Forest Hill Park has been around for awhile. It celebrated it’s 160th anniversary in 2002 and was also named a historic landmark by both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Once a large country estate, the park became a terminus for a trolley line that was brought from downtown Richmond, which drew new residents to South Side Richmond. In the early 1900’s, an amusement park was established in the park. Waning popularity caused the amusement park to close in 1932, partially due to the Great Depression. The park was acquired by the City of Richmond in 1933.
The park is about 100 acres and has 3.2 miles of trails. The trails have been used as part of the Xterra Off-Road triathlon race numerous times since 2000 and were completely over-hauled in 2009. The trails are accessible from the James River Park System at Reedy Creek and Riverside Drive. Since the trail system is so small, most people combine them with Buttermilk, North Bank, and Belle Isle to create a longer route. The trail system would be considered flowing singletrack with several long climbs.
Parking for Forest Hill Park is available at Reedy Creek and a parking lot at New Kent Ave. and 42nd St.
To access the trail from Reedy Creek, head though the tunnel under Riverside Drive. Either follow the gravel road south and cross over the concrete pipe to follow the loop counter-clockwise or enter the trail at Riverside Dr. to follow the loop clockwise.
The trail loops around the north and east sides the parking lot at New Kent and 42nd St. An easy place to find it is directly behind the far picnic shelter.
The trail crosses a paved loop around the park in several places. These include the curved bridge at paved trail from the New Kent parking lot to the lake, this tennis courts by the park maintenance building and near Forest Hill Avenue where it crosses Reedy Creek.