Buttermilk Tail is located near downtown Richmond, VA and it part of the James River Park System. This is only one of several trails that are all connected within the Park System. Other trails include: Forest Hill Trails, North Bank, Bell's Isle and Dogwood Dell. Buttermilk is on the South side of the River and goes from Boulevard Bridge to 22nd street. With several entrances on Riverside Drive and at both ends of the trail heads.
Buttermilk trail is the most technical trail of the James River Park System. It combines tight, twisty, fast descents and steep climbs with lots of rocks and roots. There are also several creek crossing which are pretty hard to get across due to slippery rocks and roots. There are more rock gardens then you can count, which steps up the amount of technical riding this trail has to offer. Buttermilk also has several nicely maintained bridges, rock steps/paths and build in obstacles for bikers, hikers and runners to enjoy.
Connected to Buttermilk is the Forest Hill Park Trails. Forest Hill intersects the Buttermilk Trail at Hill Crest Rd (Reedy Creek). The easiest way when you get there is when you hit Hill Crest Rd (which you will cross while on Buttermilk) you go across the street away from the parking lot, and you will see a large trail map sign. From there you can either go up to the left, which makes the loop counter clockwise, otherwise I recommend doing it counter clockwise. If you go right at the trail map and go down about 100 feet you will see a concrete bridge that is about 2 ft wide on your right hand side. Cross the bridge and you will begin your way on the trail.
Forest Hill Trail has a great cross country feel. It mostly runs along the edge of the cliff and offers some great scenery. There isn't much technical ridding in there besides a couple smaller rock gardens, root sections and a few steep inclines. Forest Hill offers 3 miles of flow trails with some nice switch backs, fast descends and berm sections. Once you're done with the loop it will bring you back to the road trail sign, and you can cross the street to get back onto the Buttermilk Trail.
The Buttermilk Trail also connects to Bell's Isle via the 22nd street pedestrian bridge. Cross the bridge, go down the spiral stair case and at the bottom follow the fence line path to another bridge which leads right onto Bell's Isle. At the bottom of the hill once you go over the bridge there is an opening on the right side with two trail heads. Take the left trail for the some single track trails. This will take across to the other side of the park to another pedestrian bridge that crosses the James River, or stop off at the Bell's Isle Skills Section. The Skills park offers a pump track and several balance logs, rock gardens and other obstacles. Once you get the the pedestrian bridge you can either follow the gravel path to another single track loop, or cross the bridge to get to the North Bank Trail.
For more information with maps, trail conditions or any other information about the James River Trail system visit rva-more.org.