This park has a little bit of everything to offer a visitor, including Phase I of the only off-leash dog area in Lynchburg! The park also includes a connection to the Creekside Trail, which leads to the Blackwater Creek Natural Area, restrooms, and a multi-purpose lighted field that accommodates football, softball, baseball or soccer. The Blackwater Creek Athletic Area is also home to the Lynchburg Dog Park.
Blackwater Creek Athletic Area was developed as a part of the Blackwater Creek Natural Area. It is also home to the Creekside Trail, which extends downstream for 5 miles to Hollins Mill Park. A new project is currently underway to extend the trail upstream in the opposite direction another 1.5 miles to College Lake (on the Lynchburg College campus), where it will terminate for the time being at Neighborhood Entrance on Shirley Road.
Originally envisioned in 1934, the idea of a natural preserve in the heart of Lynchburg was shelved for nearly four decades until it was reintroduced by city Planners in 1971. Concerned citizens banded together in 1973 to form the ‘Friends of Lynchburg Stream Valleys,’ and played a crucial role in the support and development of the Natural Area. With a master plan in place, the city purchased the required land and established multiple trails. On May 17, 1979, the Blackwater Creek Natural Area was officially dedicated, and has been a component of the National Trail System since January of 1981.
Encompassing 288 acres of land, the Blackwater Creek Natural Area is the largest of the city parks. It has many miles of trails, several picnic sites, many scenic vistas, an off-leash dog park, and a multiuse athletic field. It is open year round from sunrise to sunset.
In April 2007, an eight member committee comprised of four municipal and four citizen representatives formed the Off-Leash Dog Park Steering Committee to research the feasibility of establishing an off-leash dog park in Lynchburg. The location chosen for the park was located within BCAA. Five years later, the Friends of the Lynchburg Dog Park held the official grand opening ceremony for the Dog Park on Friday, June 29, 2012.
Other recent improvements to the park include a renovated multi-use athletic field with irrigation, athletic field lighting, and other improvements.
- Multipurpose athletic fields
- Off leash dog park
- Connection to Creekside Trail
- Picnic shelter
- Drinking water fountain