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Level: Beginner
Length: 2 mi (3.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +124/ -141 ft
Total: 176 riders

Mountain Biking Belle Isle

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#52 of 300 mountain bike trails in Virginia
#1,771 in the world

This is a very small network of trails on an island. There is a completely flat walking/jogging/dog walking/sight seeing/bicycling trail around the perimeter (wonderful views), then a bumping hard climb to the top, where there are several small singletrack trails. Coming down can be fun, there are several extremely hard ways down. Very short ride, but fun.

First added by reh on Apr 2, 2004. Last updated May 8, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
This is a small island located pretty much in downtown Richmond. There is a parking lot off of Tredegar street (from downtown take 5th or 7th street south, take a right on Tredegar Street, go past the Tredegar iron works and park under the train tracks.
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Belle Isle Trail map

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delapowicz (on Oct 6, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Dusty (on Sep 14, 2019)
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Belle Isle videos

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Bike Ride along St. James River,…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Richmond, Virginia

Intermediate | 2 mi
Easiest | 3 mi
Intermediate | 2 mi
Advanced | 5 mi

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  • dbg94

    Nice trails within city limits. Rode the outer trail and found some dead ends. Easy to get back to main trail since its such a small area. Rode to the top and saw some really steep drops. (Next time). Skills park is fun as is but there were some contractors finishing up a huge new pump track and other large boardwalk type of obstacles. Cant wait to come back and hit those. Maybe follow up with Buttermilk trails that everyone recommended.

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  • bikefeen81

    Challenging yet satisfying singletrack's in the heart of Richmond Virginia. There's a reason that the Xterra races are held there. Lots of fun to ride.

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  • CFM   ✓ supporter

    A unique area with a lot of history. Very cool bridge access from the north. The main loop on the island is a greenway style trail. Singletrack exists on the hill within this loop. This area is heavily used by the locals so ride accordingly. Got lost in the singletrack sections but loved the area in general. Very nice views of the river and downtown Richmond.

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  • or2d2

    I'm giving this a 4 based on what people are looking for. It's a beginners trail and it's great for just that. Great sights, awesome location, cool things to explore and read. The skills park alone makes it worth it. It has descents, a small pump track, drop ins, jumps, roll overs, stairs, banks etc. I thought it was a great leisurely ride, the bridge getting to it was pretty cool and offered great views.

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  • jaugustine28

    Check out more images and my full trail report at: http://brokenspokebikes.com/blogs/trail-report/36110788-buttermilk-trail-richmond-va-review. Thanks.

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  • rpmarheine

    This is the best intercity trail networks I have ridden. Plenty of technical trail with some fast flowy sections. Lots of hard work has gone in to building and maintaining this network. They have managed to maintain a fairly technical trail in the center of a city, and that's a feat that cannot be understated. Three thumbs up to the local volunteers!

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  • Daniel_Sheets   ✓ supporter

    Very good flow and views of the James River area.Need a little more signage to keep from dead ending.A real positive that it leads to the buttermilk trail.

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  • blaize

    Basically, it's a short, flat trail that follows the perimeter of the island.Because of its location, it's got a lot of traffic on it -- not just MTB's. The challenging part was my patience in dealing with the all the people because pedestrians have the right-of-way in the park.

    If anything, I'd stay away from Belle Isle and go for the North Bank, Forest Hill, or Buttermilk trails.

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  • RoadWarrior

    Very fun bunch
    of short trails, something for everyone, including a skills area.
    Combine with North Bank, and Buttermilk for a longer ride. If the river is not up there is a fun slickrock area at the south end/ start of Buttermilk.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    The big news: a skills park complete with two massive pump tracks, drops, a dirt jump line, skinnies, and a trials area is being constructed on Belle Isle right below the overpass (to keep it dry). As of the time of this writing, the pump tracks have been constructed, as well as a couple of skinnies and drops. As for the rest of the island, there is also a super easy beginner trail that runs around the whole island, but there are some more technically challenging trails that run up higher above the bluffs. Some of them aren't well maintained, but others are great singletrack. Also be sure to catch the 350 foot long rock garden!

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  • jtorlando25

    I recommended riding this with Buttermilk and North Bank for a decent length ride. Belle is pretty short. The climbs are killer (for the area) and the downhills are short but fun. Great singletrack overall.

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  • njones145

    Belle isle is a great place to loosen the legs prior to riding buttermilk over to forest hill park if that is your desired route. It has a cool little single track trail to the left of the island as you come off the foot bridge. You can then proceed up the hill and thee is a nice little loop at the top of Belle Isle that can get your legs going. The downhills are extremely tough with washout etc.. there are easier ways down so getting down is not an issue. I would not go to Belle Isle to ride just Belle Isle the single track is short and you run out fast.

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  • ButchA

    I finally rode Belle Isle today (5/23/10). I have been here a few times with my wife and kids, walking our dog. Now I finally had a chance to check it out on my mtn bike... The main section is totally flat and packed with people walking, jogging, etc.. But, you can easily find the single track trails leading up to the top. Note: For you downhill guys, and rock hoppers, with the full suspension... You all are nuts! LOL... Some of the trails from the top of Belle Isle are not for the faint of heart!

    All in all, it's a pretty nice place with a lot of civil war history and real nice scenery. Some of the single track runs are moderate with a small log crossing or two. Others are just downright WICKED, to where my common sense caused me to say "Oh, hell no!" and choose an alternate route!
    * Review edited 5/23/2010

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  • bikefeen81

    The old trails on Belle's are closed off to bikes due to the erosion

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  • bblizard

    Definitely worth a climb for cross country riders, but more exciting for the downhillers. Great views from the top and a nice little whoopee dip on the singletrack on the top.

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  • FinsFan

    This trail has downhills ranging from beginner to expert and a few in between. Although none are very long all are fun. Some of the better desents are harder to find but all are on the northside of the island. The singletrack is basically for getting to the downhills, it is best to combine this trail with buttermilk (at the back of the island go across the wood bridge, make a right and follow the fence for a couple hundred feet then go over the pedestrian bridge over the rail road tracks once you are across the bridge you will see a small shelter, just to the right is the buttermilk trial head).

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