Waterfront hikes combine just about everything we love about summer in Virginia. You have the beautiful scenery, a little outdoor excursion, and the chance to relax near a body of water. What’s so wonderful about our Virginia waterfronts in particular is the variety of places where they exist. These trails meander through beaches, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. So put on some comfortable shoes and get ready for a memorable summer day.
1. Blue Suck Falls Trail (Millboro)
Located in Douthat State Park, the Blue Suck Fall Trail shows off one of the most beautiful state parks in Virginia. The hike to the falls is a moderately strenuous three miles (roundtrip), but the vistas along the way will surely make up for it. The trail continues for those who wish to keep hiking, but the waterfall will make for a great turnaround point.
2. Crabtree Falls (Nelson County)
This 1,200-foot waterfall is the tallest in the state and the longest series of cascades east of the Mississippi River. The trail is easily accessible from the parking lot and leads you up alongside the waterfall. Over the course of three miles, hikers will see five large cascades. Just be sure to stay on the marked trail, as slippery conditions here can be incredibly dangerous.
3. Trails at Lake Anna State Park (Spotsylvania)
The beautiful Lake Anna is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the state. There's no better way to enjoy this gorgeous view than by meandering through wooded trails, marshlands, and spending time soaking in the views. There are several quick trails near the lakefront, such as Fisherman's Trail (.8 miles) or Old Pond Trail (.3 miles). Hikers can also enjoy meandering through the woods on trails such as Pigeon Run Trail (1.5 miles).
4. Bald Cypress Trail (Virginia Beach)
Bald Cypress Trail can be found at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. This popular trail is 1.6 miles and features wildflowers and a beautiful swamplands.
5. The Westhampton Lake (Richmond)
There are several trails which feature the University of Richmond Lake and surrounding hills. Although it's located on a college campus, the views of the water and nearby forest are breathtaking. One of the most popular trails is the Outside Loop, which runs about 1.02 miles.
6. Cabin Creek Trail (Mouth of Wilson)
Of all the splendid hiking trails at Grayson Highlands State Park, the Cabin Creek trail is most memorable for its waterfall. You'll follow the yellow blazed trail, which is about 1.8 miles.
7. Great Falls Park (McLean)
Great Falls Park has over 15 miles of hiking trails that provide breathtaking views of the Potomac River. The River Trail, for instance, follows the river for 1.5 miles and also provides glimpses of Mather Gorge.
8. Mount Vernon Trail (Alexandria)
Part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the Mount Vernon Trail is where bikers, hikers, and historical enthusiasts enjoy the incredible Alexandria waterfront. You can hike as much of the 18-mile stretch to Arlington as you desire.
9. Wildlife Trail (Assateague Island)
In addition to 37 miles of pristine beaches to explore, Assateauge Island has some incredible hiking trails that you won't want to miss. The Wildlife Loop is a little over three miles and winds its way through unique marshland. Keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of bird species. You might even spot a wild pony or two!