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This 3-mile out-and-back hike is in First Landing State Park, also once known as Seashore State Park. The park sits at the southern corner of the Chesapeake Bay, where the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The hike follows a sequence of dunes to a beautiful sandy overlook of Long Creek on the southwest edge of the park.
–Mapped by Sheri and Randy Propster, BACKPACKER’s Get Out More Team
- Distance: 2.4
Location: 36.9098777770996, -76.0522537231445
You’ve reached your destination, a fantastic sandy spot for a sunny Creekside picnic, throw out the blanket and take in the rays as you watch small boats come and go up the creek, and if your not ready for a break the large sand flats on the back side of the dune offers plenty of open space to explore. From here you can follow the same route back, or pick a new route by following the Long Creek Trail, Fox Run Trail, or the Bald Cypress Trail back to the Trail Center Parking Area.
Location: 36.913143157959, -76.047233581543
You will come upon a Y-split in the trail at this point, take the left side of the Y-split.
Location: 36.9137687683106, -76.0444717407226
At this intersection you will be crossing over the Fox Run Trail, Continue straight through the intersection.
Location: 36.911937713623, -76.0477066040039
You will hit a T-intersection at the Long Creek Trail, Turn right here. If you want to explore the Long Creek Trail, go to your left and you will discover great views of Long Creek and Broad Bay, keep your eyes out for Osprey and other high flying birds in the tall trees along the tidal shoreline. Turn right here if you want to follow the remainder of our Dunes Route to a great sandy, dune-top, overlook of Long Creek.
Location: 36.9147758483887, -76.0398559570312
Stay to the right on the Cape Henry Trail as you pass the Bald Cypress Trail on your left, if you want to add a few more miles to your hiking you can add a loop by taking the Bald Cypess Trail where you will get wonderful waterside hiking and see plenty of the unique trees the trail is named after, keep your eyes out for sunning turtles and snakes.
Location: 36.9136734008789, -76.0430297851562
At this point you will intersect once again with the Bald Cypress loop Trail, cross over the intersection and follow the unblazed trail the continues along the ridge of the dunes. The marked High Dune Trail will stop at this point, but the unmarked trail is well maintained and easy to follow.
Location: 36.9125442504883, -76.0476837158203
At this point you will intersect with another unmarked trail, continue straight through this intersection
Location: 36.9154891967773, -76.041748046875
Start your hike at the Trails Center Parking Area on the Cape Henry Multi-use Trail where you will head East.
Location: 36.911548614502, -76.0519790649414
At this point you will be at the top of the steep dune, turn left and follow the trail along the ridge of the dune. To your left you will have great dune top views of the tidal flats and Long Creek as it flows into Broad Bay.
Location: 36.9143257141113, -76.0395278930664
Turn right off of the Cape Henry Trail on to the High Dune Trail. This turn will put you on single track hiking only trails. If you brought your bike along you may want to plan some time for a ride of the Cape Henry Trail, a very wide multi-use trail that leads all the way to 64th street at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront where you can take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
Location: 36.9119644165039, -76.0500946044922
At this point turn off of the marked Long Creek Trail on to the unmarked but well maintained trail on the Left. Follow this unmarked trail a short distance to the base of a steep dune, climb the trail to the top of the dune.