Trail: First Landing State Park – Cape Henry
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Stroller Friendly: No (dirt trail)
Cost: $5 – $7
Length: 6.9 miles (One Way) – 13.8 round trip
Named after the Virginia Company’s first landing near this location by Christopher Newport on April 26, 1607 before heading to Jamestown — First Landing State Park is the premier recreation area in the resort area of Virginia Beach. Located where the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet, this park offers everything form a day on the sand to a wilderness adventure.
First Landing State Park offers several different trails that cover everything from a leisurely walk to off-road biking. There are several different trails to check out, but on this day, we did the Cape Henry Trail.
The Cape Henry Trail is located at the 64th Street entrance to First Landing State Park. Upon entering, take it slow and enjoy the view as you head to the back of the park and the first parking lot on your right is where you will want to enter the trail. Some locals prefer to avoid the entrance fee and choose to walk or bike into the park.
The trail runs along the Wolf Snare Creek and provides spectacular views you would never expect to see in the busy beach town of Virginia Beach.
You start at the Narrows, which is a local swimming hole. Due to the shallow water, the water here is known to be warmer than the water in the Ocean. If you are visiting in the Summer, be sure to bring a bathing suit and towel to jump into the water post-walk.
As you walk along the trail, the Spanish moss hangs from the trees and makes you think that you are in a Nicholas Sparks books opposed to a State Park.
The trail has several overlooks that look out on to the marshes and water that kiss the trail. These overlooks are the perfect places to stop and look out at the wildlife that are in the area. We like to stop and look at the different birds or just take a moment to enjoy the beautiful view.
For the little ones, this is definitely a long walk, but if you go at their pace and just let them explore, you’ll have a great time. There are tons of birds and we even saw a bald eagle!
We only did a mile or two of the trail before turning around, but it was gorgeous. I hope to be able to do more of the trail next time and to move at a faster pace.
Pro Tip: Don’t go in planning to do the whole 13.8 miles with kids. But plan on at least doing a good mile or two in. We made it to this beautiful lake where we turned around.