Walnut Creek

Charlottesville, Virginia 22910

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trails at Walnut Creek are the result of years of hard work by volunteers from Charlottesville’s cycling, hiking, and trail running community. The efforts from all these groups have yielded over 12 miles of multi-use trail that are incredibly challenging and fun to ride.

At Walnut Creek, you’ll find a network of technical, steep, and highly demanding trails that will continuously challenge you. Additional amenities, including a refreshing beach where to take a swim after a hot ride, have made this Albemarle park a go to destination in Central Virginia."

More Walnut Creek Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Richmond: Including Petersburg, Williamsburg, and Fredericksburg (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nathan Lott
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"Choose from a short loop southeast of Walnut Creek Lake or its longer counterpart northwest of the reservoir. The former, popular with trail runners, leaves the main parking area near the beach; the latter departs from a trailhead lot closer to the entrance. The two can be linked using one of two short connectors. Walnut Creek Park offers a wide range of outdoor recreation to residents of Albemarle County and nearby Charlottesville. Anglers cast from boats or the shore, with good odds for landing largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish in the stocked 45-acre lake. Disc-golfers hone their skills on the park’s newly built course. In the summer, families crowd the beach and nearby playground."

Walnut Creek Trip Reports

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Very nice, clean facilities, lot's of activities availible. Lots and lots of deer! We went on a gloomy Monday and there were very few people there. I highly recommend stopping at the infomation center in front of the restrooms and printing a map of the trails. The generic maps we took in didn't identify the names of the trails which was a bit confusing on the trails for a novice hiker such as myself. When we returned I found the information center and printed a good map with the names of the trails. The trails themselves are well marked but a couple of the signs were a bit miseading. We picked up a lot of fleas and ticks, so make sure to check yourselves and any pets well upon leaving. All in all we enjoyed our visit. We definately plan to return...
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The park was open but no humans at the gate. There is a permanent sign with a map but not maps to take. The trails are basically not marked at all. Because it is fall and leaves cover a lot of the trail we got very lost and onto black diamond trails then off the trail completely. Better signs and better trail marking would be appreciated. Most of the beginner/intermediate trail was great when it could be found.
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This place is a total blast. Wooded, quiet, not too crowded with people (we only saw about 6 others on the trail--it is winter) and the lake make it scenic and calming, but the trails rip! They are VERY fast, twisty, pretty fairly smooth. We had one water crossing that froze our feet, but the whole trail system is dry and clean for the most part, both of leaves and wet mud. I think they designed it great, with good drainage and challenging trails. Don't let the sign that says "experts" go one way and "mortals" go the other scare you. That section (back side of the Red) is not really as hard as it looks, with the whoop-de-dos.

We rode for about 2 hours, did a section or two twice, for a total of 18 miles. Pretty cool riding---relatively tame, no long hard climbing. Good if you want a quick in and out, with no possiblity of getting lost.

Walnut Creek Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty
Rocky and rooty singletrack with occasional creek crossings.
Skill Level
1.5-3 hours
Open for daylight hours year-round. Daily 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. (from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day)
Season & Limits
Boat Launch/Ramp, Swimming, Boating, Golf/Disc Golf, Hiking
Additional Use
Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club, cambc.org; Albemarle County, www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=parks
Local Contacts

Trail Log