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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

7 Bike Trails for Kids around Richmond

We've been exploring Richmond area parks and trails to find the safest spots to ride bikes (and scooters!) since my son was 22 months old. Now that my children are almost 3 years old and almost 5 years old, riding bikes and scooters is even more of a priority!

We've found more than 7 trails & places that are easy explore with new bike riders, fun for a family bike ride, and perfect for strollers. These trails are mostly flat, easy to get to, and have other fun spots close by. What makes these trails even better is that they are free to visit!

Here are 7 of the best bike trails for families around Richmond, Virginia:

1. Ashland's North Railside Trail: Ashland is one of our favorite spots to watch trains. Over 60 trains come through the town in 24 hours & there is usually at least one per hour! Ashland's Railside Park is a perfect spot for lunch & running around while watching for trains! It’s a one acre green space with parking, picnic tables and benches. While there are no bathrooms at the trail, Ashland's Visitor Center (and train station) is within walking distance, and you can use their bathrooms when they are open.

The 1/3 mile paved path goes from the park to Vaughan Road.  It takes us about 15 minutes to ride to the end and back.

Heads up: This trail has full sun, so be careful on summer days!

Nearby: Iron Horse Restaurant (3 minute drive, and sidewalks go from the park to the restaurant) and Casa Herradura (3 minute drive)

*Check here for a full review.

Nearby: Randolph-Macon College is across the street from the trail, and the paved side walks are perfect for little legs & strollers - even baby doll strollers! We even like to eat on campus and watch the college sporting events (all sports except football & baseball are free!).

*Check here for more things to do in Ashland with kids!

2. Echo Lake Park: This Henrico County park is tucked away in Glen Allen, about 5 minutes from three other Henrico Parks. It has a walking trail around a fishing lake, a picnic shelter * bathrooms, and a playground. Because the park is almost completely shaded, it’s the perfect place to visit on hot days.

We also like this park because it’s stroller friendly. You can walk the entire trail with a regular stroller.  It takes us about 25 minutes to walk the loop (3.5 yo and 2 yo - walking, exploring, strolling, scooting). 

Heads up: This trail has gravel sections and paved sections. Also, near the back of the loop & by the playground have steep inclines and sections with no barrier between the trail and the lake. We typically walk our bikes after the bridge to the playground or we stay on the opposite side, riding back and forth.

Nearby: Crumbl Cookies (5 minute drive)

*Check here for a full review.

3. Innsbrook's park: Innsbrook is known for its offices, restaurants & concerts, but there’s also a 37 acre park nestled right in the middle. The Innsbrook trails are five miles of paved trails around three lakes. There are fountains, decks & open spaces to explore. You’ll also see wildlife like turtles, egrets & blue herons. ⁣⁣⁣

We like this paved trail because it has partial shade, and there are plenty of benches, spots to rest, and green space for picnics.

Heads up: Portions of this trail have no barrier between the lake and the path. Be extra careful if you have a kiddo who loves water! This park does not have a bathroom.

*Check here for a full review.

4. Mid-Lothian Mines Park: Located in Chesterfield, this 44 acre park offers paved trails, a tunnel, wildlife, a lake and bridges. What makes this park so unique is that it is where the first commercially mined coal came from in 1701. Throughout the park, there are signs explaining the cut stone ruins, coal mining and industrial revolution.

This is one of our favorite places to ride bikes because the path is mostly flat, it has complete shade in the summer, and the paved loop is doable with a 3 year old & almost 5 year old (takes about 25 minutes). If you park at the lot located at 13301 N Woolridge Road, you'll get right on the trail. This park has two parking lots, and both sides have bike friendly trails.

Heads up: This path has small gravel, bridges, and a paved trails. This park does not have bathrooms, but there are ADA porta potties at the park's entrance (a single stroller would fit).

Nearby: Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe and Midlothian Library (3 minutes drive)

*Check here for a full review.

5. Short Pump Park: This is one of our favorite parks to visit in the winter, and I love that there are so many areas to explore! This park has multiple playgrounds, a dog park, a pollinator garden, splash park, picnic shelter & bathrooms, walking trails, athletic fields, and a restored 1902 schoolhouse.

The paved walking trail is .25 mile, going from the parking lot to John Rolfe Parkway. It takes us about 15 minutes to bike from our car to the trail and back.

Heads up: The path from the parking lot to the "stop" sign has full sun. Once you reach the sign, there is partial shade with a covered bench, a bridge & a labyrinth along the path.

Nearby: Chick-fil-A (across the street) and Rise Biscuits & Donuts (3 minutes drive)

*Check here for a full review.

6. University of Richmond This college campus is one of the most beautiful places in Richmond, and it's one of our favorite places to explore. With 350 acres, there is plenty of space to walk, scoot & picnic. Our favorite spots at U of R are the trail & gazebo at Westhampton Lake, the Greek Theatre, and the Gamble Mills Eco-Corridor.

We visit the campus year round, not just on school breaks. The benefit of visiting during the school year is visiting the school's dining locations (they are open to the public). Heilman Dining Center has a couple of high chairs available, Tyler's has delicious smoothies (in the commons), and Passport Cafe has gelato (Weinstein International Cafe). The benefit of visiting on school breaks is that there is no crowd.

Gamble Mills Eco-Corridor: This paved trail goes from behind Tyler Haynes Student Center to River Road/ Huguenot Road. It's about .6 miles with partial shade in some areas. We usually scoot or bike to the end & back, and it takes us around 25 minutes.

The lake: There is a trail around the lake that is partially paved & partially gravel. It’s perfect for LOs to walk or to push a stroller.

Paths around campus: All of the paths are paved, weaving in and out of gorgeous buildings. There are water features, huge lawns and shade.

Heads up: You can only use the campus bathrooms when the college is open. We typically visit Tyler Haynes Student Center (the building on the lake) to use the bathroom & get water.

*Check here for a full review.

7. The Virginia Capital Trail: This paved trail starts at Brown's Island and goes all the way to Jamestown! We visited many portions of this trail, but one of our favorites is Great Shiplock Park to Rocketts Landing.

This is one of the most popular portions of The Capital Trail, and it is about 2.4 miles round trip (each way is 1.2). It’s stroller and bike friendly, plus it has incredible city and river views. While this path is mostly flat, I think it would be better for older children because of the environment (lots of walkers, bikers & dogs, fishhooks & wire in the grass) and there are sections with very easy access to the river.

Heads up: This paved trail has full sun. The long distance is great for bigger kids and more intermediate bikers. If you've got smaller kids, bring the stroller or use a toddler bike trailer on your bike. We haven't made it the entire way yet - my almost 5 year old loved it, but it was tough for my almost 3 year old.

Nearby: Bottoms Up Pizza (3 minute drive) and Boathouse Rocketts Landing (directly on the trail)

*Check here for a review.

More Easy Spots to Try:

We love visiting Richmond area schools and churches when they are not in session or holding a service. These are a great space to learn how to ride a scoot or bike because there is a lot of open space and very low traffic - the parking lot, the bus loop, sidewalks.

Here are three Richmond area schools we love to visit.

Mary Munford Elementary School: This City of Richmond elementary school has a large blacktop between the playground and athletic fields, and it also has a gravel track. The playground is so much fun too!

*Check here for a full review of Mary Munford's play space.

Old Hundred Elementary School: This Chesterfield County elementary school has a large blacktop inside of the fenced play space. While it has full sun, it is an easy space to teach multiple children how to ride bikes because there's plenty of blacktop and children can run to the playground.

Springfield Park to Springfield Elementary School: This Henrico County Park has a paved trail that connects it to Springfield Elementary School. It's an easy spot to try because the trail starts at the park's parking lot, goes by the playground, and then you can loop back to the parking lot or choose the path that goes all the way around the school.

*Check here for more information on Springfield Park.

Check out our gear:

We are love our foldable scooters ! H is 4, and he has a scooter for 5-8 year olds; G is 3, and she has one for 2-5 year olds. These fit in our stroller, so it's really easy to take the kids out solo, too. If the kids get tired, they can ride in the stroller and I don't have to carry a scooter.

My kids have a shark helmet and a pink, kitty cat helmet - and they love them! These fun helmets are especially great if your kiddo doesn't want to wear one.

We really enjoyed our experience picking out and purchasing bikes at Dick's. They helped us fit each child for a bike & then they put together their bike within 1-2 days (free in store assembly).

H (almost 5) is on this 16" bike , and G (almost 3) is on this 12" inch bike.

For more trails around Richmond, check out this guide on my favorite stroller friendly trails!

Follow our family on @thewestendmom on Instagram to see even more things to do with kids around Richmond, Virginia!


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