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