Three Lakes Park & Nature Center is part of the Henrico County parks system. The nature center boasts an aquarium and indoor facility (but was closed for COVID while we were there). There’s also a large, nice playground for kids to play on. We were all about the dog friendly trails with our boy, Gimli.
Three Lakes Park & Nature Center is north of the Richmond Raceway, and east of the Lakeside neighborhood, near Chamberlayne. It’s 15 minutes from Richmond, 20 minutes from Short Pump, and 10 minutes from Mechanicsville, making it an easy place to visit from anywhere in the Richmond area. As awesome as State Parks are, sometimes we want something closer to home. Admission to Three Lakes Park is free.
Three Lakes Park Trails
As the name suggests, the park has three lakes. Each of the small lakes has a trail loop around it, totaling 1.3 miles. You can traverse the loops independently, or combine together (there are paths between loops). The trails are elevated and partially graveled, which helps to keep them from being muddy if it recently rained. This is our go to local park when the ground is saturated. While the trails are elevated compared to their surroundings, they are flat and easy to walk on. The trails are wide enough for 1-2 people and well maintained overall.
Since each loop wanders around a lake, there are plenty of water views and the potential to see wild life. In warmer weather you can easily spot birds, turtles, and fish. There are a few benches around the park to pause and admire the view from. The Nature Center hosts programs that educate about wildlife as well. Beside the largest lake there’s also a picnic shelter. It overlooks some small islands in the middle of the lake, which are quite pretty. I was daydreaming about building a tiny cabin to read and admire the view on one of them.