My favorite way to enjoy this area is on bicycle with plenty of camera equipment. You never know what great wildlife and landscape shot will come at you near and far.
This was a great trail but it was also 95 degrees the day I did it. Thank you to the ranger that gave me water.
We logged over 15 miles. I want to hike it with a pack and camp on the beach next time.
Fun to bike through the preserve out to the beach. The sand seemed more 'siltly' and the water more murky than in VA Beach proper. Glad to see Va Beach maintaining the Wildlife Refuge and keeping the trails open to the public.
Nice trail. Great beaches! Biked in with two friends for a weekend camping trip. Other then the 100 degree heat it was a great trip. Bugs are bad in the summer as expected. Trailer broke down on the way out...make sure you cary extra tube for your trailer if you bring one. Would have give 5 starts; however, the main trail is a bit boring. It is the side trails that are interesting.
Aside from the required 4 mile hike just to get through the wildlife refuge and into the park, this wasn't too shabby for a basic hike. The main "trails" are unpaved roads used by the park service vehicles and some other people who seem to have the hook up. If you are going to hike this rather than bike I recommend an early start! You can refill on water at the park visitor center as well as get a basic map of the park. I am rather intrigued by the primitive camp sites just off the ocean. I think an over-night trip may be in my future!
Dont let this trail trick you...it is 4 miles from the parking lot (Back Bay Visitors Center) to the False Cape Visitors Center. Then is it another 6+ miles to the NC Border. The extra distance I accrued was from jaunts off on side trails to the Back Bay, cemetery/church or the beach. The trail is mostly gravel/sand but the last two miles are soft sand making for slow and painful going. When I reached the border all there was was a fence to my surprise. I had to go to the right about 100 yards to find the border marker. This was absolute solitude and I loved it! I saw the tram one time and two bicycles the entire time. It was beautiful terrain and a nice breeze blew the entire time. Wildlife was everywhere for the first 5 miles and then dropped off to nothing. The comment from the other reviewer about the bugs is absolutely spot on. BRING OFF or a product like it. I am so thankful I read and headed their review or I wouldve been a mosquito pin cushion. I absolutely enjoyed the trip. Bring a camera...there is lots of beautiful views. I have only one complaint...the ONLY water is at the False Cape VC. I brought a full Camelback and found that I needed to start metering it out on the return trip. Frankly I shouldve had two full bladders of water for this trip. If you want a place to truly get away from everyone and everything, this is it. I plan to do it again...with more water.
We hike into the refuge through the swamp. Very hot and buggy. Our primitive campsite was awesome. (Kind of like a cave of trees) It was only a short walk to the most private beach I've ever been on. There wasn't a single business within 10 miles in either direction. The ocean can be very intimidating with no hotel lights to destract you from its power. The hike back to the car (along the beach) proved to be even hotter than the swamp with more bugs to boot. Sand flies are the WORST.