Percival’s Island Natural Area

Located less than a mile from the city of Lynchburg, this wooded community provides a quick commute to Downtown Lynchburg. This location also offers easy access to local dining, breweries, museums, and cultural attractions. See more.

Enjoy one of the area’s best rails to trails hiking and biking paths at Percival’s Island Natural Area. This paved trail traverses the island, which features views of calm pools and rushing waters.

1. Walk or Bike the RiverWalk Trail

The paved RiverWalk Trail is a great way to get some exercise, see the sights, and learn about local wildlife. It’s a hotspot for herons, migrating waterfowl, and many other native plants and animals.

The trail extends from Lynchburg’s Blackwater Creek Trail, crossing the railroad trestle onto Percival’s Island from Lynchburg and traversing the island for about a mile along an old railroad bed. It then continues across the James River on another trestle and into Amherst County at the end of Fertilizer Road [enter via Central Virginia Training School].

Once you’ve crossed the bridge over South Chickamauga Creek, the path will split. Veer to the left to stay on the Riverwalk Trail. This route will take you past the historic Point of Honor home and over a cool steel bridge that crosses the creek. Less than a mile from here you’ll reach the base of the massive Chickamauga Dam.

2. Look for Birds

When it comes to birding, the Commonwealth of Virginia is truly a gem. The state is home to every type of natural habitat found between Maine and Florida. And it’s not just birds that live here – Virginia is also known for its rich culture and tradition of warm hospitality.

The Lynchburg area is a naturalist’s paradise. It’s surrounded by scenic parks and pristine rivers with opportunities to watch wildlife at every turn. Whether you want to enjoy the view from the Riverwalk Trail or explore the wilderness of Blackwater Creek, there is something for everyone in this fascinating city.

Lynchburg’s paved trails provide great locations for spring warblers and fall sparrows, while mature junipers and flowering wildflowers abound at the likes of Peaks View Park, HumanKind, and Ivy Creek Park. The ponds at College Lake and Reusen’s Reservoir are good locations for winter waterfowl, while the riparian woodlands of Coffee Road are hot spots in spring and summer. Explore more!

3. Listen to the Water

Percival’s Island Natural Area has a calming effect on anyone who enters. Located along the James River, this park features a paved trail that offers views of both calm pools and rushing water. The natural area is home to herons and migrating waterfowl, as well as many other native plants and animals.

As you walk or bike the paved trail, take time to look for birds. In the spring and summer, osprey and double-crested cormorant can be seen soaring overhead. In winter, bufflehead and American black ducks can be spotted among the trees.

Once a railroad yard, the park now serves as a place for Lynchburg residents to enjoy nature. The paved hiking and biking trail is flat, making it easy for families to explore. There’s also an area that’s perfect for wading in the water, as long as you follow Virginia state fishing regulations. The park is a short drive from Downtown Lynchburg and within walking distance of the Galt’s Mill complex.

4. Enjoy the View

Once a private home and later a railroad yard, Percival’s Island serves as both a piece of Lynchburg’s history and a natural resource for the community to enjoy. Visitors can take an iconic photo of the LOVEworks sculpture and explore the wooded trail that leads to the western tip of the island. Those who are more adventurous can wade in the James River in accordance with state fishing regulations, or find a spot to relax on the banks of the river.

The blacktop hiking/biking trail extends from Lynchburg’s Blackwater Creek Trail, crossing the railroad trestle onto Percival’s Island from downtown and traversing the island for about one mile along an old railroad bed. The trail continues across the James River on another trestle into Amherst County at Fertilizer Road [enter via Central Virginia Training School].

A favorite spot for families, this unique Lynchburg landmark provides an opportunity to enjoy nature with herons and migrating waterfowl visible throughout. It’s also the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon or a quick bike ride with views of calm pools and rushing water. Check our next area of interest here.



Driving directions from All Lit Up to Percival’s Island Natural Area

Driving directions from Percival’s Island Natural Area to Amazement Square

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