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Bryan Park

Description

Like many places in Richmond, Joseph Bryan Park is steeped in history dating back to the late 1700s. It was once part of a much larger farm and the 262 acres that make up the park today were donated to the city in 1910 by Joseph Bryan’s widow, Belle. Now it is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the area, both for wildlife viewing and recreation. Even during peak hours, though, it is possible to find solitude along one of the many miles of trails in the park.  

The mixed hardwood forest of the park hosts some of the best birding opportunities in Richmond. A visit during spring migration is a must, as the park hosts an incredibly rich variety of neotropical species such as bay-breasted, Cape May, and blackburnian warblers, just to name a few. Further, barred and great horned owls regularly nest here; and the sounds of begging songbird fledglings are everywhere during summer along with the nonstop songs of red-eyed vireos, eastern wood-pewees, and acadian flycatchers. 

The lower section of Youngs Pond is a good starting place as the southern shore is home to a thriving purple martin colony in summer.

A purple martin returning home after a foraging trip over Youngs Pond.

A purple martin returning home after a foraging trip over Youngs Pond. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

Tree, barn, and northern rough-winged swallows flit over the water’s surface along with the martins as mallards, wood ducks, and other waterfowl forage along the vegetation. The banks of Jordan’s Branch and Upham Brook are good spots to check for amphibians and long-legged waders like great blue and green herons. 

The Riverine Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists has been hard at work restoring habitats throughout the park to bolster native plants and animals. A pollinator garden near the Nature Center is just one of the many projects. It’s a magnet for butterflies, moths, and bees.

The pollinator garden is in a quiet section of the park.

Tiger swallowtails and monarchs will be visiting this pollinator garden in summer. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

Directions

Physical address: 4308 Hermitage Rd, Richmond, VA 23227

From I-95 in downtown Richmond, take the VA-161/Hermitage Road exit, merge onto Westbrook Avenue, turn right onto Hermitage Road, then turn left into the park entrance road.

 

 

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: City of Richmond: 804-646-5733, AskParkRec@richmondgov.com
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Bryan Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • Chimney Swift
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Black Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Bike Trails
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Historical Site