9 Easy Hiking Trails in Virginia Beach (+ Trailhead Map)

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Are you an avid hiker and heading to VA Beach soon? This is a guide to the best easy hiking trails in Virginia Beach, VA.

No one heads to Virginia Beach for extreme mountain hiking. Needless to say, the landscapes simply don’t exist. However, there are over 41 fantastic hikes in Virginia Beach and they are pretty much all suitable for any skill level.

Best hiking trails in Virginia Beach
Best hiking trails in Virginia Beach

While the trails in Virginia Beach don’t offer a lot for multi-day trekkers, these hikes can all be completed within a day and you can go hiking, biking, running, or just for a casual stroll on them.

There are fantastic trails in First Landing State Park, the most-visited state park in Virginia, and many in other local parks such as Indian River Park or Mariners Museum Park. In total, there are around 32 easy hiking trails in Virginia Beach and we have covered 9 of them below.

Be sure to let us know your favorite Virginia Beach hiking trail in the comments!

Hikes in Virginia Beach – The List

Typically, we would list the trail and its difficulty below. However, these trails are all extremely easy and are able to be completed by people of any skill level, so this list is simply conclusive of the Virginia Beach hikes on this guide.

Easy hikes in Virginia Beach VA
Easy hikes in Virginia Beach VA

Please note that we have omitted to put the elevation gains for these as they are all relatively flat.

  1. Osmanthus Trail
  2. Cape Henry Trail
  3. Pleasure House Point Loop Trail
  4. Bald Cypress Trail
  5. Lake Trashmore Loop Trail
  6. White Hill Lake Trail
  7. Fox Run
  8. Lake Lawson Loop Trail
  9. Dunes and Seaside Trail

Virginia Beach Trails Map

To add this map to your Google Maps account, click the ‘Star’ icon next to the map name. You can then view it on your cell phone or computer by heading to your Google Maps account, click the menu and add it to ‘Your Places’.

Easy Hikes in Virginia Beach (& Nearby)

Osmanthus Trail

Distance: 3.1 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park’s Osmanthus Trail is a heavily-trafficked loop trail inside of the popular Virginia state park located in Virginia Beach.

This is a top-rated trail and is a fantastic Virginia Beach day hike for all skill levels. It is recommended for its hiking, running, wildflower, and walking opportunities.

Osmanthus Trail
Osmanthus Trail

With nearly no elevation gain (only 16 ft), the 3.1 loop is best used from March until November and dogs are permitted on the trail.

If it rains, the trail can get a bit muddy, so wear appropriate footwear! The trail will take you through some of the swampy areas of the park so you will have varied landscapes and ecosystems you will get to admire in First Landing State Park.

Cape Henry Trail

Distance: 10.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: First Landing State Park

Another popular and beloved First Landing State Park Trail is the Cape Henry Trail, a 10.1, heavily-trafficked hiking trail in Virginia Beach that is good for all skill levels.

Best used from March until August, this out and back trail has an elevation gain of 82 ft and is dog-friendly (pending that the dog is on leash).

This trail is wheelchair and stroller-friendly as well. It is also a great trail for mountain biking and you will find part of it paved. But, the majority of it is boardwalk or dirt/sand and it can be muddy.

First Landing State Park beach
First Landing State Park beach

The trail is about 5 feet wide and you will find benches along the way to take a quick rest on. Once you reach the end of the trail, you will be greeted with lots of gorgeous Spanish moss hanging from the trees and stunning beach views.

Pleasure House Point Loop

Distance: 2.3 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Pleasure House Point Natural Area

Pleasure House Point Natural Area is home to Pleasure House Point Loop, one of the best hiking trails in Virginia Beach. This 2.3, moderately-trafficked loop trail’s main feature is the river and it is suitable for all levels of hikers.

This trail is kid-friendly and great for walking, running, and hiking. It is also dog-friendly if they are on a leash.

Sometimes, this trail can wash out, so be wary if you’re visiting it after heavy rain or high tide. It is famous for its beautiful wildflowers and views and you will have the opportunity to see a lot of bay wildlife and flora.

Bald Cypress Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: First Landing State Park

Bald Cypress Trail is a heavily-trafficked loop trail close to Virginia Beach inside of First Landing State Park. With only a small elevation of 19 ft, it is a very easy, 1.6-mile trail that anyone can take to for a fun and leisurely stroll inside of the state park.

The trail is mainly used for hiking, running, horseback riding, and walking and is available to hikers year-round. Dogs are also permitted on Bald Cypress Trail, but they must be on leash.

First Landing State Park swamp cypress trees
First Landing State Park swamp cypress trees

This is a kid-friendly trail but do be aware that it is known for a lot of bugs, so wear repellent! The mosquitoes are horrendous.

You will see a lot of cypress trees as you peruse through the Virginia swamp. You may see wildlife like copperhead snakes and turtles along the way. You will definitely probably see a variety of birds there!

Lake Trashmore Loop Trail

Distance: 1.9 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Mount Trashmore Park

Most Virginia Beach locals (and Virginians) know about Mount Trashmore but not everyone knows that the park has hiking trails and more to do than just visiting or fly kites.

Lake Trashmore Loop Trail is a moderately-trafficked Virginia Beach hiking trail that is known for its beautiful spring wildflowers and a nice escape from city life.

It is a loop trail that is 1.9 miles and has a small elevation gain of 13 ft. Accessible year-round, Lake Trashmore Loop is also good for dogs as long as they are on leash. The trail is known for biking and hiking.

There are restroom facilities there as well as exercise equipment along the trail.

White Hill Lake Trail

Distance: 7.9 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: First Landing State Park

White Hill Lake Trail is a 7.9-mile, lightly-trafficked trail near Virginia Beach that is a bit longer than most but is still suitable for all skill levels. There are several activities that are popular on this First Landing State Park trail and it is able to be used year-round.

White Hill Lake is dog-friendly (but they must be on a leash). This trail is also renowned for birdwatching, hiking, wildflowers, and running.

First Landing State Park trails
First Landing State Park trails

You will see many ecosystems and a variety of scenery along the way. There are woods, swamps, a lake, and sandhills. This is a great out and back trail if you’re planning to go camping in First Landing State Park and relax in the park for the evening.

Be sure to look out for the beautiful Spanish moss along the trail – and bring a lot of bug spray and be vigilant of snakes!

Fox Run

Distance: 1.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: First Landing State Park

This First Landing State Park Trail is a 1.2-mile, moderately-trafficked trail that is perfect for any skill level!

Fox Run is renowned for its wildflowers and for being dog-friendly (if on leash). With an elevation of only 22 ft, the out and back hiking trail in Virginia Beach gives users the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife and cypress trees.

White Egret in Virginia Beach VA
Egret at First Landing State Park

It’ll lead you to the river and a nice little swimming beach there.  It may be a short trail, but it is popular for families or those just wanting a quick stroll in the beautiful landscapes of the park.

Lake Lawson Loop Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area

Lake Lawson Loop Trail is located near Virginia Beach and is one of the trails not located in a state park. You will find that this 1.6-mile loop trail allows for several activities and dogs are also permitted (need to be on a leash, however).

With a small elevation gain of 16 ft, this Virginia Beach trail is excellent for any skill level. The park tends to be lesser-known and was recently remodeled. Other things you can do in the park are canoeing or launching your boat if you own one.

The neighborhood trail, located north of Kempsville, offers a lot of shade and is perfect on a summer’s day if you’re looking to be outdoors but in a cooler place. This is a very family-friendly park and trail!

Dunes and Seaside Trail

Distance: 2.0 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Dunes and Seaside Trail is a gorgeous trail located inside of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, one of Virginia’s most underrated places to visit, in my opinion.

This 2-mile, moderately-trafficked trail is a loop trail that features wildflowers and breathtaking views of the wildlife refuge.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Virginia 14
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia

The trail is accessible year-round and you can go birdwatching, hiking, mountain biking, or just simply enjoy the scenery. No dogs are permitted on this trail.

While this is not as much of a hiking trail as it is a graveled path, it is still worthwhile to visit if you’re looking for hikes away from First Landing State Park or a place that is extremely family-friendly.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Virginia 2
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Please note that during certain times of the year, there are closures inside of the refuge due to bird migration, so check out the refuge website before heading there to ensure it is not closed.

INSIDER TIP: Cottonmouth snakes are prevalent in this area, so beware! Be sure to wear proper shoes as it can be a bit sandy toward the end and it can kick up into your shoes. Also – you must stay on the trail at all times.

What to Pack

Naturally, dress for the season!  Summers in Virginia are humid and hot, and many of these trails in Virginia Beach will be no exception if that is the time of year you’re embarking on a VB hike!  Here are some of my recommendations for these hiking trails in Virginia Beach:

>> Reusable Water Jug:  I recommend always having a reusable water jug with you at all times.  Virginia’s weather is unforgiving and you can dehydrate quickly!

There are almost always freshwater sources available in and around the area but do bring some with you just in case!  I travel the world with my Klean Kanteen water jug and I think it is the perfect one to get the job done when hiking! You can see the one I use here.

>> Keen Targhee Hiking Boots:  During Virginia’s warmer months, evening storms and rain is more common than not and you’ll likely experience mud somewhere on your hike, especially in First Landing State Park.

I have had my Keen Targhee hiking boots for many years and they have helped me trek across some wild environments, so I definitely recommend investing in a pair if you’re an avid hiker.  You can see my Keen Targhee hikers here.

First Landing State Park hiking VA
Terrain you will be hiking around

>> Mosquito Repellent:  One thing I don’t miss when I leave Virginia’s borders are the mosquitoes, especially if you are hiking near Virginia Beach!  But, they are unavoidable and a complete nuisance when trying to enjoy the outdoors.

I recommend a heavy-duty repellent to put your mind at peace before doing any of the aforementioned hikes (many are located in swampy areas).  Here is the mosquito repellent I use to deter them!

>> Lightweight Daypack:  If there is one thing I have too many of, it is daypacks.  While I love my Sandqvist and Ucon Acrobatics Bags, I opt for something a bit more lightweight when hiking.

My top recommendation is the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack.  It is durable and well-made and will be an effortless accompaniment for your day hike.  Click here to check out color options and purchase.

>> Larabars:  When I travel, I always keep some type of ‘bars’ on me and my favorite are Larabars.  I have been eating these for well over a decade and they are perfect for exciting day hikes as they are richer and more filling than their size indicates!

You can buy a variety box or just purchase your favorite.  Click here to purchase a box of Larabars for your hike.

Rainbow sheen in Cypress Swamp at First Landing State Park
Rainbow sheen in First Landing State Park

Naturally, be sure to check the weather before going hiking in Virginia Beach.  These hikes are mainly all through swampy terrain, so frequent rain will inevitably make mosquitoes worse and pathways muddy!

Where to Stay at First Landing State Park

Are you planning to go camping at First Landing State Park? They have over 200 camping spots throughout the park as well as cabins to rent year-round. If you’re keen to stay there, it is advised to reserve a spot beforehand.

>> Click here to reserve your camping spot/cabin at First Landing

Where to Stay in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is one of the best beaches in Virginia and there are plenty of lodging options there. We have listed hotels and Airbnbs both.  Click here if you’re interested in Virginia Beach timeshare resorts and rentals.

Virginia Beach Airbnb Rentals

These are some of the top rentals in Virginia Beach, VA:

Virginia Beach Hotels

Here are some top recommended beachfront hotels in Virginia Beach:

We hope that this guide inspired you to get outside and enjoy some of these hiking trails in Virginia Beach! If you have any trail recommendations, please leave them in the comments!

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Virginia 7
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Additional Virginia Hiking Resources

Pin This Day Hikes in Virginia Beach Guide

Are you looking for the best hiking trails in Virginia Beach? This guide details the best easy Virginia Beach trails for all skill levels, including a map! | Virginia hiking | Hikes in Virginia | Virginia trails | Virginia nature | Virginia Outdoor | First Landing State Park trails | First Landing State Park hiking | Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge | Mount Trashmore | Things to do in Virginia Beach | Virginia Beach things to do | Travel to Virginia Beach | Day Hikes Virginia Beach

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