Spreading over fifty miles through the jurisdictions of the City of Richmond, Henrico County, Charles City County, and James City County, the Virginia Capital Trail is a paved point-to-point pathway designed for anyone to be able to use it, but it is especially popular with hikers, bikers, and families.
The trails are completely paved and separated from any road access. The western trailhead can be found at the Great Shiplock Park in Richmond, Virginia, while the eastern trailhead is at the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Virginia. Near both of these trailheads, you can find many areas to park for free.
The trail has nine main access points, including the Great Shiplock Park, Dorey Park, Four Mile Creek, Herring Creek, Charles City Courthouse, Chickahominy Riverfront Park, Mainland Farm, Jamestown High School, and Jamestown Settlement.
It is important to remember that pedestrians, bikers, dog walkers, and any persons using the path for non-motorized activities share the trail. Because of this, common courtesy trail rules are enforced, such as staying to the right side of the trail and keeping your dogs on a leash and always pass on the left.
When you and Fido are ready to rest and replenish your energy, you can find multiple picnic areas along the trail. For those hikers looking for long-term amenities, there are multiple places to stay from end to end.
As with any hiking experience, it is important to be prepared. It is recommended that, before you embark on your travels through the Virginia Capital Trail, you plan ahead and bring water, your phone, sunscreen, snacks, money, and an inconspicuous, careful way to carry everything.
Many times throughout the year, there are activities planned along the trailway. If you are interested in planning your hike to coincide with, or avoid, busy events, check with the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation and their web page to see when scheduled activities take place.
If you plan on extending your hiking time overnight or multiple days, be careful where you choose to park as not all parking areas allow overnight parking.