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Tags:
Level: Advanced
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Other
Elevation: +245/440 ft
Total: 234 riders
 

Mountain Biking Buttermilk

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#20 of 283 mountain bike trails in Virginia
#719 in the world

A very nicely developed trail located right in the middle of a fairly large city (that would be Richmond). Tight and inermediate to difficult single track that was pretty much hand built by some great volunteers. The sculpting (strange word, but it seems to fit) of this trail is perfect. Nothing is impossible but much of it is really hard. Great scenery. No really long climbs though. It is good to connect this with a trip to Belle Isle.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Located with the City of Richmond Park System along the James River on the south side between the Lee Bridge and the Boulevard (Nickel) bridge (East and West) and between the train tracks and Riverside Drive (North and South). Good access at the Reedy Creek parking lot. Can also be accessed off of the end of the Nickel bridge, but you must cross the road, which can be dangerous, or from Belle Isle. Reedy Creek river access is located off of Riverside Drive. A short section of the Buttermilk trail continues west of Boulevard.
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davidmoore99 (on Apr 2, 2020)
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Dry (on Apr 2, 2020)
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Buttermilk Trail Singletrack Mountain Biking
 
Buttermilk Ride - Richmond
 
Paradise City - JRPS, Richmond VA
 

Mountain Bike Trails Near Richmond, Virginia

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Rider questions

Q: which direction is better to ride this trail, east to west or west to east?

Q: How does it compare to Pocahontas park?
A: Pocahontas park has trails that most beginners can handle. Buttermilk is much more technical. It is still a lot of fun and it has some great views. Just take it slow through some of the rock gardens and you should be fine.

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Reviews

  • Superfly Lee
    ****

    Pretty cool urban trail that's been around for years. Some cool features and a handful of very technical sections. Trail gets busy on weekends with bikes and hikers. Makes a nice loop when connected with Forest Hill and North Bank trails.

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  • Lifeonaboard
    ***

    It's not too exciting. First track ridden since moving from Maine last month. I'm sure I'll ride it again but it's just OK. It could be a solid intermediate trail but the near impassable rock sections bump it up a couple notches. It would be more fun if it could just be one thing and not try to be one size fits all. Then again, maybe the rocks are there to slow the bikers down and not run over walkers.

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  • Cjburd
    *****

    I love this trail and doing the whole buttermilk/northbannk loop. A little bit of everything. Can be sketchy when wet. My favorite place to jump on is parking at Forest Hill Park and connecting. The city did a great job mapping out.

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  • CFM
    ***

    Short but very cool urban trail. Rocky technical sections and some exposure. A few abrupt grade changes but no long climbs or descents. A great way to get from one place to another off road.

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  • jmumford
    *****

    Great Trail! It has it tech sections. Which makes Buttermilk so enjoyable. And some exposure. Nothing crazy. If your in the city and have a craving to ride. Loop this with Northbank and Forest hill. And Belle isle. Go to the top of the island. It's slightly tech. And hit the pump track on the way out.

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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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  • gphilvmi08
    ***

    This isn't a bad trail at all and most of my gripes with this trail is that I don't have a XC bike. If you have a XC bike, this trail would be excellent and a great way to get in shape for a race. There is a lot of ups and downs that will keep your heart pumping. There are few pretty technical rock garden sections that are pretty tough, but they are short enough that it doesn't really matter. In addition to all this, you get to check out the city of Richmond and the river from the trail which makes it a pretty nice day. It can get crowded with hikers so beware of that too. As someone who has to travel to find good trails, I often gauge the trail on whether it is worth traveling for. If I'm in Richmond, I'd ride this trail and probably have a great day out of it. However, I'm not going to go out of my way to ride this trail.

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  • Jason Stickler
    ***

    Awesome trail. First trail I rode in VA since I moved here from central Pa. It was nice to have a variety of trail types. Anywhere from tight single track to smooth and fast. Not much in elevation but a few good burns. Nice trail community.

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  • blaize
    ****

    The Buttermilk Trail is a twisting, turning, slippery mess of rocks, steep climbs, drop offs, and other such challenges that make this trail something for advanced riders only.

    It's not very long, but offers a great workout. the whole trail can be completed in under 45 minutes if you're taking your time.

    There's lots of points of entry (or EXIT!) on the trail, and it connects with other trails in Richmond, such as the Northside trail and Belle Isle trail so you can make it part of a longer ride.

    All in all, this trail will separate the expert riders from the rest!

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  • RoadWarrior
    *****

    Strong Intermediate/ technical trail on the south side of the river. Easy to forget you are in the middle of a major city. IMO the best trail in the immediate area. Combine with Forest Hill Park, Bell Island, and North Bank trails for more miles.
    Large slickrock area in the river just before Belle Island ( that is if the river is not up) There is also an easy, flat, and scenic trail that runs between the RR and the river.

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  • Batman43
    *****

    Wow this trail was challenging. Rocks, streams to cross, bridges, climbs , switchbacks, fast down hills, sloping berms,This trail is not for beginners, it will challenge your skills. I drove 2 hours to get there it was well worth the trip. if you are in Richmond this trail is a must.

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  • Daniel_Sheets
    ***

    Started on Bell Island and got in about 10 miles and broke two spokes on Buttermilk.It is a tough trail and worth the trip from Danville.Great job on trail maint. and added features.

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  • Daniel_Sheets
    ***

    Started on Bell Island and got in about 10 miles and broke two spokes on Buttermilk.It is a tough trail and worth the trip from Danville.Great job on trail maint. and added features.

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  • Daniel_Sheets
    ***

    Started on Bell Island and got in about 10 miles and broke two spokes on Buttermilk.It is a tough trail and worth the trip from Danville.Great job on trail maint. and added features.

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  • jeremiaheparks
    ****

    Can be easy if you stay on the main trail, but there's lots of people walking around with no real care of where they're walking. All of the other trails I found were less than 12" wide, a few bridges about 8" wide, 2' long. Plenty of switchbacks and twists at the bottom of hills.

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  • *****

    Love this trail. Bring a good attitude and a lot of gas. I get winded big time riding this trail with north section together.

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  • ButchA
    *****

    I just rode this today (in combination with Northbank & Belle Isle), 7/28/12. Unlike my previous review, I took my time and carefully weighed my options. I WANTED to complete this trail no matter what and not bail out. So, when there were some major, serious, extreme technical sections *above my ability* - it's cool... I took my time and if I had to get off and walk my bike through it, so be it. I combined Buttermilk with Northbank and Belle Isle today and had a blast! Word to the wise: If you really want to go full out, you had better be riding a FS bike!

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  • mcgeeic
    *****

    Great trail! It has almost everything, steap short climps, and drops, challenging rocks and roota to get over amd narrow paths!! No delibrate jumps but there is a skills park on belle islle that is good to see where you are on your trail riding skill! Over all fun and challenging course!!

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  • ButchA
    ****

    Whoa... I *tried* to ride a section of Buttermilk from the Reedy Creek entrance, east towards Belle Isle. I am man enough to admit it: I BAILED OUT... This is way too advanced and way too insane for this 51 yr old body! I watched some of you young guys tackle this trail. With all due respect - you all are NUTS! Ha ha ha...

    In a nutshell: If you want to ride Buttermilk, you had better bring your "A game", because this trail is nasty! You have to see if to believe it.

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