Lake Ballard Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Portsmouth, 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.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 26 feet Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


nature trips

paddle sports


bird watching






wild flowers



no dogs

Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation mission is to conserve the last parcel of wilderness in the Hoffler Creek watershed for environmental education, research, and recreation consistent with good stewardship. The preserve is 142 acres in size. The Lake Trail encircles Lake Ballard.

11 days ago

Simple walk around a beautiful lake. Lots of birds. I liked the natural surface of the trail.

21 days ago

I walked this with my 2 year old and 13 year old. Lots of little trails go off the main trail which peaked the interest of the teen the most. Areas to look out at the water, and we saw little crabs, snails, and birds by the marshes. Beautiful plants, flowers, and scenery. Teen is already asking to go again!

25 days ago

Quiet and beautiful walk. Wooded and views of lake and marsh. Perfect spot for walk during #quarantine.

1 month ago

no running or bikes allowed.

4 months ago

Great mini trail with tiny humans. Two year old made it all the way through and enjoyed the docks to look over at the water.

8 months ago

Since I was here for work and am an avid hiker, I wanted to see what was around. So I came upon this nice little gem. Did almost all the trails at this location. Very easy, the main trail is well maintained and very enjoyable. Great place to go if you are looking just to get out for a nice walk. The side trails are clearly marked. However, there is a lot of roots and if you're clumsy, you can easily trip. Not a whole lot of elevation. Now I did this trail in Late September, so it wasn't brutally hot, and there is TONS of shade. Bugs were almost nonexistent, and some spiderwebs on the smaller side trails, but not too bad. If you're in the area and just want to get out, definitely come here.

8 months ago

This app says that this is a trail running spot, but there are signs saying "no jogging". Otherwise, awesome place! It's beautiful and easy:)

9 months ago

This is a great family trail. They have a trail just for kids that breaks off the circle trail around the lake to go into the woods then meets up again later on down the circle. It was really pretty and super easy. So our 1.5 year old was able to walk the whole thing. As others mentioned, there were lots of bugs, but just bring bug spray - you’ll’s the woods. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 10-4. There’s a also a cool front office area with lots of touch and see items for kids and a separate picnic area great for a family meal. Have fun!

10 months ago

Nothing bad to say about this one really, I guess you could say the hours are kind of lame but I know that is for people's safety.

11 months ago

Terrible mosquito problem, and apparently no bikes allowed. This should not have been provided to me as a road biking option.

Sun Nov 25 2018

Basic walk around a lake. Could use some updating. Mosquitoes can be a problem.

nature trips
Tue Jul 17 2018

Hidden gem for the area, great nature walk, kids outing or bird watching.

Fri May 11 2018

The description pretty much covers it. It's a simple little walk in the woods; worth doing if you're already nearby and just want to get outside. If there's one downside, it's that this area in general has a horrible mosquito problem. Bring your repellant, especially on humid days or after rainfall.

Sun Jul 02 2017

we got out of the car, put bug spray on and still got swarmed by 50 mosquitos. had to leave before even getting to the trail.

Thu Dec 15 2016

No jogging allowed.

Tue Dec 13 2016

Sign at the entrance that says no jogging

Thu Nov 12 2015

Nice walk around the lake. Good views of the fall colors were on display when I was there. Unfortunately mosquitoes and ticks were bad also! I recommend not doing this after a lot of rain (as was the case when I went). No pets, running, or biking according to the signs.

Mon Nov 09 2015

Hidden surprise. Nice wide well maintained path around lake. Secluded feeling.

Sun Jun 28 2015

Great Family walk.. nice and quiet with thousands of dragonflies everywhere..

Tue Mar 10 2015

What a beautiful lake! I think it is even prettier than Oak Grove and without the heavy traffic. The Lake Ballard Trail is the main loop around the lake but you can add some little side loops to add interest and mileage. Make sure you use your tick spray and stay out of the tall grass.

Tue Oct 21 2014

An easy trail with lots of birds and a few deer. It's a very pretty trail, great for photos.

Fri Oct 04 2013

This beautiful preserve has two downfalls: no running, no cycling. While it is too short to cycle, it would be fun for children. Anyway, the positives so outweigh the negatives. This place is simply stunning. It is a short walk, less than 2 miles, but perfect for an ethereal departure from reality. Lots of stops worth sitting and enjoying breathtaking views.

Sun May 19 2013

Too short but lots to see. It is a beautiful wooded trail that has a bird blind if want to stop and watch the birds that fish in the creek.

Fri May 17 2013

It was cloudy today, but still a nice walk. We took all the extra side loops.

Thu May 16 2013

What a nice little park for only 142 acres! The main trail is a mile and a quarter, but if you do all the little side loops it is more like a mile and three quarters. There is a lot to see on this short trail. Be advised that the park does not allow smoking, drinking, fishing or other negative behaviors.

Sat Dec 15 2012

Beautiful woodland, meadow, lake and wetland scenery. Took our time exploring main trail around the lake with multiple additional trails through the woods. A hidden gem in Hampton Roads.

4 days ago

19 days ago

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