Explore the most popular lake trails in Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

could not find a way across the canal

Cannot figure out how to get to the trailhead. It's on the other side of the canal and a crossing is not obvious.

The trail to Lake Drummond is closer to 8.5mi out and back. Easy walk, not challenging, but worth it to see the lake.

The parking lot is about a mile drive down a gravel road before the trail starts.

Didn't find any obvious way to cross the canal, not sure if this trail is still supported by the park.

OMG! I went earlier today with my children, the bugs where hurendous and we couldn't even partake in the journey. Hopefully I'll retry it again to see it gets better! I was disappointed on this go around!!

mountain biking
11 months ago

The trail is super straight and seems like it never ends. bugs are not real bad. its more like a bug highway, they ping right off ur head/ face and for the most part continue on their way. Bikers defiantly wear a bandanna and sunglasses to keep bugs out and keep your mouth closed. (ate a few) The lake breeze was a welcome sight as well as the view.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It was OK for a bike ride. It is gravel the entire way. Perhaps a paved or "natural" trail would've been better.

off road driving
Saturday, April 08, 2017

This is a very simple and plain off road experience with no challenge. It does provide several scenic areas to hike with trails that are well maintained and that provide excellent views of the Dismal Swamp and eventually Lake Drummond.

hiking
Friday, March 03, 2017

So, the trail was nice and flat, easy to walk on. It is straight from start to end though, no varieties or change of scenery. Little boring for me. Great with dogs. I have to say the lake was absolutely stunning. Definitely go there. The long boring trail walk will be worth it when you see the lake.

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

The George Washington Ditch trail is wide, swamp/tree lined, and features a canal running along the edge the whole way out to Lake Drummond. You naturally end up walking in one of two vehicle tracks, which gives it a pretty country/rural feel, though after a couple miles you're ready for a change in scenery. Definitely go all the way to the lake because it's really remote and starkly beautiful.

Beautiful lake, peaceful walk. Even saw a bear walk onto the trail ahead of us! Nice way to spend a Sunday!

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Easy and straight path. The view was great along the way. Admittedly, slightly boring due to the simple straight passage but the end result was great there by the lake. Saw many animals (birds, turtles, snakes) and some bear droppings.

We were also caught in a pretty bad thunderstorm and had to lay low a few times with the lightning and rain. However, I enjoyed the 8.8 mile hike (it was 4.4 there and back) and I do recommend it for a quick hike or sight seeing for nature.

Yellow flies were biting hard, so bring plenty of debt and carry water.

scenic driving
Thursday, June 23, 2016

We stopped by the State Park also serve as a rest stop on the 17. Nice.

mountain biking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

over all good trail. was able to take both of my boys age 4 and 8, of course my youngest was in a bike trailer. we saw a good amount of wildlife to include deer, turtles, beavers, and an abundance of butterflies. it's roughly about 4.5 miles from the start to Lake Drummond. be prepared there were a bunch of nuisance creatures ticks, horse flies, mosquitoes, and snakes.

mountain biking
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I thought we had hiked or biked everything on the
Virginia side but here comes another one.

mountain biking
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In the end we spent four days in the park. Mostly by fat tire bike

scenic driving
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Follow the Dismal Swamp Canal from the Virginia line down to NC SR 1221 and back, stopping often.

mountain biking
Saturday, December 12, 2015

A nice ride on a bright, beautiful mid-December day. This trail is great for a mountain bike or big tire bike. It is level all the way so you don't need gears. It runs from the park headquarters to the Virginia line.

hiking
Thursday, December 10, 2015

I spent 2 days and plan to spend more. I saw a bobcat, but he went across in front of me so fast that I could not get his picture even though I had the camera on and in my hand. Like most parks, the rangers are really friendly here. It was beautiful December weather and I truly enjoyed it. Most of the trails in the park are joint hiking/biking except for two.

hiking
Thursday, December 10, 2015

It was a beautiful day and the park was not crowded. Once past the big bear statue I had the trail to myself.

trail running
Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Quiet and peaceful. I didn't see anyone on the trail, it may have had something to do with the gate being closed to vehicles on Sunday. I just parked outside the gate and went from there. Beautiful trail, but the straight road was a little boring. My dog loved it!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Historical yes, quiet trail yes, exciting and adventurous curves to the trails no. Probably wouldn't go back.

hiking
Friday, September 18, 2015

Easy flat trails and generally have the place to myself on weekday evenings and most weekends.

The Washington Ditch is my go to here. I often see deer, herons, turtles, and occasional foxes. Unlike Jericho Ditch, there's not a ton of undergrowth and you get a good view into the woods (though the undergrowth gets thicker as you go farther).

Jericho can be interesting, but has a lot of defense undergrowth in all directions.

if you're looking to photograph wildlife, bring a long lens and lots of patience.

mountain biking
Saturday, June 28, 2014

It may have been self-inflicted, but the bugs were horrible. Monstrous things that attacked as soon as you get out of your vehicle, but it is a swamp so that's the nature of the beast. The trail itself was slow going. The scenery was nice, but mostly just trees and grass. I didn't see a whole lot of wildflowers etc... I think my favorite part was the butterflies everywhere and the lake at the end. Probably won't go back though.

hiking
Sunday, March 16, 2014

Not much going on. Nice and flat, would have been a decent bike ride, but a little boring as a hike. Lake Drummond itself was nice though.

mountain biking
Sunday, March 16, 2014

Its a swamp with man made roads used as trails, better for walking or running. Best used during the fall and winter when the bugs are gone and that wonderful swamp water smell is at its lowest. Nice views and pretty friendly wildlife with a nice lake once you get there.

hiking
Friday, January 03, 2014

Wry nice short trail that allows you to enter the swamp. Very well maintained.

mountain biking
Friday, October 18, 2013

Rode this on my bike and it was wet and slow but oh so beautiful!

scenic driving
Monday, September 23, 2013

Most of it was boring. The lake was nice and the last mile before the lake with all the swamp colors was okay but I'd rather be hiking.

scenic driving
Sunday, September 15, 2013

A nice ride to the lake. The last almost two miles changes from wooded swamp to open swamp and has some beautiful colors. Also, you pass by a couple boardwalk trails.

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