Learn more about the amazing outdoor destinations in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia by clicking the links below:
- Capital Trail
From the Canal Walk in the heart of Richmond's upscale Shockoe Valley to the Governor's Mansion in Colonial Williamsburg, the Virginia Capital Trail traverses a beautiful landscape as it parallels historic Route 5. The approximately 54-mile trail travels through portions of Henrico, Charles City, and James City counties along the way as it connects the previous capitals of Jamestown (1607-1699) and Williamsburg (1699-1780) to its current capital of Richmond (1780-present). The Trail ranges in width between eight and ten feet, and is paved throughout its entire length to accommodate all modes of non-motorized transportation. Construction of the Trail takes place in phases. Colonial Parkway Phase, Greensprings Phase, Chickahominy Riverfront Phase, and Charles City Courthouse Phase are complete. Phases not yet complete are: Sherwood Forest Phase, New Market Heights Phase, Varina Phase, and Richmond Riverfront Phase. 20 miles of the 54 miles are complete.
- Chippokes Plantation State Park
Chippokes Plantation State Park is situated on 1,946 acres of land located on the southern shore of the James River west of Lower Chippokes Creek. The park is located across the river from Jamestown Island which is the first permanent English settlement in America. Since the establishment of Chippokes in 1619 the land has been continuously farmed making it one of the oldest plantations in America. Today, 19th and 20th century buildings tell the story of early plantation life in rural America. Chippokes Plantation is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.In 2004, the 262-acre Walnut Valley Farm was given to Chippokes by Mrs. Lucy F. Reasor in memory of her husband. The farm contains a house dating to 1785 with several dependencies and barns.The main entrance to Chippokes is accessible from Alliance road which is off of Route 10 in Surry County.
- False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park is located in the Southeast corner of Virginia Beach and consists of a narrow strip of land that runs from North to South between the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay. Despite being in the states largest city, it is one of the most remote state parks because one cannot access it by car. Those who wish to visit must drive to Back Bay National wildlife refuge or Little Island City Park, both located to the North, and then they can walk, bike, or ride a tram into False Cape. Both of the above parks require a parking fee and the wildlife refuge requires an entrance fee as well, depending on the time of year. False Cape can also be accessed by boat as there are several docks along the bay side of the park. False Cape is rich in history and had been inhabited for centuries before it became a park in 1980. Also in False Cape was the farming community of Wash Woods. Between the 1880s and the 1920s this community boasted 300 people but shifting sands and hurricanes prompeted most of the people to leave in the 20s and 30s.
- First Landing State Park
Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, First Landing State Park is located on the Chesapeake Bay. The park's name was changed in 1997 from Seashore State Park to First Landing State Park to reflect its heritage as the first place where members of the Virginia Company landed. The park features beach, back dunes, upland forest, tidal marsh, and cypress swamp, and contains contains one of the most endangered habitat types in the world, the maritime forest community. To protect this unique and valuable resource, please remember to stay on the trails and use only designated recreation areas.
- York River State Park
Located 11 miles west of Williamsburg, York River State Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the environment of a coastal estuary. This park is known for its rare and delicate environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a habitat rich in marine and plant life. The main focus of the park is to preserve a portion of York River frontage and its related marshes while providing an area for passive day-use recreation for visitors. York River State Park served as a role model for all of Virginia's state parks in developing resource management plans. The park's natural resources make it a significant place for environmental education at all levels.York River State Park takes its name from the river along its border, which is formed from the joining of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers at West Point, 10 miles upriver from the park. Croaker Landing, found within the park, is an archaeological site included in the National Register of Historic Places.
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