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Visitors will enjoy the solitude and beauty of the mile long Alpine Trail as it winds through the steep, wooded hillside of Riverside Park. Though there is no access to the river, trail users are rewarded with spectacular views of the James River, as well as frequent sightings of woodland birds, including migrating hawks.
To enter the trail, look for the blue blazes found on trees along the pathways, as well as a marked entrance sign just past the Overlook. An entrance to the other end of the trail is found near the Fink Deck Truss Bridge.
To preserve the habitat around the trail, and for your own safety, be sure to stay on the marked pathway. The slope of the hill is deceptive and drops almost vertically onto the railroad tracks hidden below, so use care when hiking. This trail is not appropriate for small children or those with disabilities, and bicycles and strollers are prohibited. During inclement weather the Alpine Trail is closed to the general public.
The Alpine Trail was the first walking trail developed within a Lynchburg park. The trail was built during the 1920's and 30's, and visitors could cross the James River onto “YMCA” island, which is now known as Treasure Island. The same time period saw the development of the Riverside Park Overlook, which was built in 1931 using laborers from the City Farm, at 20¢ per hour. Some construction may have been completed in conjunction with other Works Project Administration (W.P.A.) projects initiated at the park. Native stone quarried from the park, as well as surplus stones from various streets projects was used to construct the Overlook, Gazebo, and trail pavers.