Buttermilk – North Bank Loop

A singletrack loop on the banks of the James River in the heart of Richmond.

  • 6.2 miles
Running time
  • 1–1.5 hours
Total ascent/descent
  • 550 feet
    90 feet/mile

The James River Park System is comprised of more than 550 acres across the Richmond waterfront, containing of dozens of miles of trails. This 6.2 miles loop is the “go-to” run for local trail runners.


Take the pedestrian footbridge at Tredegar Street across the James River the Belle Isle. At the trailhead head south to connect to the Buttermilk Trail on the southern shore of the James. Follow the Buttermilk Trail west/upstream for 2.5 miles to the Boulevard Bridge. Cross the river and connect with the North Bank Trail on the opposite shore, following it 2.75 miles back to Tredegar Street.

A lightly longer option

About 1.7 miles into the loop take a detour through Forest Hill Park, which adds 3.25 miles on paved and dirt paths.

Last updated December 9, 2020

What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.