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Top 3 Family Dayhikes

Pack up your brood for a day in the outdoors with these kid-friendly trails.

See river otters, whales, and dolphins.

The coast at 9,200-acre Back Bay is a great place to spot dolphins and humpbacks heading south each fall. Loggerhead sea turtles lay nests here too, though encountering a hatch, typically on evenings in early fall, is rare. Start at the visitor contact station for a four-mile leg leading into adjacent False Cape State Park (extend the trip with primitive beachside campsites at Barbour Hill; 800-933-7275). Return on the 3.5-mile East Dike Trail, cutting through still waters where bald eagles, deer, and river otters gather. This relatively long day is best for hikers 10 and up.

The Carrot
Grab a slice at Pungo Pizza on the way home. In addition to a carb reload, kids will dig the big game room. (757) 721-4900

The Way
From Virginia Beach, take US 60 south to General Booth Blvd. Go 5.8 miles to Princess Anne Rd. Then take Sandbridge Rd. to Sandpiper Rd. to the park entrance.

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