Belle Isle – RVA

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A couple of months ago we discovered that Belle Isle existed and we LOVE It. It’s located on the James River in central Richmond and you get to it via a pedestrian footbridge that is sort of scary. 

Parking lots are available just off of Tredegar and 2nd Street, but it’s a little tricky to get to. The easiest way for us is to take Belvidere south, then turn left onto Spring Street. Once on Spring Street you’ll take a right onto 2nd Street and then a left on the next street. You’ll see the parking lots on your right! The footbridge is directly under Belvidere (also a reason it’s scary).

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Belle isle is a little bit hidden just for the fact that the river is way below (80 feet, I think) street level, but you have a great view of it from Hollywood Cemetery.

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There is a nice walking trail, access to the river (with giant rocks to walk on!), an eerie view of some of the gravestones at Hollywood Cemetery, and spooky remnants of a hydroelectric plant, stone quarry, and a mill. It was also the location of a POW camp during the Civil War where (approx.) 1,000 Union soldiers died, many freezing to death one winter.

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Even with all it’s spookiness, Belle Isle is probably my favorite place in Richmond!

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