Top 7 CVille-Based Parks For Families


1. McIntire Park


Route 250 Bypass, Charlottesville, VA 22903
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McIntire Park contains land originally donated by Paul Goodloe McIntire and other lands purchased from multiple property owners, and continues to be one of the most popular parks in the City. Located off of U.S. Route 250 Bypass, it features rolling land with magnificent views of the mountains to the east, a heavily wooded area with steep and varied topography and winding streams. There is a major community focus on the lighted softball fields, baseball field, and the three shelters which are used extensively from spring to fall. In April every year McIntire Park hosts the carnival for the Annual Dogwood Festival. In the southeastern half of the park, to the east of the railroad tracks, lies a nine-hole sand green golf course. This section of the park has its own parking lot and offers a playground with tot area for children ages 2-5 years old and a wading pool. There are nature trails in the west end of the park near picnic shelters and a new bridge to Charlottesville High School.

Near the intersection of the Bypass and McIntire Road is the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial.

McIntire park was originally larger than its current size. The construction of the bypass ran through the park, with one section becoming what is now Greenleaf Park. Another section, at the southeast end of McIntire Road near the rescue squad, initially became tennis courts and more recently has been converted into a skateboard park. Of the original 150 acres, approximately 130 lie north of the 250 bypass with 55 acres on the west side of the railroad tracks, and 75 acres on the east side.

2. Meade Park


Meade Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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Meade Park is located at the corner of Meade Avenue and Chesapeake Street and is 5.2 acres in size. Meade is best known for Onesty Family Aquatic Center. The state-of-the art aquatic facility opened in the summer of 2009. The park also has a playground with tot area for children ages 2-5 years old and picnic shelter.

3. Riverview Park


Chesapeake Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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Riverview Park is located at the end of Chesapeake Street at the eastern city limits and consists of 26.6 acres bordering the river. This land was donated by Riverview Cemetery in 1974 for use as public space and by 1989 it was renovated into a park. With a large paved parking area, kiosk, playground, benches and an open field, this park is ideal for picnickers and families. The adjacent Rivanna Trail provides opportunities for walking, jogging, bicycling, fishing or simply observing wildlife.

The Rivanna Trail is a handicapped-accessible paved trail that starts at Riverview Park and meanders north about 2.3 miles crossing under Free Bridge and Route 250 East along the Rivanna river. The trail is a public right-of-way across private property which is maintained by Parks and Recreation. Riverview Park is also a stop on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

4. Pen Park


Park Street, Charlottesville, VA 22901
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Pen Park, which borders East Rio Road ( location ), is often referred to as the “gem” of the City park system. Pen Park is the largest park in the City and it is from this park that Park Street takes its name. The park offers excellent recreation and leisure facilities. This area of land has kept its name for more than 200 years; by 1979 the city acquired the last of the park’s 280 acres.

In addition to sweeping vistas of mountains and open rolling land in all directions, the park offers recreational opportunities for all ages. There are 8 tennis courts, a Little League baseball field with batting cage, volleyball court, 3 outdoor picnic shelters, and a playground with tot area for children ages 2-5 years old. There is the 18-hole Meadowcreek Golf Course with clubhouse and pro shop and an outdoor physical fitness course with 10 exercise stations winding through the natural setting toward the Rivanna River. There is a 1 1/2 mile long trail along the Rivanna river at the end of the nature trail.

5. Greenleaf Park


Route 250 Bypass, Charlottesville, VA 22903
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Greenbrier Park consists of 28.3 acres of undeveloped area located in the Greenbrier neighborhood with walking/biking trails along Meadow Creek. Enjoy the view of sycamore groves, a meadow and Greenbrier Marsh, believed to be one of only two such natural marshes in the Virginia Piedmont region. A footbridge spans the creek; many neighborhood school children use this footbridge to walk to Greenbrier School.Greenleaf Park consists of 14 acres of grassy hillsides with hardwood and evergreen trees. The land was part of McIntire Park until the construction of Route 250 Bypass cut it off from the rest of the park. At that time it became a neighborhood park with its own identity.

Greenleaf offers a playground area, including equipment for children ages 2-5 years old, a picnic shelter, seasonal restrooms, and a half-basketball court. The park’s latest addition is a touch sensitive spray ground featuring a mushroom fountain and an interactive water pole. There is a wide soft surface trail that follows the creek near the 250 bypass and connects the park to Walker school as well as natural trails leading to Plymouth Road.

6. Belmont Park


Druid Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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One of the finest neighborhood parks in the City, Belmont Park is bounded by Stonehenge Avenue, Rialto Street and Druid Avenue (location). The 3.1 acres of land were bought by Paul Goodloe McIntire in 1921 and he transferred the property to the City to be used as a park and playground for local citizens. The park contains a full basketball court, benches, swing set and playground equipment, large shady oak trees and a courtyard with shelter for outdoor concerts. The latest addition to this park is the spray ground.

7. Rives Park


Rives Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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Rives Park is a neighborhood park, 4.3 acres in size, consisting of flat open space with a view of Carter’s Mountain in the distance. It is located on Rives Street between Monticello and Florence Roads, near Quarry Park. Featured here are a half basketball court, athletic field, shelter and playground with tot area for children ages 2-5 years old.

If you like this post, check out Top 6 Camping Sites Near CVille and Top 6 Hiking Spots Near Charlottesville.

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Scoutology Staff