Lynchburg’s parks offer a variety of activities to help people of all ages enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re looking for sports fields or a scenic trail, there’s something to interest everyone in your family!
As the fireworks fill the air on July 4, visitors to the old Riverside Park pools will be reminded of a painful chapter in Lynchburg’s history. Endstation Theatre Company is performing “Buried Deep”, a dramatization of the pools’ 1961 desegregation and closing. This is a fantastic article to read.
As you hike, the trail hugs the side of the bluffs. At the end of the trail, you get a dramatic view of the James River some 100 feet below you. The city has installed several safety features including handrails, barriers, and warning signs to protect visitors from some of the sheer drop-offs.
Lynchburg’s first fully accessible playground opened in the fall of 2012. It includes a large locomotive-themed play structure, another sanctuary structure that is ideal for children who prefer a quieter place to play, a drum circle area with built-in instruments to please kids of all ages, and an interactive water fountain.
Randolph College’s Endstation Theatre Company is bringing its second run of “Buried Deep” to the relic that was once Riverside Park’s pool. The show, which examines the closing of the pools in 1961 and the lasting effects of that decision, will be performed onsite next week. It is a project funded through Virginia Humanities grants.
During the 1890s, the Rivermont Land Company platted an extensive subdivision linking Campbell County and Lynchburg by the Rivermont Bridge over Blackwater Creek and on either side of curving Rivermont Avenue. Though never a separate city, Rivermont was a suburban area and builders were required to follow City regulations regarding setbacks and the size of lots. A cluster of small businesses developed along the street. Buildings ranged from highly individualistic frame Queen Anne-style residences to small gambrel-roofed stores.
The second oldest park in the City, Riverside offers ADA-compliant recreation including playgrounds and sporting courts, with a Sprayground water play area open seasonally. The Park is also known for its transportation exhibit fashioned from train cars and the hull of the packet boat Marshall that ferried Stonewall Jackson to his final resting place, as well as its scenic views of wooded hillsides and the James River. Its walking trails and gazebo are popular with local hikers. Browse around this site.
The Junior League of Lynchburg has donated both time and money to the park, joining other community groups that helped restore this iconic Lynchburg landmark. The renovated park includes the train-themed Play Core playground and the Sprayground water park, which features a tall tower filled with buckets that empty into kids’ heads, ground-level water spouts, fish that spray water, a drum circle area, and more.
Other facilities in the park include basketball courts and open fields for sports and picnics. A paved walkway along the riverfront and a tributary of Blackwater Creek are great for walking or biking.
Another Lynchburg attraction is the Bluffwalk, a series of trails, overlooks, and staircases that connect Jefferson and Commerce Streets. This paved trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking, and passes exciting restaurants with outdoor seating and old warehouses converted into loft and condo spaces. A trip to downtown Lynchburg isn’t complete without stopping by Rise Up Climbing, Central Virginia’s premier rock climbing gym.
Things to Do
From family-friendly fun to exciting weekend getaways, Lynchburg offers a diverse array of activities. Explore a riverside city steeped in history yet with a modern vibe brimming with education, the arts, and unique local businesses.
Visit the beautiful Point of Honor to experience life as a 19th-century tobacco tycoon at this stunning Federal-style historic home and museum. Explore the opulent interiors and learn about Dr. George Cabell who was a close friend and physician to Thomas Jefferson.
For a day of swimming and splashing, head to Miller Park Pool for some outdoor fun. Or hike and explore the natural beauty of Peaks View Park with its breathtaking views. Play, run, and kick a soccer ball at the sports fields in the park. Or take a photo with the famous Virginia LOVE letters.
The neighborhood surrounding Riverside Park offers an array of dining and entertainment options that showcase Lynchburg’s historic downtown area. This pedestrian-friendly district features charming streets and beautiful buildings that house restaurants, boutique shops, and cultural attractions.
Shoemakers American Grill is a highly-regarded restaurant on the Bluffwalk in downtown Lynchburg that features fine cuisine and an upscale industrial setting. Its ambiance and food offerings have earned it top ratings on TripAdvisor.
Those seeking a more casual dining experience can head to El Jefe Taqueria on Commerce Street or visit the outdoor dining at the Bluffwalk during warmer weather months. They serve tacos, quesadillas, margaritas, and other cocktails along with appetizers and meals. A kids menu is also available.
Park visitors have several parking options at this historic park. A large blacktop parking lot is available at the end of the main park road, near a sign with a trail map and universal hiker symbol. A smaller lot is nearby and a second small lot is at the entrance on Fort Avenue.
The train-themed Play Core playground and Sprayground water park are popular with area kids. The latter, open seasonally from May through September, features tall towers that fill with water, ground-level spouts, and fish that spray water, as well as cascading waterfalls. The park also offers a Zero-Depth Fountain, which is very popular with children of all ages. Next article.
Driving directions from All Lit Up to Riverside Park
Driving directions from Riverside Park to Peaks View Park