisting of several athletic amenities. The GSC exterior facilities includes “Weed Whackers Field” a fully irrigated and lighted football and baseball field complete with grass infield. The Complex also includes a lighted softball field, scoreboards, football and baseball press boxes, public address system, concession stand with restrooms and the County’s only public skateboard park – Skate 522.The interior Goochland Sports Complex facilities are home to the Recreation Division’s administrative offices as well as dance studio, cardio room, weight room, classroom and comfortable lounge areas. The Complex interior also includes full sized gymnasium with hardwood floors. The Goochland Sports Complex is home to Goochland Middle School baseball, softball, soccer as well as Goochland Youth Athletic Association football, baseball and softball.
Hidden Rock Park – 1920 Hidden Rock Lane, Maidens, VA 23102. Hidden Rock Park is a 60 acre facility that serves as the current home to many of Goochland’s youth athletic leagues. The northern portion of the facility consists of two youth baseball fields and two full sized baseball/softball fields. All of these fields are lighted. In addition, Hidden Rock has nature trails, two picnic shelters, concession stand with public restrooms, public address systems, asphalt basketball court and volleyball court. The southern end of Hidden Rock Park consists of several youth sized soccer fields. Hidden Rock Park is home to Goochland United Soccer Association as well as to Goochland Youth Athletic Association’s baseball and softball programs. Parks and Recreation adult sponsored athletic leagues are
held here as well.
Leakes Mill Park – Leakes Mill Park is a 167 acre facility located 3 miles west of Goochland Courthouse. The park features 2 fully irrigated multi-purpose athletic fields, playground and walking trails. Future development will include additional irrigated multi-purpose field space, picnic shelter, concession stand with restrooms, additional trail heads and parking. Leakes Mill Park is home to Goochland United Soccer Association.
Reynolds Recreation Complex – 1851 Dickinson Road, Goochland, VA 23063 – A 5 acre facility located on the Reynolds Community College- Goochland Campus maintained and operated by Parks, Recreation & Facilities. The facility includes a partially lit baseball/softball field and three fully lit tennis courts. Tennis court lights are operational through the use of a coin operated lighting system. Access to a fishing pond and picnic areas are available.
Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing – 1300 Maidens Road, Maidens, VA 23102 – Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing is a 36 acre facility located along 1,200 feet of the James River. The park is a joint venture between the Friends of Goochland Parks and the County. The park boasts the newly opened CarMax Cares Outdoor Performance area, capable of hosting outdoor events along the riverfront.
Hanover County Parks – Boat ramps, picnic shelters, playgrounds, athletic fields, grilling facilities, trails, and much more are available in over 9 Hanover Parks. The county’s Parks and Recreation offers over 1,500 acres of parkland throughout Hanover County, with beautiful trails, historic landmarks, athletic fields, relaxing shelters as well as safe accessible playgrounds. The Department boasts a wide range of yearlong events and programs for all ages and interests.
North Anna Battlefield Park – 11576 Verdon Road, Doswell (Hanover County) 23047 – The largest Civil War battlefield park not operated by the National Park Service was dedicated in Hanover County on May 24, 2014. Hanover County’s North Anna Battlefield Park consists of 172 acres of woodland, within which lie six miles of interpretive trails. The trails are designed for visitors to easily see the earthworks dug by Confederate and Union soldiers during the battle of North Anna, which took place May 21-27, 1864. FREE
Henrico County Recreation & Parks – This county boasts dozens of public parks that range from historical properties, museums, recreation areas, creeks, lakes, nature centers, boat landings, skate parks, an historic theater with FREE and low cost programming as well as open and natural spaces for organized leagues to free play and more.
Humphrey Calder Community Center Playground – 414 N. Thompson Street, Richmond, VA 23221. It is located in the city at the intersection of Kensington and Thompson, right next to a fire station. It seems like there is something for everyone at this park; soccer, basketball, volleyball and of course the playground itself. FREE.
James River Park. – 4301 Riverside Drive, Richmond VA – Richmond’s largest, most unique and best known park is actually a system of parks along both sides of the James River as it passes through the city, making Richmond the only urban city in the country with Class IV white water rapids in the middle of downtown. The 550-acre park itself is an area of unspoiled natural beauty and adventure recreation unlike that found in any other city in the country. It is internationally known as the site of the XTERRA triathlon and has been recognized as the Southeast’s Best Urban Park and named Best in Dirt for its running trails. The Park includes acres of shoreline and islands, extending in 14 sections from the Huguenot Bridge in the west to a half mile beyond the I-95 Bridge in the east. It includes most of the fall line of the James River. Rocks, rapids, meadows, and forests make for an area of unspoiled natural beauty — a little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city. Highlights include the Manchester Climbing Wall, T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, Williams Island, Belle Isle, North Bank Trail, Floodwall Park, Ancarrow’s Landing & Historic Manchester Slave Docks, Riverside Meadows and Huguenot Flatwater. FREE.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens – 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA 23228 Phone: 804.262.9887. Here children and their grown-ups have up-close and personal interactions with the natural world—not as passive bystanders, but as active participants who touch, smell, taste, and enjoy learning together. It’s a safe, playful, and relaxed setting, offering a rich array of hands-on, child-centered activities—so come outside and play! Membership or daily per visit fee.
Maymont – 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA 23220 Phone: 804.358.7166. A petting zoo, trails, and much more. A landmark. A retreat. A treasure. A living classroom. That’s how many Richmonders describe Maymont. And great fun in winter too! With so much to do, we thought it might help to give a quick overview. A first visit to Maymont is best started at the Robins Nature & Visitor Center—Maymont’s front door—but a history lover will soon find a path to the 1893 Maymont Mansion, while a plant lover will find the elaborate Japanese and Italian gardens. And animal lovers will delight in the Nature Center, Wildlife Exhibits and Maymont Farm. Seekers of solitude will select the perfect spot under a stately elm or beside a babbling brook. (FREE to visit, enjoy petting zoo, grounds, picnic – some tours, mansion, and exhibits incur fee).
Osborne Park & Boat Landing – 9530 Osborne Tnpk., Henrico, VA 23223. Osborne Boat Landing features three double boat slips and a canoe launch available from dawn to dusk. An accessible fishing pier extends out into the James River. Adjacent Osborne Park, featuring a playground, shelters, and trails is open from dawn to dusk. Information: Richard Huddleston, 501-5127. FREE.
Pocahontas State Park – 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield, VA 28382. Just 20 miles from downtown Richmond, Pocahontas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, hiking, and interpretive and environmental education programs. The Aquatic Center offers seasonal water-based activities for the entire family. It has a kiddie pool, fountain wet deck, three-foot and five-foot-deep leisure pools, an activity pool and two tubular water slides. Rowboat, paddleboat, kayak and canoe rentals also are available at the 200-acre Swift Creek Lake during the summer. The park’s two fishing lakes have crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. The park has more than 80 miles of trails throughout 7,925 acres open to hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Entrance is $7 per carload to visit, explore, hike, bike, and more (some other events and activities require a fee).
Pouncey Tract Park – Pouncey Tract Road, Henrico, Va 23228. This park features sand volleyball courts, softball and multi-purpose athletic fields, picnic facilities, and a playground. There is a walking trail and the playground is perfect for smaller kids. FREE.
Powhatan Parks – You’ll find Powhatan State Park, open dawn to dusk, in the northwest corner of Powhatan County on the historic James River. The park’s address is 4616 Powhatan State Park Rd., Powhatan, VA 23139. The park has three car-top boat slides accessing the river as well as diverse wildlife habitat, from open fields to upland hardwood forests. Other amenities include a full-service campground, a canoe-in campground, a group campground, multi-use trails, wildlife observation areas, picnic shelters and a playground. FREE.
Robious Landing Park – 3800 James River Road, Midlothian, VA 23113. A Chesterfield County public park that provides easy access to the James River for kayaking, canoeing, rowing and fishing. The 102-acre site also houses 3.4 miles of trails, playgrounds, picnic shelters and sand volleyball. James River High School is located adjacent to the park and provides additional facility access.
Rockwood Park – 3401 Courthouse Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23236. Soccer, baseball and lots more games and activities. Nature hikes through wooded terrain, a nature center, picnic tables, and lots of fun events all year round. FREE including nature center.
Short Pump Park – 3329 Pump Road, Henrico, VA 23233. Open dawn to dusk – spray fountains 9am-7pm weather permitting. This park includes a dog park, spray fountains, athletic fields, play equipment, picnic facilities, and a restored 1902 two-room schoolhouse. Picnic Shelter Reservations: Please note, the picnic shelter by the soccer/football field accepts reservations. The picnic shelter by the dog park does not accept reservations. Free.
Spray Fountain Guidelines: Get Wet, Have Fun, & Be Safe
- Running is prohibited
- Food, drinks, and glass containers prohibited in spray fountains
- Water shoes and swimwear recommended
- Swim Diapers required if not toilet-trained
- Pets are not allowed in spray fountains
- Skating and cycling are not allowed in spray fountains
Springfield Park – 4600 Springfield Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060. This neighborhood park features a picnic shelter and a fantastic playground. Free.
Three Lakes Nature Center – 400 Sausiluta Dr., Henrico, VA 23227. Three Lakes Park and Nature Center brings together the three worlds of air, water, and land for visitors to explore. The Nature Center is a 6,500 square foot facility featuring a variety of exhibits designed to provide hands-on experiences. The 50,000 gallon aquarium also gives visitors a “fish-eye” view of the underwater world. The exhibits in the Nature Center will introduce visitors to the plant and animal life native to the area and wildlife living in the wetlands and woodlands of the park. By providing an assortment of live exhibits, dioramas, and interactive displays, the Nature Center offers something for every field of natural interest and is appropriate for all ages. Programs and tours are held throughout the year at Three Lakes Park & Nature Center. FREE (some events and exhibits may incur fee).
Virginia Capital Trail – The Capital Trail is a dedicated, paved pedestrian and bicycle trail that connects the Commonwealth’s past and present capitals of Jamestown and Richmond along the scenic Route 5 corridor. The Trail traverses approximately 52 miles alongside some of Virginia’s most beautiful and historic sites on one of the first inland routes in North America. FREE (Tours, events, bike rental, and more available for a fee.)
More things to do in and around Richmond:
- Richmond’s Museums Highlight History, Art, Science and More
- Bicycling routes around Richmond
- Richmond’s Public Pools & Splash Pads
- RVA Dog-Friendly Parks
- 12+ Free Things to do in Colonial Williamsburg
- RVA Historic Sites
- Free Art Galleries in RVA
- RVA’s Nearby Ski Resorts
- 50+ Things to Do in Richmond
- Orchards and Berry Farms
- Things to Do: RVA
- 50+ Events & Festivals
- Special Resources
- Military Discounts
- FREE for Kids (or really cheap)
- Garage, Moving, Estate Sales and more
- Metro Richmond Zoo
- Richmond boat launches and marinas
- Fairs in RVA and Virginia
- Richmond Museums: Some Admission Free
- Discount Tickets: D.C. & NoVA Shows & Events