• Belle Isle. Part of the James River Park System, the main access to Belle Isle is by pedestrian footbridge from Tredegar St. on the north shore. Large flat rocks surrounding the island make for good sunbathing, but the powerful Hollywood Rapids are not to be toyed with and are not suitable for swimming.


  • Access to Belle Isle is via a pedestrian bridge from Tredegar street, so there is no parking directly on the island. Some locals access the island by boulder hopping from the southern shore of the James River when the water level is low, and there is an alternate bridge near 22nd street that is less frequently used.

    Furthermore, can you swim in the James River? Today we released a report Swimming Safety in the James – Know Before You Go: Bacteria Monitoring Results 2013-2017. James River Watch data shows that on average the river is generally safe for recreation, with 83% of all samples taken over the past five years meeting the states safety standard.

    Correspondingly, where can I swim in Richmond?

    Best places to swim on the James River in Richmond. Richmonders line up to use the rope swing at Tredegar Beach just steps away from Browns Island. The James River Park System is the best natural asset going for us in the Richmond area. The hot summer months are a great time to cool off in the river.

    Where do you park for Belle Isle in Richmond VA?

    Parking tends to be crowded at Tredegar Street on weekends — only about 50 spaces. Alternate access is by wooden bridge near 22nd Street or by rock-hopping from the south shore. Large, flat rocks surrounding the island make for good sunbathing, but the water is rough around the rapids and not suitable for swimming.

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