Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

EASY 4 reviews
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Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Chesapeake, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.9 miles 72 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly





mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

scenic driving

trail running





wild flowers



Opened in 2005, the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail follows part of old Route 17 south along the banks of the Dismal Swamp Canal. Parking is available on the north end at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center (2356 US Highway 17 N, South Mills, NC 27976) or at the southern end. Trail is fairly straight and paved, with root up-wellings common. Used for walking, running, biking and just lolly-gagging.

8 months ago

1 year ago

I walked on this trail from a rest stop next to the NC Dismal Swamp State Park. It is well paved and entirely flat. Since it was next to off the US 17 so it was pretty noisy.

scenic driving
1 year ago

I liked the NC setion better, but it was a nice day.

1 year ago

This is the Virginia section of the canal trail. It runs along US 17 most of the way, so don't come seeking solitude. It is actually part of the inland water way.