Rediscovering Forest Hill Park Bike Trails: Richmond's Hidden Cycling Gem
In the southern part of Richmond, Virginia, lies a small yet enthralling network of biking trails that have witnessed the ebb and flow of time. Once a site of grandeur, the Forest Hill Park has aged like fine wine. While its past was marked by decay, its present has seen it re-emerge as an archaeological treasure, seamlessly blending nature with historical artifacts.
History and Races
- Ancient Elegance: Forest Hill Park, with its tales dating back about a century, has a history steeped in splendor. Its once dilapidated state now hosts a fascinating set of trails and sites that are a testimony to both its former glory and its long period of neglect.
- The Xterra Stamp: Amplifying its credentials, the trails of this park were an integral part of the Xterra race in June 2004, setting a challenging course for the racers.
- Access Point: For those venturing from the Reedy Creek area, which is also a part of the Buttermilk trail, Forest Hill is just a short detour away. After parking at the Reedy Creek area, make a left onto Riverside Drive. Right after crossing the creek, keen eyes will spot a dirt-ish road, marking the beginning and end of the loop.
- Twists and Turns: The trail showcases a mix of single tracks, paved pathways, and challenging climbs. Particularly notable is the whoop-dee-whoop on the East end – an exhilarating spot that might need some scouting but is worth the effort.
- Length: Spanning just about 2 miles, it might appear short, but it promises an experience that rivals the longer trails.
Comments from cyclists who've tested their mettle on these trails offer a vivid picture:
- For those used to the black-rated Buttermilk trail, Forest Hill provides a similarly challenging experience. Many opined that they found Forest Hill more fitting for their skill level compared to Buttermilk.
- A common sentiment is the trail's evolving nature. The improvements over the years have been commendable. This rejuvenation has turned it into one of the favorite trails for many.
- Its connection to the Buttermilk trail is a boon. Cyclists often combine the two for a lengthier and more varied ride.
- While the trail poses its challenges, it also offers a fair amount of flow and swoop. Recent trail berming has enhanced the riding experience, especially during descents.
- Newcomers should be wary. The trail has its share of tight turns, hairpins, and steep downhill sections. It demands respect, but those who give it are in for a thrilling ride.
- Location: Nestled between Forest Hill Avenue and Riverside Drive, it's easily accessible from downtown Richmond and offers amenities like water and bathrooms.
- Added Advantages: Proximity to the city means riders can treat themselves to a refreshing cup at a nearby coffee shop post-ride. For those interested in visuals, photos and detailed trail reports are available on brokenspokebikes.com.
In conclusion, while Forest Hill Park's bike trail might not boast of the grand lengths, it compensates with a unique blend of history, nature, and technical challenges, making it a must-ride for every cycling enthusiast in and around Richmond.