With incredible natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities, there are so many ways for everyone to enjoy nature throughout Fluvanna County!
Covering close to 1,000 acres, Pleasant Grove Park offers a multitude of avenues for visitors to immerse themselves in its natural habitats. From a meandering walk through the trail system to a swim in the Rivanna River or a relaxing picnic in the butterfly garden, there are countless opportunities waiting for you at the park. Visitors to Pleasant Grove Park can also bring their own furry friends to enjoy their outdoor excursion and its dog park for pups of all sizes!
With more than 20 miles of trails throughout the park, visitors can choose to enjoy a scenic river walk, learn new facts along the tree identification trail or add some extra movement to their journey on the park’s fitness trail. No matter the path, everyone is sure to see the area’s diversity of wildflowers, birds and animals living amongst their natural habitats.
Full of native plants and other pollinators, Pleasant Grove Park features a stunning butterfly garden and community garden for visitors to enjoy. Created with assistance from the Fluvanna Master Gardeners and the Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries, the Pleasant Grove Native Plant Butterfly Garden is the perfect place to explore the sweet smells, buzzing sounds, and vibrant colors of nature.
Horse enthusiasts can also enjoy Pleasant Grove Park from horseback with multiple equestrian trails throughout the 22-mile system. Located near the butterfly garden by the old oak tree is an equestrian parking area offering ample space for trailers in close proximity to the main trailhead. Connecting trails will lead riders across streams and over diverse topography and bridges constructed by the local Boy Scout troops, with beautiful river views and wildlife sightings along the way. Permits are required and fees may apply.
More than 14 miles of Pleasant Grove Park trails are also available for mountain biking, with varying levels of difficulty from easy to intermediate. The park has been chosen as the venue for the 2023 Virginia State XCM Championship Race, a cross-country mountain bike race sanctioned by USA Cycling. Additionally, cyclists in Fluvanna can take advantage of the 22 local miles of the Bicycle Route 76, which is part of the TransAmerica trail that runs from Missouri all the way to Yorktown.
In addition to its trails, Pleasant Grove Park is also home to multi-purpose sports fields, a children’s playground and a full disc golf course.
In addition to the numerous trails at Pleasant Grove Park, the Scheier Natural Area near Scottsville offers three miles of trails and multiple man-made ponds for ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to explore. Spanning across 100 acres, venturers can spot loafing wood ducks, eastern painted turtles, frogs, and whizzing dragonflies as the trees sing with an orchestra of blue jays, Carolina chickadees, tiny downy woodpeckers, and more!
For golf lovers, Lake Monticello also offers an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course. Designed by Buddy Loving to embrace and respect the natural beauty of Virginia, the course offers a stunning backdrop of rolling hills and lush greenery, creating a casual yet unforgettable experience for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels.
For a more unique experience, try your hand at clay shooting with Central Virginia Sporting Clays. This public shooting range offers instruction from a National Shooting Clays Association instructor, a wobble trap, and a 5-stand. Emphasizing gun safety and an appreciation for the sport, CVSC simulates bird and rabbit hunting without the use of actual animals. Hunters in Fluvanna can also visit Winter Haven Game Farm & Preserve, a private shooting preserve offering individual or group guided pheasant, chukar, and quail hunting. Experienced guides and well-trained dogs take you through the hunting preserve habitat that was developed for ideal upland bird hunting with natural grass fields and woods. The Hardware Wildlife Management Area is also a permitted hunting area.
If you prefer to try your luck with a fishing pole, Fluvanna County also offers three rivers and two lakes to toss a line in. The Hardware River, James River and Rivanna River offer public boat launches, while Ruritan Lake and Lake Monticello are available for more water fun. Each distinct waterway offers a plethora of fish from large and smallmouth bass to bream to bluegill. Beginners or visitors looking for a relaxing kayak trip can book a guided 6.5-mle-long scenic tour with the Rivanna River Company or rent a kayak from Fluvanna Parks and Recreation, whose livery is at the Pleasant Grove House. If you’d prefer to be near the water but stay on dry land, there are plenty of sandy beaches along the Rivanna to soak up the sun and enjoy the view as well.
From the land to the water, there’s so much to enjoy throughout Fluvanna County!