13 Beautiful Hiking Trails Near Virginia Beach VA

One of the places people consider when they need a weekend getaway to sunbathe or surf is Virginia Beach. It’s beautiful with the beach vibes, tall buildings, parks, and other unique structures.

But do you know that you could also hike on some of the popular hiking trails near Virginia Beach? On days you don’t feel like visiting the beach, you want to consider doing other exciting activities like hiking. 

So, maybe it’s time you bring out your hiking gear and set out on the trails. Moreover, there are many hiking trails near Virginia Beach, so read on to learn more about the 13 popular ones. 

Let’s help you find the closest to you!

Dunes and Seaside Trail

Length: 2.0 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 26 feet elevation gain, Loop route, coastal view, graveled path

One of the hiking trails near Virginia Beach is the Dunes and Seaside Trail, just a few minutes from the South of Virginia Beach. Moreover, you can find this trail at the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.

You enjoy the beautiful coastal view and Back Bay Wildlife Refuge on this trail. Since most of the trails near Virginia Beach are flat, the Dunes and Seaside Trail is an easy graveled path with an elevation gain of 26 feet.

This makes the trail easy for all levels, beginner and expert. While out on the course, you’ll see some wildflowers lining the place, making it beautiful and an excellent spot for pictures, dunes, and wooden boardwalks.

However, I should warn you, Cottonmouth snakes tread the trail, so you better be careful out there. This trail is accessible all year round, but April through November is the best time to hike there.

The spot is also suitable for morning strolls and bird watching. Its route is moderately trafficked and family-friendly, so you can go hiking with a friend or family member.

White Hill Lake Trail

Length: 7.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Highlights: 85 feet elevation gain, out and back route, scenic lake, Long Creek view

Another excellent trail you can hike near Virginia Beach is the White Hill Lake Trail, located at First Landing State Park. This trail is easy to moderate for all skill levels, so you can hike here even if it’s your first time.

Hiking here will take many hours, so you had better go early for a head start and finish on time. Or you could take your time, hike for a while, relax and camp at the First Landing State Park.

The trail features beautiful wildflowers, scenic White Hill Lake, sandhills, swamps, and woods. In addition, the path can be muddy if it rains, so you can either avoid it or prepare for it. 

The muddy trail isn’t the only thing you should worry about after rain; you should also carry bug spray for insects and make sure to cover up. Then, you should beware of snakes on the trail. 

If you planned a multi-day hike and the White Hill Lake trail isn’t enough, you can hike the other one on the First Landing State Park.

Bald Cypress Trail

Length: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 19 feet elevation gain, a loop route

The Bald Cypress Trail is another hiking spot in the First Landing State Park, and it is a heavily trafficked trail. Its route leads across the Cypress swamp with bald Cypress trees.

This trail features wooden boardwalks, pine needles, packed sand, wildlife copperhead snakes, turtles, and different birds. The trailhead is at the park’s trail center, and you can access other hiking areas in the park.

Before setting out to hike here, ensure you carry bug spray as the trail is bug and insect-infested. If you want to have the best hiking experience on this trail, visit between late fall and winter. 

Cape Henry Trail

Length: 10.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 82 feet elevation gain, out and back route, beach view

The First Landing State Park has many trails on it, and one of them is Cape Henry. You can take a relaxing hike on this trail, and it is super easy and suitable for all skill levels.

While it is easy, it is usually heavily trafficked but is 5 feet wide. The trail features changing terrains from paved to muddy, boardwalk, sand, and dirt. Even though the trek is long, you can rest on the benches along the route.

You will see the beach and some Spanish moss at the end of the trail. Hike on the trail between March till August for the best experience.

Lake Lawson Loop Trail

Length: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 16 feet elevation gain, loop route, lake view

On days you want to go for short hikes, you can try the Lake Lawson Loop trail. This trail goes through the Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area, a family-friendly area.

You could combine a short summer day hike on the trail and picnic in the park under one of the shades there. The trail is easy and gravel, featuring lake views, forest, and hollow trees.

Osmanthus Trail

Length: 3.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 16 feet elevation gain, a loop route

Osmanthus Trail is located at First Landing State Park, and you can take an easy, relaxing hike here. The trail guides visitors over a cypress swamp.

It is heavily trafficked and features wildflowers, swamps, and fantastic forest views. The whole trail is shaded to it can be done in summer too—the best time to hike here is between March and November.

Here’s a tip; you shouldn’t visit the area during wet weather because the route could get muddy. And if you must go, ensure you wear appropriate footwear that can give good traction.

Lake Trashmore Loop Trail

Length: 1.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 13 feet elevation gain, a loop route

If you want to escape the city noise, you should try a short hike on the Lake Trashmore loop trail, located in Mount Trashmore Park. This trail is famous for the beautiful spring wildflowers present there.

Moreover, the trail loops around Lake Trashmore, and it has green spaces around, making the area beautiful. It is moderately trafficked, and it features restroom facilities and exercise equipment you can use when hiking.

Ensure you enjoy an easy, relaxing hike on the paved Lake Trashmore loop trail.

Pleasure House Point Loop

Length: 2.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 7 feet elevation gain, a loop route

Pleasure House Point Loop is another popular hiking trail near Virginia Beach and is located in the Pleasure House Point Natural Area.

You should try this trail if you want an easy hike in nature. The path is close to a shoreline and is surrounded by tall grasses. The view is beautiful, and the area is a lovely spot for enjoying nature.

It features amazing wildflowers like bay wildflowers, flora, maritime forest, tidal marsh, and river. The atmosphere is serene, and you can capture some nice pictures on the trail.

Fox Run

Length: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 22 feet elevation gain, out and back route, beach

Fox Run will be the perfect trail for a quick hike if you need something fast and easy near Virginia Beach. It is the shortest and easiest trail in First Landing State Park and is family-kid- and dog-friendly.

You get to see marshy areas, wetlands, tall grasses, and trees growing out of the water on the trail. The trail is famous for wildflowers, wildlife, and cypress trees. Also, the trail leads to the river and a small swimming beach.

So, you can pack your swimsuit for a quick one. If you’re going with family, you could picnic at the park before heading home.

Highrise Hotels and the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach, Virginia during a Warm Fall Day

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 36 feet elevation gain

You should check out the Virginia Beach Boardwalk if you would like to view the city’s happenings as you hike. The boardwalk is a concrete path and a multi-use one for other outdoor activities like biking and running.

One of the contributing factors to the trail’s beauty is the well-kept manicured plantings by the side as you walk. While you are out here, you can enjoy the seaside view, watch the sunrise across the ocean in the early morning and relax.

It features outdoor restaurants that offer biking and surrey rentals if you need one. While out there, you can check out King Neptune, the 24 foot 12-ton bronze statue, which is a popular picture spot on the boardwalk and take a few clicks.

Then, view the Norwegian lady statue and other side attractions on the trail. It is an easy hike, so you should try this trail out.

Marsh Ridge Trail

Length: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: 0 feet elevation gain, out and back route

Located at False Cape State Park, Marsh Ridge Trail is one of the most beautiful hiking trails near Virginia Beach. The trail features dune views, coast access, and coastline marshy areas.

In addition, the trail is home to many different local and migratory birds, which is why it is closed seasonally from November to April to protect them. So, take note not to go when the trail isn’t opened.

Moreover, there are many beautiful wildflowers on the trail, and it is nice to take amazing pictures for your social media. The path is shared, so watch out for bikers on the trail to avoid accidents. 

Sand Ridge Trail

Length: 6.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Highlights: 39 feet elevation gain

Sand Ridge Trail is located at False Cape State Park, and it is the longest and most challenging hiking area there. Both hikers and bikers use this trail, and since it is a bit difficult, It’s not for beginners.

While hiking here, you get to enjoy several overlooks like Pintail Overlook and Wood Duck Overlook. From the hike, you can see Spratts Cove, which is amazing. Lastly, this trail forms a loop with other trails like West Dike and Barbour Hill.

West Dike, Barbour Hill, Sand Ridge Beach Loop

Length: 8.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Highlights: 39 feet elevation gain, loop route, beach view

West Dike, Barbour Hill, Sand Ridge Beach loop is a moderately trafficked hiking area near Victoria Beach located at Back Bay Wildlife. On the trail, you get to see the beach, and you can camp at Barbour Hill if you plan to have a multi-day hike.

You can also take an evening walk around the beach to watch the sunrise and sunset. The Sand Ridge trail is the most difficult, so you should brace yourself up for that. The best time to hike here is April until November.

Frequently Asked Questions for Hiking in Virginia beach.

Best time and months for hiking here?

You can hike on trails near Virginia Beach all year round, but March through November are the best months to do that. 

Are there any hikes or strolls to enjoy at night?

You can visit many hiking trails near Virginia Beach at night like Pleasure House Point Natural Area, Lake Lawson Loop trail, Mount Trashmore Park, First Landing State Park, and False Cape State Park.

Do you need bug spray for the trails?

Yes, you need bug spray for most trails, especially the swampy, muddy, and forested areas, like White Hill Lake, Bald Cypress, and Osmanthus trails. Since you can never be too sure, carry with you to any of the trails.

Final thoughts

Virginia Beach is a bubbling city, and hiking lovers can also have fun here. Of the many hiking trails near Virginia Beach, you can pick the one close to you and take a long or short hike.

Make sure you research the trail before making the trip there and wear protective gear in case of insects, snakes, and other harmful objects and animals. Don’t forget to take some amazing pictures for your socials! Check out more trails in and around Virginia

Emily Winters

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