Trail Tuesday: Noland Trail

Stroller Friendly: Yes, but I would suggest a carrier instead.
Cost: Free
Length: about 5 miles

Located at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, the Noland Trail is a 5 mile loop that follows the shore of Lake Murray.

The views throughout the trail are breathtaking and it is a great place to go for a hike with your family.  The trail offers picnic areas to stop for lunch,benches about every half mile to take a break and handicap access.

In 1991, the Noland Family gifted the 550-acre Mariner’s Park that included the Noland Trail.  The trail offers steady inclines and descents along with overviews that will keep your family busy along the hike.

Our Trip to the Noland Trail

In September, we were gifted a hiking toddler backpack, that we could not wait to try out.  I had heard through Hike it Baby about the Noland Trail and had been interested in taking my family there, so we packed up our hiking gear and headed to the Noland Trail in Newport News.

The Noland Trail starts in the parking lot of the Mariner’s Museum.

From there you walk along Lake Murray.  Throughout the trail you cross over bridges, have the option to wander off to an overlook and run into wild animals along the way.  We saw so many beautiful birds, squirrels and even spotted some fish in the lake.

The trail is still a little known secret, so although plenty of people visit it annually, don’t expect it to be overcrowded.  You could walk most the trail without running into another human.

Due to it being a little known secret, while hiking the trail you may start to picture yourself in the mountains hiking opposed to suburban Newport News.  If you are looking to get a way, for a child-free walk, this may be a great adventure as well.

But the climax of this hike is where the trail meets the James River.  At this point, the tress partway to the breathtaking views of the expansive river!  Here the Lion’s Bridge sits where it separates Lake Murray from the James River.

James River
Tips for Hiking the Noland Trail with your Kids
  • First, unless you can still cart your kids around in a hiking toddler backpack, maybe consider not doing all 5 miles.  It is easy enough to walk in and then come back.  If you chose to do that, consider doing the trail backwards and walking to the Lion’s Bridge having lunch and heading back.  You’re looking at about 4 miles round trip.
  • Be prepared to take breaks.  Five miles is a long walk, and the hills add to the endurance.  So, allot time for breaks when planning this trip.
  • Bring lots of water and snacks.  As with any trip with the family, be prepared with tons of snacks and water to keep everyone happy.
  • Have Fun!  Take time to enjoy the views, explore the plants and be on the lookout for animals.  Your kids will have fun exploring and you will enjoy the time as a family.
Have you hike the Noland Trail?  Share a picture or story!


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