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Virginia Beach, VA: First Landing State Park

Brimming with beach and bay views, this Virginia Beach 9.9-miler tours cypress swamps, coastal forest (shrouded in Spanish moss), and idyllic marshlands.

Rating

Touring five of the nine trails in First Landing State Park, this 10-mile loop also hits a wide variety of coastal ecosystems making for a fantastic four-season dayhike. Pick up the Cape Henry Trail, heading east through a flat coastal forest. The hike treks in and out of stretches like this one, and is often shrouded in heavy tunnels of Spanish moss (just try and take a bad photo of this stuff). After 3.5 miles, the trail hits the shore and runs briefly along the boardwalk while passing First Landing State Park Pond and intermittent sandy beaches (all of which afford stunning views of Broad Bay). At the end of Cape Henry, the hike turns onto First Landing (after jogging 0.9-mile east on the road), and continues back into the moss-covered forest as it treks west past a series of trailside beaches, wetland clearings, and marsh lakes en route to the trailhead.   -Mapped by Ivan Levin

To Trailhead

From I-64, take Northampton Blvd./US 13 N (exit 282). Continue 4.4 miles through 8 lights, then turn right at Shore Dr./US 60 (the last exit before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel). In 0.2 mile, turn right on Shore Dr. and go 4.4 miles to the park entrance and turn right. Continue 0.8 mile to trailhead parking.

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