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Darden Towe Park


Darden Towe Park lies in northern Charlottesville along the east bank of the Rivanna River. Open playing fields, as well as a small pond, several thick brushy areas are a great place to search for killdeers and the occasional chipping sparrows foraging in the short grass. At certain times of year large flocks of “blackbirds,” including common grackle, red-winged blackbird and the introduced European starling, descend on the park to forage, and roost on the telephone wires and fence lines.

While walking along the river, listen for red-bellied and downy woodpeckers overhead and watch the river for migratory waterfowl or the resident Canada geese. During migration there is also potential for a variety of neotropical migrants to appear. Later in the fall, yellow-rumped warblers appear and are sometimes joined by ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, as well as white-throated sparrows. The summer months bring the flowerbeds alive with butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

Also available at the park is the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, which offers a variety of rotating activities and exhibits related to exploration skills, including nature observation and hiking.


Physical Address: 1445 Darden Towe Park Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911

From US-250, turn onto Stony Point Road/VA-20 North, turn left onto Elk Drive, and continue to the Park entrance.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: Albemarle County Parks & Recreation: 434-296-5844,
  • Website
  • Access: Free, open daily sunrise to sunset

Birds Recently Seen at Darden Towe Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Canada Goose
  • Muscovy Duck
  • Mallard
  • Mourning Dove
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Phone
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Viewing Blinds