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Escape From The Traffic on These Hampton Roads Trails

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Escape From The Traffic on These Hampton Roads Trails

Over the past week, we have highlighted some of the hazards pedestrians face in Hampton Roads. We have also noted the tragic death of a pedestrian in Newport News within the last few days.

Hampton Roads has many pedestrian-unfriendly areas where those on foot are forced to cross busy roads due to the lack of sidewalks and crosswalks.

However, there is an ever-growing network of trails that walkers can use where they are safe from vehicles. Here are some of the most popular places to walk in Hampton Roads.

The Noland Trail

The Noland Trail, Newport News


The Nolan Trail

The Nolan Trail winds five miles around Lake Maury in Newport News and is close to the busy Warwick Boulevard and easily accessible from most of the Virginia Peninsula. It was lauded by as the best all round trail in the area.

The trail is well maintained and is a popular place for dog walkers, runners and hikers alike. You can start at the picturesque Lion’s Bridge or at the Mariner’s Museum.


Newport News Park

Newport News Park close to I-64 in northern Newport News, is one of the largest city-owned parks in the United States. It offers miles of trails including a popular 3.3 mile trail around Newport News Reservoir. There is also an extensive biking trail.


The Elizabeth River Trail

The Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) is a pedestrian and biking trail that runs for 9.5 miles along the waterfront from Harbor Park to Norfolk International Terminals. It was created from several former railroad rights-of-ways into an urban trail. 


Hoffler Creek

Hoffler Creek is a little-known 142-acre wildlife preserve with a trail of just over a mile around Lake Ballard in Portsmouth, close to the Suffolk border. There are also additional trails off the main loop around the lake. Dogs are not permitted at Hoffler Creek. See the website for more details.


 Paradise Creek

The Elizabeth River Project created Paradise Creek as an ecological-clean up and restoration of a polluted part of the Elizabeth River in a deprived part of Portsmouth off Victory Boulevard. There is a network of trails around the marshes and through the woods.


Indian River Park

Chesapeake’s Indian River Park is another little-known gem in a busy, urban area, close to Military Highway. The park features a 1.6 mile loop trail and is slightly more challenging than most of Chesapeake’s parks. There is also a mountain biking course.

NorthWest River Park

NorthWest River Park is the biggest and wildest park in the City of Chesapeake. It’s off Route 168 and close to the North Carolina border. There are more than seven miles of trails at the park, many of them through wooded and swampy areas.


7 Sandy Bottom Nature Park

Hampton lacks some of the expansive parks found in Newport News, but Sandy Bottom Nature Park off Big Bethel Road offers 456 acres of wilderness, a trail around the lake and camping opportunities.


Windsor Castle Park

Windsor Castle Park in Isle of Wight is a recent addition to Hampton Road’s parks networks. It’s a picturesque 208-acre riverside park with numerous trails close to the heart of historic Smithfield.


Mount Trashmore

You may not get away from the crowds at Virginia Beach’s Mount Trashmore Park. The hills are man-made from a former landfill and there’s a massive children’s play area. However, the circuit of about a mile around the lake is close to Town Center and a quick and easy walk after work.

First Landing State Park

Virginia Beach’s First Landing State Park is a massive 2,888 acres and offers more than 19 miles of trails. It has its own beaches, lakes and is the most northerly place to find Spanish Moss in the United States. It costs $4 per car to enter ($5 over the weekend).

Back Bay and False Cape State Park

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach is maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The park has a network of trails and is south of Sandbridge. Dogs aren’t allowed. False Cape is one of Virginia’s most remote state parks. It includes a network of trails and 5.9 miles of beachfront. You can’t drive to the park, although tram transportation is available April 1 through Oct. 31 through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where there is an entrance fee. 


Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Suffolk may be the largest city in terms of area in Virginia, but it lacks state parks or large city-owned parks like Newport News. However, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in south-east Suffolk contains a network of trails. If you want an arduous walk, consider hiking four miles to Lake Drummond and back, although it’s a better walk for a cool day, given the bug and snake-ridden nature of the swamp.


Waller Mill Park

Waller Mill is a scenic park in Williamsburg, with trails around Waller Mill Reservoir. Take the route along the bike trail to get a panoramic view from the Lookout Tower. Williamsburg has some other great parks with expansive walking opportunities  including Freedom Park and New Quarter.

There are many other places to walk in Hampton Roads where you can steer clear of cars. Virginia Beach’s boardwalk is a great place for a stroll if you are not bothered about crowds and Hampton has a smaller boardwalk at Buckroe Beach. If you are walking in an area with traffic, consider these rules for walking in Virginia. If you need to talk to a pedestrian injury lawyer, call us at (757) 455-0077.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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