Exploring Chris Greene Lake Park in Charlottesville, VA

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If you’re looking for a great park in Charlottesville, VA, then Chris Greene Lake Park is an excellent option! 

The park is close to downtown Charlottesville and features many popular outdoor amenities, including hiking trails, picnic tables, and, of course, the central lake

Another top feature of the park is a Dog Park. It is one acre and has a water area along the lake where dogs can play in the water!

The park is 239 acres, and the lake is 53 acres. This makes it one of the largest parks near Charlottesville. 



How to Get to Chris Greene Lake Park

Chris Greene Lake Park is located at 4748 Chris Greene Lake Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911. It is just 11 miles northeast of downtown Charlottesville, or about a 24-minute drive. 

From downtown Charlottesville, you can take Route 29 (Seminole Drive). You’ll then turn left on Towncenter Drive, and then turn right on Dickerson Road. 

You’ll continue driving past the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport. Then, turn left on Chris Greene Lake Road. The park will be at the end of the road.  

Entrance Fee to Chris Greene Lake Park

There is an entrance fee to the park in the summer months when the lake is open for swimming. 

The fee for Albemarle County residents is $3 (adults) and $2 (children.) The fee for non-county residents is $5 (adults) and $3 (children). 

Best Things to Do at Chris Greene Lake Park

1. Dog Park

The park is a fabulous dog park destination, which makes it a great spot to bring your furry friends for a weekend or afternoon of outdoor fun!  

The dog park is 1 acre in size and even includes a water area for dogs to swim in, which makes it perfect for hot summer days. 

There is also a section of the dog park where your furry companions can go for a swim in the lake! The dog park has wide open spaces so dogs have plenty of space to run around and play. There are also some benches for sitting. 

There are some rules for the dog park, including: 

  • Only two dogs are allowed per owner
  • Dogs must be on a leash when entering and exiting the park (outside of the dog park)
  • Someone 16 years of age or older must accompany dogs at all times

The dog park is open daily from 7 am to dark. 

2. Hiking

If you want to go for a walk, then you’re in luck, because there are 3 miles of hiking trails around the park. 

You’ll find a number of nice loop trails, including the Piney Forest Loop, White Rock Loop, Turkey Trail Loop, and Running Cedar Loop. 

The Turkey Trail Loop and Running Cedar Loop have sections that are near the lake, which is great for spotting birds and waterfowl in the park. 

The trails are all dirt paths. They are generally easy and flat, though be careful with roots, rocks, and uneven surfaces.  

3. Swimming

It’s hard to find a beach near landlocked Charlottesville, but Chris Greene Lake Park has just about as close as you can get! There are two nice beach areas where visitors can access the lake and go for a swim. 

Lake at Chris Greene Lake Park
Source: Albemarle County

The beach areas have full bathroom facilities, showers, and a snack bar.

When lake is open in the summer months, there is a fee to enter. 

4. Kayaking, Canoeing, and Boating

As you can imagine, plenty of water activities are centered around the lake! Besides swimming, you can also go kayaking, canoeing, or boating. If you don’t have your own kayak or canoe, you can rent one at the park. 

Please note that water activities, including kayak and canoe rentals, are only open during the summer months. 

5. Disc Golf

Disc Golf is a new, exciting addition to the park! The course features 18 holes and is only the second disc golf course in Albemarle County.  

6. Picnicking 

Another popular activity at Chris Greene Lake is going on a picnic. There are two picnic shelters: one with six picnic tables and another with seven picnic tables. The shelters are perfect for hosting a party with family and friends. 

Picnic Shelter at Chris Greene Lake Park
Source: Albemarle County

Both shelters are covered and include electricity, charcoal grills, and restrooms nearby. 

Please note that you have to reserve the picnic shelters, and there is a fee of $60 to reserve them. 

7. Fishing

Fishing is another popular activity at the park. There is a fishing pier directly on the lake. You can find largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish in the lake. 

A proper fishing license is required. You can find information on Virginia Fishing License regulations online. 

8. Volleyball 

There is a sand volleyball court at the park, which can be a lot of fun in the warmer months. 


Chris Greene Lake Hours

Chris Greene Lake is open daily from 7 am until dark. 

Chris Greene Lake Swimming Hours

Chris Greene Lake is only open for swimming during the warmer summer months, generally from mid-June to mid-August.

Summer swimming is open Thursday through Monday, 10 am to 6 pm. It is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.


FAQs about Chris Greene Lake Park

Before heading to the park, here are some more questions and answers to help you make the most of your time there!

Can you swim in Chris Greene Lake Park?

Yes, you can swim in Chris Greene Lake during the summer months. 

Can you fish at Chris Greene Lake Park?

Yes, you can fish from the fishing pier at Chris Greene Lake Park. 

How big is Chris Greene Lake Park?

Chris Greene Lake Park is 239 acres. The lake is 53 acres. 

Is Darden Towe Park dog-friendly?

Yes, Darden Towe Park is dog-friendly. There is a Dog Park in the park. 


More Parks Near Chris Greene Lake Park

Beyond Chris Greene Lake Park, you can find a number of other excellent parks in and around Charlottesville. Below are some of my top recommendations. 

📍Darden Towe Park

Darden Towe Park is just 2 miles from downtown Charlottesville along the Rivanna River.

The park is 113 acres and features just about any amenity you could need, including a dog park, batting cages, a cricket pitch, picnic shelters, picnic tables, a playground, 3 softball fields, tennis courts, and a grass volleyball court. 

There are also walking trails around the park and by the river. In fact, you can take the trail outside of the park and along the Rivanna River. This is actually one of my favorite hikes in Charlottesville

You can even take a boat ride down the Rivanna River from the park. 

📍McIntire Park

McIntire Park is another park that’s conveniently located just 2 miles north of downtown Charlottesville. It features a skate park, softball fields, a baseball field, three picnic shelters, and a playground. There is also a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the park. 

📍Azalea Park

Azalea Park is located about 4 miles to the south of downtown Charlottesville, which makes it another excellent destination if you’re looking to explore the city’s parks. 

Azalea Park features a fenced-in Dog Park. There is also a baseball field, gardens, trails, and a playground. Moore’s Creek also runs through the park, as does part of the Rivanna Trail. 

📍Riverview Park

Riverview Park is a charming little park that provides excellent access to the Rivanna Trail. The trail runs along the Rivanna River and into the woods. There is also a playground in the park. 

The park is less than 2 miles from downtown Charlottesville. 


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