You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy an afternoon of hiking, and you don’t have to go far when you live in Hampton Roads.
Our area has a wealth of beautiful trails and paths, and many are easy to tackle with kids of all ages.
The American Hiking Society recommends getting your children involved by letting them pick a trail or lunch stop location. You may want to opt for a shorter hike for your first outing, just to make sure everyone’s on board for this type of adventure. Look for a hike that involves a type of “reward,” such as finding a waterfall or exciting landmark.
Get your children outdoors and moving this season – hiking is a fun way to bond and exercise together!
We’ve searched the area for some family-friendly hikes…be sure to get out and make the most of the natural Hampton Roads environment!
First Landing State Park is a great destination for hiking families in Virginia Beach. You’ll find a variety of trails, and you can gather information at the Trail Center before you head out. Take the Bald Cypress Trail for a 1.5 mile loop that’ll bring you through the wetlands. There are several observation points to take in, as well as a trail that cuts through for a shortcut.
False Cape State Park offers natural beauty in hiking and biking trails on six miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beach. The park is accessible only by foot, bicycle, beach transport, tram or boat. There is no public vehicular access. The park offers several trails of varying lengths and difficulties, some through Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve boasts 142 acres and has several well-maintained hiking and walking trails around a lake and wetlands. Because the area is a nature preserve, jogging, biking, and dogs are prohibited. The main Lake Trail is approximately one mile in length and is easy and family friendly.
The Chesapeake Arboretum will take you into the cooler seasons with its miles of colorful trails. Check out the stream and wooden bridges on your hike. The Arboretum is open year-round, from sunset to sunrise. There is no entrance fee.
Indian River Park Trail offers a nice three-mile loop that allows dogs on leashes and is a great way to get out in nature if you have a little more time. A creek runs through the park and walking, biking, and hiking are all encouraged.
Northwest River Park Trail and Campground has six trails, including the two and a half mile flat, easy Otter Point Trail Loop. If you want to spend the day in the park, it also offers boating, fishing, hiking, and programs, a putt-putt course, horse shoes and volleyball nets.
The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge straddles the Virginia/North Carolina state line and offers beautiful views of one of Hampton Roads’ most important ecosystems. Trails are on boardwalks and offer views of protected wildlife and birds.
Make your trip to Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton a bird-spotting quest as you traverse wetlands and wooded areas. Pack a picnic to enjoy along the 2.5 miles of beach. Admission to Grandview Nature Preserve is free, and it is open daily year-round.
The Mariners Museum Park Trails are on 550 acres of privately maintained, naturally wooded property that offers visitors a quiet and serene place to walk, run, or picnic. Following the shoreline of Lake Maury is the five-mile Noland Trail which has fourteen bridges, picnic areas, benches, handicap access, and mile markers.
What’s your favorite hiking spot? Let us know in the comments below!