Buttermilk - TRAIL

Buttermilk - Trail, Richmond, Virginia

An Intermediate to Hard twisty single track. A few Technical sections that beginners would do best to walk their bike through. When Combined with the Dogwood Dell trails this makes a good run. It also connects to the Trails at Forest Hill Park , just go through the tunnel that the creek runs through at James River park at Rudy Creek. A Few ups and downs but no big climbs. A Nice Fast trail with some rocks and roots to keep your attention. A good palce for pinch flats so bring a spare! Kept up by the city it has good drainage and some wooden bridges. A sign at the trail head says be careful of rocks and such and has a nice cartoon of a biker doing an Endo yelling OOOOOh NOOOOO! just like Mr. Bill. A great place for a luchtime run if you work in the city.

User Reviews (27)

Showing 1-10 of 27  
Kid Richmond   Racer [Sep 12, 2012]

I moved closer to the trail just so I could ride it everyday. This place has a lot to offer and true it's a multi-use trail, I don't mind one bit as long as people respectfully yield to faster riders or those traveling uphill, which for the most part they do.

The surface is mostly hardpack with some loose over hard and most the bigger climbs are rock so a set of treads like the Maxxis Crossmark or comparable should get you through just fine. During the winter it gets a bit softer so switch up tires to something more aggressive.

Customer Service

Ride it every which way possible and take your time on off days and discover some of the hidden routes. Don't just race through the whole thing trying to get a faster ride. There's a lot of technical features on the loop and I recommend redoing them all until you're left looking for a new part of the trail to perfect.

Similar Products Used: The runs across Bell Isle where you can enjoy the recently built bike park or try your hand at the rock garden near the south bridge. If you cross under Reedy Creek (not Rudy) then you'll find Forest Hill park which has some great downhill runs but they're short so lap it up.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
kinsler   Racer [Aug 31, 2012]

Rode this trail recently for the first time in several years after moving from the area. I forgot how fast, fun and technical this trail is! North bank is fairly flat with occasional rock gardens. Buttermilk is more technical and rocky. Forest Hill is my favorite section of this trail system. With a reasonable climb and fast twisty downhill before looping back around. Lap it for bonus miles!

Customer Service

If you live in the fan, start by parking near the nickel bridge then head east on the north bank trail toward downtown. Ride 3 miles of hardpack and fast single track then climb the bridge over to Belle island. From there cross the river again and hop on buttermilk. Near the Reedy put-in cross the road and ride Forest Hill. Loop back onto buttermilk and then finish by crossing back over the river on the Nickel bridge.

Similar Products Used: Powhite, Pocahantas, Poor Farm
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Ben   Weekend Warrior [Jul 12, 2011]

Buttermilk is challenging, exciting, and fairly well maintained. The rock gardens are numerous and really improved my skills there. The huge rock climb is tons of difficult fun. Buttermilk provides a great work out and challenge to intermediately skilled riders.

Customer Service

In retrospect, I'd start at 22nd and follow the path to the left (NOT going straight or EVER going down the stairs), then turn around ~44th not too far into where the property is deemed "private."

NOTE: near the end is where there are at least three downed trees that you must tunnel under (3x as of july 2012) and a cement platform which caused us too crazy of a challenge. We ended up going around it and DOWN. That was a mistake and a quick turn-around landed us into a residential area.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Tom   Weekend Warrior [May 22, 2011]

This trail is a lot of fun. From Bell Isle towards North Bank the Buttermilk trail is mostly up hill with multiple steep descents. Both directions have their pros and cons but overall the trail is an awesome single track.

Customer Service

Park at the Bell Isle parking lot and warm up on top of Bell Isle then head over to Buttermilk. Take Buttermilk to North Bank and take that back to the Bell Isle parking lot

Similar Products Used: North Bank, Bell Isle
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
fugi   Cross Country Rider [Apr 12, 2011]

Not for the faint of heart. Possibly not for the average cross country rider as well. I'll start with the good. This one of the best maintained trails I think Ive ever been on. A lot of riders out and I was there on a Tuesday!! Were I still into the daredevil type riding some parts of this trail have you do Id love it. BUT im not. So with the bad,...There are a LOT of rocks here. Some of the steep short uphills were entirely of rock! You'd be a fool to ride this place after a rain as traction is next to zero on them. For such a busy trail I was amazed that there is no set direction. There are few places on this trail to just simply stop and move over so a set direction would be much appreciated. And last I CAN NOT STAND multi use trails. Every 5 minutes I was having to dodge a jogger, walker, runner and his/her dog, your random Richmond city bum or what have you. So it was nice to say I did it but if you want an aerobic work out Buttermilk may not be the trail for you.

Similar Products Used: Pocahontas State Park
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
aaabronco   Weekend Warrior [Apr 03, 2011]

Wow i wasnt expecting such epicness that this trail had i did the whole loop and it was great

Similar Products Used: Pochahontas
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
meegwell   Cross Country Rider [Oct 13, 2009]

I ride this trail as part of the Northbank>Belle Island>Buttermilk (classic)>Forest Hill Park>Buttermilk(heights) loop of the James River Park System (JRPS). I know there are no "mountains" around but I would love to calculate the amount of total climbing on this loop due to the river bank/hill terrain and the way its used in trail design.
Buttermilk is technical. The whoile loop is technical but buttermilk will challenge your ability to climb big root-riddled steep suprise twisting climbs. You'll have to have your rock garden skills down (momentum is your friend!), bumpy, twisty, oh -another suprise obsticle type of skills all fresh. Buttermilk is a lot of fun. The trail takes you up and down the natural bank to the river, although you hardly see the river itself because the trees are thick. This creates a lot of short power climbing and a lot of twisting. There are nearly no straight climbs. Your cross brooks on a number of occassions (four) after swooping almost-dangerous-depending-on-skill decents of rocks roots and dirt. There are lots of natural obsticles like rock wall that you need to climb, rock formations that try to knock you off the trail at the top of the hill opposite an edge you dont want to be knocked off...large down trees that create little duck-under tunnels, etc. The trail is well maintaned - saw the crews out there three times in the past two weeks. Bridges are all in good shape and can be found throughout. To get to the Forest Hill Park section go through the concrete tunnels under teh roadway to your left if you're approaching the Reedy Creek parking lot. Pop back on Buttermilk and continue after the lot when you're done riding Forest Hill. Just a great trail if you like a technical windy style singletrack that suprises you around every corner - pay attention, there isn't much time for sight seeing.

Customer Service

If you're driving, you can park at Belle Island (Tredegar Street under the bridge - recomended nice scenary down there) Parking lot at the North side of the Boulevard Bridge crossing the James River (near toll booth)or Reedy Creek James River Park. There are some others but these all will due. I'll note them in the route for where they are in this 4-trail loop. Buttermilk and Northbank are back-and-forth, while Belle Island and Forest Hill are networks that you can explore for a bit of time.

The Loop:

> Belle Island (explore top trails) (cross bridge to south of river follow path to large concrete staircase: climb stairs to signs for Buttermilk > Forrest Hill Park through concrete tunnels at Reedy Creek > Buttermilk (cross north over Boulevard Bridge to Northbank trail (left at toll look for trail head in parking lot) > Northbank Trail > Back to Belle Island.

Great scenary along the way of the river and City Skyline .. WAIT! City Skyline? Yes...its real easy to forget you're "downtown" while riding these great trails! Have fun and be safe.

Similar Products Used: pochahontas state park, poorfarm park
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
jmumford   Weekend Warrior [Sep 26, 2009]

Good ride. It can be very fast depending on which way you ride. Thanks to the volunteer who out in numbers working on it today.

Customer Service

North Bank Buttermilk Belle aisle topside loop.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
One track mind   Weekend Warrior [Mar 02, 2009]

This is truly a gem in the heart of $mond! Buttermilks can be approached clockwise or counter from the reedy creek parking lot. Either way if you master one way, you have the opportunity to master it the opposite direction. This trail is well groomed & sees alot of traffic, including runners, dogs , & hikers..soo be on your toes, cuz you never know what lurks around that switchback. Buttermilk has some great fast rolling sections, well place hazards & rock gardens & depending on what direction, can find some consistant climbs. Although buttermilks keeps you busy, you can find more across river side dr. & add another 3 miles riding the clover shaped relentless park of Forest hill! Great grueling climbs & some big ass whoops to be found within!

Customer Service

Both buttermilks & forest hill

Similar Products Used: Belle isle

North Side trail

Powhite park

Pocahontas
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
grantheppes   Cross Country Rider [Oct 08, 2008]

This trail is great. Me and my roommate skip over Northbank and Belle Isle more often then not just to make sure we have full energy for this trail. Keeps you entertained the entire time. Favorite Trail in Richmond.

Customer Service

From Belle Isle, cross southside bridge, go up stairs. Trail head on the right. Take it to the sewers, pit stop in forest hill. (we usually walk up teh brick path to the top and go down as fast as we can on the further trail at teh top of the parking lot. Spits you out right onto a cement sewer crossing, then we finish up buttermilk. Head towards Northbank trail on the toll bridge.

Similar Products Used: Northbank.
Belle Isle

Forest Hill*< really fun
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 27  

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