5 Hiking, Biking, and Nature Trails in Virginia Beach
Nestled along the Virginia Beach coastline lie natural wonders and outdoor adventures. The city has a diverse ecosystem and picturesque landscapes and offers opportunities for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts to soak in the area’s outdoor beauty. In Virginia Beach, you’ll find coastal trails, lush forests, wetlands, and more. Prepare to take a journey through the local hiking, biking, and nature trails.
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk
While not a nature trail, a visit to Virginia Beach wouldn't be complete without a walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It's one of the longest boardwalks on the East Coast, stretching three miles along the oceanfront. This is a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, soak up the coastal atmosphere, and take in the sights and sounds of the beach.
The boardwalk features a wide concrete path for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and rollerbladers, with benches and rest areas where you can soak in the view of the beach, ocean, and shops.
The beach is just steps away, there's often a refreshing ocean breeze, and you can visit any of the shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
The boardwalk is also the main area where Virginia Beach holds events and festivals, from live music performances and art shows to sporting events and seasonal celebrations.
- First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park is truly a paradise that offers visitors outdoor activities and stunning natural beauty. Situated at the northern end of the city's oceanfront, the park spans over 2,800 acres, between the Chesapeake Bay and the Lynnhaven Inlet. The first English settlers here landed in 1607, led by Captain Christopher Newport, and the park's name, "First Landing," commemorates this.
One attraction here you're sure to enjoy is the park's network of hiking and biking trails, which wind through forests, dunes, and marshes. Each trail provides opportunities to enjoy scenic views and explore the park's unique ecosystem.
You can also enjoy water activities at First Landing State. Head to one of the sandy beaches and take a swim, sunbathe, or simply relax by the water's edge. You can even go boating, fishing, and crabbing, and the park has several campgrounds for both tents and RVs.
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
A stunning natural sanctuary on the narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers habitats to explore, including beaches, dunes, woodlands, marshes, and freshwater ponds. This is a large area, over 9,000 acres, so there are plenty of opportunities to observe the local wildlife, take a hike, and much more.
In fact, there are more than 300 bird species here, so if you enjoy bird watching, you'll love it here. You're sure to see shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and migratory birds, depending on when you visit. The habitat also protects endangered and threatened species like the loggerhead sea turtle and the piping plover.
The plant life adds its own beauty to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, from vibrant wildflowers to towering pines and majestic oak trees. Yes, there are plenty of trails to hike or bike along. You can also fish here in designated areas, or canoeing and kayaking.
- False Cape State Park: A haven for outdoor recreation and a sanctuary for wildlife, False Cape State Park has a commitment to preserving the natural environment. It's a Virginia Beach hidden gem at the southern end of the city where visitors can get lost--figuratively speaking--in the beauty of an untouched.
Set between the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay, False Cape State Park encompasses over 4,300 acres of diverse habitats, including beaches, dunes, maritime forests, and marshes.
Hikers will love the park's miles of scenic trails, which take visitors through marshlands, woodlands, and along the shoreline. A hike here will give you the chance to spot wildlife, including migratory birds and native plant and animal species.
The site also has camping available, with primitive and backcountry camping options.
- Mount Trashmore Park
Though the name suggests something unpleasant, Mount Trashmore Park is anything but. Yes, it was built on a former landfill, but it is now a beautiful recreational area. Spanning 165 acres, the park features two man-made mountains, each rising approximately 60 feet high.
Today, Mount Trashmore Park is a hub for outdoor activities, offering walking and jogging trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and skate parks. Locals and visitors come here to spend time with family and friends, enjoy a picnic, fly a kite, or have a leisurely walk.
The grassy slopes are perfect for playing frisbee, or soccer, or just relaxing on a sunny day. You can even go fishing here in the fully stocked lakes. You can catch bass, bluegill, and other freshwater fish.
Though Virginia Beach may make you think of sun and sand, this beautiful city offers so much more natural beauty, with a variety of gorgeous habitats, including coastal trails lush forests, wetlands, and wildlife preserves. We hope this overview of our top five walking, hiking, and biking areas will give you some good ideas of what you’d like to do whether you’re visiting Virginia Beach, or you live here.