Run on the Seven Rails Trail

Rate this Adventure 3 miles 117 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jordan + Jacki Bolt

Go for a trail run along the James River, without leaving downtown Lynchburg, Va.

Easily accessible from the Percival's Island Natural Area parking lot, the James River Heritage Trail and adjoining Seven Rails Trail are an easy escape from downtown Lynchburg. 

From the parking lot, follow the trail signs toward Percival's Island, which will almost immediately take you across a pedestrian bridge and onto Percival's Island. About a quarter mile in, the entrance to the Seven Rails Trail is on the right, marked by blue paint on the trees, and a brown hiking/biking sign. 

The Seven Rails Trail winds through the woods along the James River. This trail is great for beginning trail runners as it has very little elevation change, but has just enough obstacles and low-hanging branches to keep you on the lookout. The trail runs for about a mile, then returns to the paved James River Heritage Trail. Don't turn around when you get back to the pavement though, as there's another bridge just a quarter mile further with great views of the James River, and if you time it right, great sunsets. In the spring, blue bells are out in full force.

The natural area can be pretty packed during the warmer months, particularly in the evenings and on weekends. Even when the crowds are out, the trail is usually empty.

If you prefer walking, running or biking on pavement, the paved James River Heritage Trail runs the length of the island (approx. 1 mile), and mile markers measure each quarter mile. Out and back, from the parking lot to the bridge on the far end of the island is just over 3 miles.  

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Running
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
River
Wildflowers

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Monroe, Virginia

Otter Creek Campground

Overview As Otter Creek descends to the James River, the Blue Ridge Parkway dips to its lowest elevation, only 649 feet above sea level. This area's abundant water and warmer temperatures support ...

Natural Bridge Station, Virginia

Hopper Creek Group Camp

Overview Hopper Creek Group Camp offers a rustic atmosphere under the trees for group camping. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the area welcomes visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and relaxi...

Natural Bridge Station, Virginia

Cave Mountain Lake Group Picnic Shelter

Overview Cave Mountain Lake Group Picnic Shelter is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and welcomes visitors to enjoy the rustic beauty and peacefulness of the area. Easy access from ...

Nearby Adventures

  • Explore the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center

    If you love everything outdoors, the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center is the place for you! You can do almost any activity you can think of here. If you aren't affiliated with Liberty University, you can't rent their equipment, but you can bring ...

  • Hike to Little and Big Rocky Row

    Starting at the James River Footbridge, which is the longest foot traffic only bridge on the entire Appalachian Trail. Head north on the Appalachian Trail.  You will quickly cross over Rt. 501. After a mile of hiking through the woods skirting the...

    10.8 miles 2700 ft gain

  • Swim at Arnold Valley Pool

    Arnold Valley Pool might be a couple hundred feet from the road but most people don’t even notice when they pass by. This swimming hole is located on the same road as Devil’s Marbleyard and is the perfect place to cool off after the intense hike a...

  • Hike Apple Orchard Mountain

    The top of Apple Orchard Mountain is easily accessible via the Appalachian Trail. Access the trail at the Sunset Field Overlook at MP 78.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The concrete path will end shortly and turn into a blue blazed trail. Follow this...

    4 miles 400 ft gain