Trail Life: Great hiking, biking, and walking paths in Hampton Roads

Noland Trail photo courtesy of Newport News Tourism Development Office


The trees are dreamy, the air is refreshing, and the wildlife is abundant. Across the region, parks in Hampton Roads provide the ultimate trails for hiking, biking, or walking, and with the arrival of fall, what better time to get outdoors for some recreation. Here is a roundup of off-road paths, each with a combination of scenery and uniqueness that makes them worth exploring.

The Noland Trail at Mariners’ Museum Park

The Noland Trail at Mariners’ Museum Park features 14 bridges. Its five miles stretches along the shoreline of Lake Maury, providing a scenic walk or run. The most famous stop on the trail, Lion’s Bridge, has magnificent views of the James River.

Newport News Park

You may want to bring a bike to Newport News Park. This large municipal park is a biker’s dream with over five miles of unpaved trails. Don’t want to bike? Enjoy the park’s over 30 miles of trails for jogging, hiking, or walking.

The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

Some of the most historical habitats in the country are located along the nature trail at the Dismal Swamp. The recreational area, located in Chesapeake, stretches over eight miles and borders the Dismal Swamp Canal. The historic path is linear and flat, therefore perfect for all ages, whether you want to bike or walk it.

First Landing State Park

You can hike, bike, or walk the 20 miles of trails at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Virginia’s most visited park possesses nine trails, including the popular Bald Cypress Trail–a one mile path that crosses ponds and dunes. Bike rentals are available at the Bay Store for a journey on the Cape Henry Trail.

Northwest River Park

Pick your choice of one of the six trails at Chesapeake’s Northwest River Park, or choose to hit all of them. Every one of the park’s trails is less than three miles and ideal for getting a closer look at natural life. For a view of the Northwest River, take the Marjorie Rein Memorial Walkway.

Kiptopeke Cape Charles, VA

Known for its studies on bird population, Kiptopeke State Park is located on the Eastern Shore and only 45 minutes from Norfolk. It is also home to some of the nicest trails including over four miles of exploratory paths that are situated along exciting wildlife. Kiptopeke’s southern beach is good for hiking and has four designated bike trails.