Belle Island is a 54 acre island situated in the heart of the James River in Richmond, VA that is known as a great location for some outdoor fun.
The island provides visitors with many opportunities to get active, from hiking trails, jogging paths, and even intense mountian biking. Depending on the recent weather and the water level of the James, there is also a massive rockbed on the southern side of the island that is great for sunbathing or, if you’re feeling adventurous, rock hopping and exploring. Not only is it a great place to wear out the kids, but dogs are also welcome and love to play in the shallows.
Belle Island is also a major historical site in the Richmond area, having once been a prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War. There is also an old quarry and a dismantled hydroelectic power plant that is open to urban exploration. Placards throughout the island describe the many landmarks visitors will come across, for those interested in history.
To reach the park, visitors should park on either the north of south side of the island. On the south side, park by Tredegar Iron Works and cross the suspension bridge by foot onto the island. The island is only reachable by the north side if the water levels are low and the rocks are exposed.