Neighborhoods of RVA: Forest Hill

Forest Hill, a federally recognized historic district in Richmond, has experienced a vibrant resurgence in recent years. Its borders are defined by the James River to the north, Forest Hill Park to the east, Semmes and Forest Hill Avenues to the south, and Westover Hills Boulevard to the west. This neighborhood, situated just across the river from Maymont, offers convenient access to numerous parks, outdoor recreational activities, and nearby districts like Carytown, the Fan, and the Museum District.

Forest Hill’s history is intertwined with the early development of Richmond. Initially part of William Byrd III’s extensive estate, the land saw various ownership changes over the years and eventually transitioned into smaller parcels suitable for urbanization. The introduction of streetcars and even an amusement park around the turn of the 20th century further piqued residents’ interest in adopting an urban lifestyle.

In 1914, the City of Richmond annexed Forest Hill, along with several other neighborhoods. The neighborhood’s crown jewel, Forest Hill Park, designated as permanent parkland, came under city ownership in 1934. By that time, the amusement park within the park had become more of a liability than an attraction and was dismantled. The house constructed by Holden Rhodes, a prominent attorney and businessman in the mid-1800s, was identified as a crucial piece of the park’s history and marked for restoration. Most recently, in 2009, the park’s lake and its surroundings underwent a revitalization effort, enhancing the neighborhood’s appeal.

Forest Hill boasts a rich architectural tapestry, showcasing various late 19th and early 20th-century residential styles. You can find Bungalow, Cape Cod, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Federal, Queen Anne, and Victorian homes, creating a charming blend of historic and modern residences. The neighborhood’s character is further enriched by the presence of eclectic commercial spaces along Forest Hill Avenue, coexisting harmoniously with the historic buildings.

Residents of Forest Hill enjoy a diverse range of amenities. Outdoor enthusiasts can easily access Forest Hill Park, the James River, and hiking trails, all just blocks away. In addition, numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and retailers along Forest Hill Avenue are within walking distance for most residents.

With its vibrant personality and positive momentum, Forest Hill continues to thrive and evolve. Much like its history, the neighborhood is poised for further growth and development in the years to come.

The Highlights:

Forest Hill Park – Hiking trails, a rejuvenated lake, river access, picnic areas, tennis courts and more. The park also hosts outdoor concerts, movie nights and other events from time to time.

Reedy Creek Trailhead – The James River Park System is one of the best parts of Richmond. This trail is easy access and has convenient parking too.

Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream – Don’t let the name fool you. There’s a lot more going on there than just ice cream and coffee.

Little Nickel– Self described as “vacation food”. They had me at “vacation”.

O’Toole’s – Every neighborhood needs a “go to” watering hole…

Forest Hill Homes for Sale


Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan

Phone: +1 804.397.5078

Multiple-time Distinguished Achiever award winner, 2017 Richmond’s Finest Business Professional and a VIrginia Living Magazine Top 50 Realtor. Architecture lover, outdoor enthusiast and a true fan of all things RVA.

Click here to learn more about Patrick

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