By far the most convenient run route to travelers staying downtown, this is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle and explore a sliver of what the James River has to offer. It's an out and back loop, so you can add on more laps around the island for extra distance.
Brown's Island, often the site of outdoor concerts and events, is small but scenic with great panoramic views of the cityscape, lots of green space and a tidy dirt trail to guide you along your way. Belle Isle offers even greater running possibilities with a trail that follows the floodwall along the flat water section of the river. Myriad packed dirt trails through wooded areas are visible from the floodwall trail, should you want to extend your run.
- Beginning at the 500 block of East Broad Street (use the Marriot as a starting point, 500 East Broad Street) continue down 5th Street until East Cary Street.
- Turn LEFT to get to 7th Street.
- Follow 7th all the way down towards the James River. At 7th and Tredegar Streets you will see pedestrian access and signs to Brown's Island. (Bathrooms and water fountain here)
- Travel in either direction around the island.
- Go back on the pedestrian access and follow Tredegar Street (and the signs for Belle Isle) to the pedestrian suspension bridge beneath the Belvidere Street/Lee Bridge.
- You will see the Civil War Center (on Tredegar Street) and the pedestrian suspension bridge, which will take you over the Hollywood Rapids and onto Belle Isle.
- (port-a-potty access here)
- Follow the packed dirt foot path to the concrete portion of the trail that runs along the floodwall of the river. The concrete path will take you along the river and then will turn into a wooded area with a dirt trail. The trail goes around the island leading you back to the suspension bridge.
Terrain: A combination of asphalt, concrete and packed dirt. Mostly flat with a few small hills.
Hours: Open sunrise to sunset