Virginia Foothills Park
Park Ranger Office: (775) 849-2511
This 15-acre park includes tennis (2) and volleyball courts, covered group picnic areas (non-reservable), horseshoe pits, children's playground areas, an exercise cluster, a fitness trail and a baseball/soccer field (by permit only - click here for info). The park is located off of Western Skies Road next to Brown Elementary School. Portable restrooms provided for use by permitted sports leagues are subject to limited availability.
For plant & animal species found here, check out Virginia Foothills Park on iNaturalist.
Please observe all rules and regulations while visiting the park. See rules and regulations here.
Click for Frequently Asked Questions regarding feral horses - including how to report illegal feeding.
The picnic pavilions are first-come/first served, and are non-reservable. Picnic groups of 25 people or more are required to obtain a group-use permit and use a designated reservable area elsewhere. The nearest reservable picnic pavilion is located at South Valleys Regional Park, 15650 Wedge Parkway in Reno. Please contact Park Reservations at: email@example.com or 775-823-6501 for more information.
While Virginia Foothills Park was officially completed and dedicated in 1993, it had been in the works by the Washoe County Board of Commissioners for many years. As early as 1979 the board discussed the acquisition of 15-acres of land for the park. A few years later the Board approved the first phase of the park. Then in 1993, they awarded a contract for the construction of phase two.
The Park is located next to Brown Elementary, which opened for classes in the fall of 1989. This is the second Brown School; the first was built in 1877 by Peleg Brown on an acre of his ranch land. The ranch was eventually sold to Louis Damonte in 1939. Over the years, the school was enlarged to the brick building which now houses the Washoe County School District offices on the Old Virginia Road. The old school building accommodated about 200 students, but the new school building next to Virginia Foothills Park was designed for 497 students. It cost around $4 million to build, plus acquisition of land and the cost of equipment. In addition to the need to accommodate more students, the school moved from Old Virginia Road to Spelling Court because at that time the new Hwy 395, from Reno to Carson City, was being built and the old school would have been right beside the busy highway.
While the Virginia Foothills subdivisions have been around since the 1960s, the rest of the land to the north and west of the park was ranch land from the earliest days of Reno. These farms belonged to families with names that should sound familiar—Curti, Caramella, and Damonte. The Caramellas ranched in the Truckee Meadows from the 1870s. The large, extended family had several ranches around the area, including the land on which the Atlantis Hotel is now located. Besides ranching, brothers Jack and Ben Caramella began a waste disposal business in 1940, eventually selling it to Waste Management in 1998. Ben Caramella was one of four founders of Pioneer Citizens Bank of Nevada, which merged with Nevada State Bank in 1999. In the late early 1900s, the Curti family arrived in the area. The family often hosted students from Brown Elementary to visit their dairy farm, tour the facilities, and learn about the livestock. Louis Caesar Damonte was a pioneer rancher in the area for 63 years. He purchased the Brown Ranch in 1939 and died in 1975.