Getting out with little ones, especially a newborn, can be tricky! When I had my son, I was nervous to walk anywhere with him except in the neighborhood because I knew what to expect. After a month or so, I started trying out locations around Richmond.
Here is a roundup of my favorite locations in the Richmond area to walk with a regular stroller (no jogging stroller needed), and all of them are perfect for new walkers & toddlers too!
1.The University of Richmond: All-Around Favorite Walk in RVA
We love U of R for many reasons: the ease of parking, the availability of bathrooms & shelter, the paved paths around the lake, the beautiful architecture, the new eco-corridor, and all the hidden places to play and explore.
The paths are mostly flat, but you can choose some of the steeper inclines if you want more of a workout. There are shady paths, a gazebo, and benches (perfect for nursing), too. This one is dog friendly (on a leash) and free!
2. Lewis Ginter Botantical Gardens: Best Paid Walk in RVA
Lewis Ginter is one of the most beautiful places in Richmond, and it is so peaceful to walk in! It has been our most used membership for the past three years, and I recommend it to all everyone. I love it because there are paved paths throughout the gardens, and they are mostly flat - perfect for strollers, new walkers & toddlers.
There are multiple bathrooms, two of which are large - perfect for maneuvering with a stroller. It's also very nursing friendly: there's a lounge in the library, and there are benches throughout the gardens in the shade. As our children have gotten older, we have been able to enjoy the Children's Garden (splash pad, tree house & sandbox), the children's activities (painting, story time, gardening, and more), and Flowers After Five (a family friendly concert series on Thursday nights).
The garden is free for members, and the daily admission is relatively inexpensive: adults $17, children $8, and under 3 are free.
3. Maymont: Best Workout in RVA
We love Maymont Park because of the animals, the open space, and the family events. All of Maymont's trails are paved, making them perfect for strollers. There are a lot of steep inclines, so get ready for a workout! The only place that is tricky with a stroller is the Japanese Garden (there are some narrow paths and steps).
My best advice is to check the weather, wear sunscreen (most of the paths are in the sun), and pack water! If you have two under two, you may want to wait on this one a little bit unless you bring your double stroller- I've gotten caught a few times wearing a baby and pushing a toddler! This is a free park, too.
4.The Capital Trail: Best Views of the City
The Capital Trail is a 51.7 mile paved trail from Richmond to Williamsburg. One of the most popular portions is from Great Shiplock Park to Rockett's Landing, a 2.4 mile round trip. It is riverfront with amazing views of the city. Parking can sometimes be limited at Great Shiplock Park, but you can parallel park in Rockett's Landing and easily jump on the trail.
There are a lot of restaurants and businesses along the trail, and there are also porta potties. Shade is limited, so wear sunscreen! This is a fun walk for the whole family, including our furry babies (on a leash). It doesn't cost a thing to walk The Capital Trail.
5. Midlothian Mines Park: Favorite Unique Walk in Midlo
Mid-Lothian Mines is a 44 acre park in Midlothian with a lake and streams, forest and wildlife. Since this is where the first commercially coal was mined in America, there are historical markers and signs throughout the trails. There is also a giant replica of the original headstock. The paved loop in the forest has full shade, and a tunnel connects it to a path around the lake. This paved loop is mostly in the sun.
I love this park because it is perfect for strollers, scooters and bikes. It's also fun for the entire family, including dogs (on a leash). There are lots of geese, ducks and turtle for little ones to look for while walking. There are two parking lots, so it's easy to find parking. The only bathrooms I saw were porta potties. This is a free park.
6. Innsbrook Path: Best Hidden Walk in Short Pump
This paved path weaves in and out of Innsbrook's shops, restaurants and businesses. While there are no public restrooms, Starbucks and Panera are close by! I like this path because it's flat, partially shaded, and easy to get to. There are a few places to sit along the paths like a deck and benches. There's lots of parking, and it's right off Broad Street.
You can easily incorporate this walk with your errands or grabbing lunch. This is a dog-friendly park, and it's free park.
7. The Tyler Potterfield Bridge: Best Bridge Walk
We have been enjoying this walk since our son was just a baby! I like it because it isn't as loud as the pedestrian bridge to get to Belle Isle, and you still get the beautiful views of the river, the city, and train tracks. Parking is relatively easy, too. You can park by Tredegar Iron Works or on the southside of the bridge near the SunTrust building.
The trail is mostly flat, but there are a few inclines. People walk their dogs, ride bikes & scooters, and rock climb all along this trail! There are porta potties by Brown's Island. It's free to visit, too!
For more details on these getaway spots and more Richmond adventures, follow our family on @thewestendmom on Instagram!