Our area has over a dozen community school tracks of varying distances open to the public (non-school hours). We have measured each of these neighborhood venues and have assembled a list of them for your running enjoyment and convenience. All of the high school tracks are the traditional *4 laps* to the mile and have a rubberized surface.
Agnor-Hurt Elementary - Located off Rio Road on Berkmar Drive, this looped track is 5 laps to the mile.
Buford Middle - Located off Cherry Avenue this three-laned paved oval is 5 laps to the mile.
Burley Middle - Located on Rose Hill Drive this is one of the newest editions to our local track circuit. It's a bit tricky as you must run 6 laps in lane three to get your full mile on this perfectly shaped hard surface oval.
Greenbrier Elementary - This is truly a community track as it is comfortably nestled right in the middle of the Greenbrier neighborhood. 5 and 1/2 laps on this crushed graveled surface will give you a full mile.
Henley/Brownsville - Located across from Western Albemarle High School on 250 West in Crozet (just one light before Old Trail), this crushed gravel path is the trickiest of all for keeping track of your mile because after 5 full laps you are 70 yards beyond the mile.
Hollymead/Sutherland - Located off 29 North in the heart of the Hollymead neighborhood, this snake-like, winding path is another tricky circuit. One lap around this paved path is about 1500 feet, so 3 and 1/2 laps will give you a full mile.
Jack Jouett Middle - Located off Lambs Road (off Hydraulic behind Albemarle High School) this is one of the most private feeling of all the tracks as it's tucked well behind the school. It is the only track that you access by way of a wooded path. 3 laps around this winding crushed gravel path will give you a mile.
*Meriwether Lewis Elementary* - Located off Owensville Road in Ivy, this winding, paved track is one of the few on the local circuit that is actually 4 laps to the mile. It is also one of the only ones to feature a hill, as almost all of the other tracks are perfectly flat!
Murray Elementary - Located on Morgantown Road in Ivy (off 250 West) this paved track is 5 laps to the mile.
*Walton Middle* - Located off Route 20 South about half way between Charlottesville and Scottsville. Like a high school track. this perfectly shaped paved flat oval is 4 laps to the mile.
* 4 laps to the mile
LOCAL RUNNING ROUTES - MAP PDF HERE
This scenic route highlights many of our community's popular sites including the pedestrian-bricked downtown mall and the historic court square area with many 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the old County Courthouse. It also takes you through the beautiful tree-lined streets of the north downtown neighborhoods.
UVA Tour Loop
A scenic tour of Jefferson's historic university grounds and its surrounding neighborhoods, of note are the world-famous Rotunda, the UVa Chapel, The Lawn, "Greek Row" at Rugby Road, the painted Beta Bridge and "Mad Bowl."
A scenic tour of Jefferson's historic university grounds, its surrounding neighborhoods, including "Greek Row" at Rugby Road, and a run around the popular downtown area, including the pedestrian brick mall and historic Court Square.
Downtown to River Loop
A rolling run through some of Charlottesville's oldest and most scenic neighborhood's with a flat tour of the paved two-mile long (one-way) Riverview Park path that runs alongside the beautiful Rivanna River in the historic Woolen Mills district.
Rivanna Trails Foundation (RTF)
Within a quarter mile from the Residence Inn Marriot, you will find yourself at one of the more popular trailheads of the Rivanna Trails Foundation (RTF), which is our city's greenbelt. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful greenbelts on the east coast. The RTF encircles the city with a 20-mile soft surface path. For a detailed map go to Rivanna Trails Foundation at www.rivannatrails.org.
Sugar Hollow Reservoir Run
This scenic paved run starts in the Western Albemarle Village of White Hall and proceeds west following a mountain stream until the road turns to gravel at the famous Sugar Hollow Dam. Except for the hill coming out (and returning to) the village, the course, which crosses three wooden bridges, is basically flat. If you follow the road to the base of the dam and back again you will almost have a 10-mile run. If you follow the road up beyond the dam for another mile you have several trail options that ultimately bring you to the Appalachian Trail. Parking is available at the White Hall Community Center (2904 Browns Gap Turnpike, Crozet) courtesy of our friends form the White Hall Ruritan Club.
Dick Woods Road
This rolling gravel road is a popular running destination for high school, collegiate, and marathoners as it features a good mix of terrain over a quiet, scenic, soft surface country road. The course runs in one direction. Parking is available in the gravel lot at the corner, courtesy of our friends at The Miller School. Virtual Video Tour of Dick Woods Road.
From the Omni Charlottesville Hotel
The Saunders Trail to Monticello
Opened in the mid-nineties, this popular public crushed gravel path gently meanders, for two scenic miles, up the base of Carter’s Mountain, past the historic Michie Tavern to the gates of Jefferson’s famous and beautiful “Monticello”. Parking is available at the base of Route 53 (take a left off Route 20 south…about a quarter of a mile from the 64 overpass and across from PVCC).
Albemarle County Parks
Once thought of as swimming, softball and soccer venues, our system of Albemarle County parks now features endless miles of scenic and peaceful soft surface footpaths. Mint Springs (west), Walnut Creek (south), Chris Greene (north), Preddy Creek (north), Humphris (northern urban ring), Totier (far south), Byrom (northwest), Towe (northeast) and the Historic River Greenway Path Park, which will ultimately take foot travelers on a ten mile riverside path from underneath Free Bridge southeast all the way to Fluvanna!
The Rivanna Trails (RTF)
Charlottesville is home to one of the nation’s best urban trails systems, an almost completely uninterrupted 20 mile loop of soft surface paths that circle the city. The fine folks at the RTF have been volunteering their time throughout the year since 1992 to create and maintain this wonderful network of trails. A detailed hard copy pamphlet map of the entire RTF path system is also available for free at Ragged Mountain. Many thanks to all of our community neighbor property owners along the path.
Camp Holiday Trails
This hilly but quiet and scenic run is the closest “dirt” road to the city limits. The road, which is currently being heavily utilized by large equipment building the new Ragged Mountain Reservoir, runs around 1.5 miles in one direction. Take Fontaine Avenue underneath the 29/250 bypass to Reservoir Road and turn right.
LONG RUN LOCATIONS
302 Riverside Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Located in one of the most scenic and historic downtown neighborhoods, this park is the official starting point of the famous Rivanna Trail greenbelt (RTF). This RTF section of “magic pavement” is the flattest and quietest two mile section of blacktop around! If you start at the entrance to the paved path and run all the way along the river, under Free Bridge and ultimately to the start of the wooded soft surface path and then come back again, you will have run exactly four miles.
Thanks to the kind donation of marathoner Nick Wispelwey, Ragged Mountain and CTC has placed brown stained pressure treated posts every quarter mile along the "lower" river path for your training convenience.
For a longer and more varied run, you may venture into the Woolen Mills neighborhood (Chesapeake and Market), but be warned that this features a solid dose of hills!
FROM I-64: Take Route 20 North to Monticello Avenue to right on Avon Street to right on Market Street to left on Riverside Avenue to Riverview Park.
FROM 250 BYPASS: Take East High Street to left on Meade Avenue to left on East Market Street to left on Riverside Avenue to Riverview Park
Parking: Park at Riverview Park lot or on one of the nearby side streets if the lot is full.
Keene on Strava (10.5 lasso)
This labyrinth of scenic and quiet roads in and around the tiny southern hamlet of Keen is highly recommended by long distances runners. The loop (sort of) takes you for a 13 mile spin (10 miles on gravel and 3 miles on pavement). An extra 7 miles can be added by doing another loop on Blenheim, but this time running the loop backwards (clockwise). A big thanks to Glen Anderson and T.J. Wilson for helping to design and measure this 13 mile loop.
Directions: Keene is located about halfway between Charlottesville and Scottsville. Take 20 South (past Piedmont Community College) until you reach the Keene post office (located at 715 on your right as you enter Keene). Take a LEFT off Route 20 onto Coles Rolling Road (Route 712)... please note that Coles Rollin Road is located ACROSS the street from the post office. Follow Coles Rolling Road to Glendowner Road (Route 713 on your RIGHT). Turn right and follow until you see Christ Church on your RIGHT. This is where you will be parking.
Parking: Park at Christ Church.
Located at one of the most gorgeous wineries in the state, this mostly shaded course runs from White Hall Vineyards out to Sugar Hollow Road to the base of the dam and back.
From Route 29 in Charlottesville: Drive west on Barracks/Garth Road to the village of White Hall. Veer right on Route 810 North (Brown's Gap Turnpike). Turn left on Route 674 (Break Heart Road). Continue straight when the road becomes Sugar Ridge Road. White Hall Vineyards is 1.5 miles on right.
From I-64: Take exit 107 to Route 250 East. Turn left on Route 240, which becomes Route 810 in Crozet. Continue on 810 through Crozet towards White Hall and follow signs for 810 through the center of White Hall. Turn left on Route 674 (Break Heart Road). Continue straight when the road becomes Sugar Ridge Road. White Hall Vineyards is 1.5 miles on right.
Parking: White Hall Ruritan Community Center, Located at the intersection of routes 614 and 810 (Garth Rd. and Browns Gap Turnpike) in western Albemarle County, VA. (Street address is 2904 Browns Gap Turnpike, Crozet.)
Dick Woods Road
This is a scenic and quiet western Albemarle route that runs along a moderately hilly road. This popular run features long sections of gravel surface and is frequently used by the Western Albemarle boys and girls cross country squads for their training runs.
Course distances (from the start of Dick Woods Road):
7.6 miles = To the intersection of Ortman (691) and Dick Woods and back again
8.6 miles = To the second Ortman Road (691) and Dick Woods intersection and back
12.8 miles = To Route 758 (Smith Road) and back
15.2 miles = To Critzer's Shop Road and back
Directions: From Charlottesville take 250 West for about 9 miles. Turn LEFT at the Miller School Road (Route 635) light (the last light before Henley Middle and Western Albemarle High School). Go about 2.5 miles and Dick Woods (Route 637) will be on your RIGHT. (Go too far and the other Dick Woods will be on your Left... this is NOT the correct location!)
Parking: Parking is in the gravel area on the right just before the road.
Intersection of East Green Springs Road and East Jack Jouett Road, Route 15, Louisa, VA 23093
This just might be one of the most beautiful and serene soft surface long distance road training areas in Central Virginia. With over 20 different pre-Civil War farms, this 14,000 acre sanctuary was designated by the Federal Government as a National Historic District in the early 1970s. And thank goodness because today it represents over 22 miles of quiet gravel roads that wind through some of the most beautiful scenery in Virginia. And thanks to some wonderful Louisa friends who live in the "district," we will be able to do some of our training runs on this magnificent course.
From our starting point at the chapel, you have four different options as to which way to run (see map). Depending on the "spoke" (road), you will encounter a variety of terrain options, ranging from very flat (East Jack Jouett) to somewhat hilly and challenging (Hamilton Road). The neat thing about the design of this special course is that you can keep coming back to your original starting point (the chapel) for water and other supplies. Despite it's "Louisa address," this run is actually closer to get to for many Charlottesville folks than Dick Woods, Free Union, Keene, or White Hall.
Directions: Take 64 East to the Zions Crossroads exit (Route 15). Come off the ramp and take a left onto Route 15 (North). Follow 15 North for about 2.5 miles and look for East Green Springs Road on your right. Turn right and proceed for about 2 miles where you will see the historic St. John's Chapel on your left.
Parking: St. John's Chapel. This is our official designated parking area and it's the only place our friends, who own the farms throughout the district, have given us permission to park. We thank them for their hospitality.
Free Union, VA 22940
Many local runners claim that the most gorgeous runs in our already beautiful county are to be found along the roads of Free Union. Start at Wesley Chapel Road and head in any direction and you’re in for a visual treat.
Directions: Take Barracks Road (Garth) west of town until you get to Foxfield. Just past Foxfield is the Hunt Country Store on the right side of the road. Take a right at the store on Free Union Road (601) and follow this road for about 4 miles until you reach the center of Free Union.
Parking: Park at the Free Union Day School in the center of Free Union or at the Baptist Church on Millington.
Please do not park in the Chapel lot!
-Start between John Paul Jones Arena and the McCue Center.
-Left on Copeley Rd.
-Continue across Ivy Rd. onto Alderman Rd.
Mile 2 (water stop near McCormick)
-Continue on Alderman Rd.
-Left on Stadium Rd.
-Left on Whitehead Rd.
-Continue on Whitehead Rd.
-Right on Alderman Rd.
-Right on McCormick Rd.
-Cross University Ave. onto Rugby Rd.
-Right on Grady Ave.
Mile 5 (water stop on Downtown Mall)
-Continue on Preston Ave.
-Right on Old Preston Ave. (Onto Downtown Mall)
-Pass Chalk Wall near Pavilion on left side and turn left on 7th St.
-Left on Jefferson St.
-Right on 2nd St.
-Continue right on Northwood Ave.
-Cross Park st to Evergreen Ave.
Mile 7 (water stop on Downtown Mall)
-Continue on Lexington Ave.
-Right on Maple St.
-Left on 7th st. (To Downtown Mall)
-Right onto Downtown mall. Pass Chalk Wall on left side.
-Left on 5th St.
-Right on Water St.
Mile 8 (water stop near McCormick)
-Continue on Water St. onto Main St.
-Continue on Main St. onto University Ave.
-Left on McCormick Rd.
-Continue on McCormick Rd.
-Right on Alderman Rd.
-Cross Ivy onto Copeley Rd.
-Finish between University Hall and Track