Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Darden Towe Park

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


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 the Nearest Major Road:

Take the Route 250 Bypass East towards Pantops Mountain. Turn onto Route 20 North (Stony Point Road). Turn left onto Elk Ridge Drive and continue to the Park entrance.

From the Previous Site on the Monticello & Rivanna Loop of VBWT:

From the Rivanna Trail on Melbourne Road, return to US 250/US 250 Bypass and turn left heading east. Follow US 250 for 0.9 miles to SR 20. Turn left onto SR 20 (northeast) and go 0.4 miles to Darden Towe Memorial Park on the left.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: Albemarle Parks & Recreation: 434-296-5844, dmahon@albemarle.org
  • Website
  • Access: Free, open daily sunrise to sunset

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Seasonal Bird Observations


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