Located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville — sometimes referred to affectionately as C’Ville — is a historic city best known as the home of presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Visitors travel from all over to see Jefferson’s “Monticello” plantation and The University of Virginia, but Charlottesville is also popular for its Downtown Mall, arts and culture festivals, and as a gateway to Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. Running in Charlottesville features great beauty and variety.
Charlottesville nurtures a dedicated and widespread running community, where training groups are abundant and athletes frequent a variety of routes in spite of the hot and humid summer weather. Favorite places to run include the University of Virginia campus (known as ‘the Grounds), sections of the 20 mile urban Rivanna Trail, the downtown streets, and the Saunders Monticello Trail. For a gorgeous residential run, it doesn’t get any better than the Bellair (Foxhaven) neighborhood. Just outside the city, scenic dirt roads split out in every direction, making rural runs possible on Dick Woods Road, Sugar Hollow Road, and in Keene. Aside from easy access to the Appalachian Trail and other major networks, trail runners will enjoy the level ground of Preddy Creek Trail Park.
While there is no public transport to some of the rural routes mentioned here, getting around the city of Charlottesville is easy on the Charlottesville Area Transportation buses, or the free trolley service around major city attractions.
Special thanks to the Ragged Mountain Running Shop, Visit Charlottesville, and the Charlottesville Track Club for their help and providing many of the route maps listed below!