Birchville is about a 5 km (10 minute) drive north from the centre of Upper Hutt. The Birchville community is spread out along both banks of the Hutt River in a long fairly narrow valley. When the Parkdale subdivision was developed during the 1970s, confusion arose over what was the appropriate name for the suburb should be. In 1982, the New Zealand Geographic Board clarified that Birchville, rather than Parkdale, Rivervale, Akatarawa, or Gillespies Road was the official locality name.
The Hutt River Trail now provides formal walking paths for tourist and residents along both banks of the river from Totara Park to the Akatarawa Stream. In places, the remains of the old waterworks can be seen beside the trail in some places. Also, the Cannon Point Walkway track, which passes the Birchville Dam, can be accessed from the river trail at the end of Bridge Road. North-east of the Akatarawa Road bridge, the river trail extends on both banks but there is no crossing available upstream.
At Twin Bridge Park - near the Akatarawa Road Bridge and Andrews Bridge - is the Birchville Picnic Area, which has a tea shelter and several picnic tables. Beneath the bridges are two popular swimming holes.
Schools – Birchville Kindergarten and Birchville School.