First Landing State Park

These photos are from a short excursion I took to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, VA.  I live less than 10 miles away, and the weather on this day was extremely nice.  I parked at a small strip mall near Shore Dr and Great Neck Rd and hiked my way into, through, and back from the park.  All of these photos were taken by me on February 28, 2004.

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Cape Henry Trail

Cape Henry Trail is a trail built by the City of Virignia Beach which leads into First Landing State Park from the west.  The trail appears to have been built along a former railroad or trolley line, and there indeed was an old Norfolk Southern line that ran through the area and connected to both the central Norfolk area and the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

The trail currently runs to just west of Great Neck Rd.  There are plans to extend it west to the Lesner Bridge, and perhaps beyond, but going beyond would require either an expanded Lesner Bridge as there is no room on the current bridge for a bike/ped path.

A couple of small playground/recreation areas along the trail.
To help keep the trail clean, the city offers plastic bags for people to use to pick up after their pets.

A memorial to "Freddy Frog", which was an ornament decorating a flower garden along the trail.  The bottom of the memorial offers a reward for the return of "Freddy".  On a subsequent trip, I noted that "Freddy" had indeed been returned.
As the trail passes through the middle of a residential area, there is a lot of local pedestrian/bike traffic along it.  This view is taken close to the entrance to First Landing State Park.
This photo was taken on my return trip back to the car, heading west.  This part of the trail is on State Park land, and unfortunately is in somewhat worse condition than the city-maintained section.


Main Trail

The Cape Henry Trail pictured above leads into a pedestrian access into First Landing State Park, photographed here.  This is just east of Kendall St, looking east into the park.
As most of the Hampton Roads region is either current or former swampland, there is a lot of brackish water in the area.  This particularly brown water was just off the main trail.
Looking east.  At this point, the main trail leaves what used to be a Norfolk Southern RR right-of-way and follows near the main vehicle access into the park.

This segment of the main trail, between the north park entrance and the visitor center, is paved.  Later on, the trail surface is mostly gravel.
Sign near the visitor center showing directions to various trails/locations in the park.  The main trail, which extends down to 64th St on the Virginia Beach oceanfront, is the only trail where bicycles are authorized.

Access to the Bald Cyprus trail, with another trail destination sign a little further down.  The rest of the trail from here down to 64th St is gravel, and follows an old trail route that has existed for decades.
The other half of the Bald Cyprus trail splits off to the left.

More photos heading down the main trail.


Other Trails

Various scenes along the Kingfisher Trail, which runs from the main trail down to the Long Creek Trail.  Most of the trails in the park are of this natural, sometimes hilly variety.  There are a couple small rises that the Kingfisher Trail crosses.
An example of one of the hills and small rises scattered around the park.
The Kingfisher Trail ends at the Long Creek Trail.
Looking out across Broad Bay from off the Long Creek Trail.
This drooping kind of tree is occasionally found within the park.  I'm not sure what the name of this tree type is.
Some shells along the edge of Long Creek.
A makeshift bridge across a muddy stream along the Fox Run Trail, which runs between the Long Creek Trail and the main vehicle access road.
Back at my car, I took this shot of a very colorful sunset.  The sunset was noticeable enough to get mentioned on a couple of the area radio stations.


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Page last modified 03 February 2005