Get a Breath of Fresh Air on the ESVA

Listed from South to North.

Southern Tip Bike and Hike Trail at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

This 5 mile paved trail is not only beautiful and easy to find, but it’s also a lot of fun. Located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, the paved trail runs parallel to Route 13 and leads directly to the Shore’s newest farmer’s market, the Peal Market, or to the educational Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center. You can even make a whole day out of it and follow the Butterfly Trail to a WWII Cannon and marsh overlook. Perfect for a hike, run, or a leisurely bike ride, this trail is one of our favorites!

Get a glimpse of the refuge.

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Magothy Bay State Natural Area Preserve

This 445-acre preserve is comprised of woodlands, wetlands, and saltmarshes. There are two walking trails, one that leads through a restored migratory songbird habitat and another that leads through a coastal pine forest to a view of the saltmarsh overlooking the Atlantic’s Magothy Bay. Exploring these remote wilderness trails is sure to give way to an adventurous day.

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Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke is home to the well-known concrete ships, a gorgeous beach, a playground, a fishing pier, a yurt, observational points, and several scenic trails, eight to be specific. Named after various birds, the trails signify the many species that fly through the area. Although the majority of these trails are not paved, there are many areas to safely bike throughout the park. Walk through maritime forests and listen to the Chesapeake Bay lap the shorelines just below. Head back to the campsite and stop at the Butterfly Garden to see the monarchs during their biannual migration or stop by the Hawk Observatory and dust off your binoculars!

Check out this map of the park to plan your trip.

Get a glimpse of the park.

Learn more about Birding Eastern Shore.

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Seaside Walkway

The Seaside Walkway boardwalk, a hidden gem in Northampton County, is just north of Oyster and leads directly to beautiful seaside views. Walk through maritime forestry to a scenic overlook perfect for birding or relaxing.

Learn more about the Seaside Walkway.

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Brownsville Nature Preserve

This gorgeous nature preserve is another awesome hidden gem on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With large, well-maintained trails that lead to quiet seaside views, this is a must-see experience! It’s not uncommon to spot deer, fox, raccoons, blue herons, bald eagles, wild turkeys, and more while exploring this historic farm.

Learn more about Brownsville Nature Preserve.

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The Nature Conservancy asks you to visit at another time if the parking lot is full to ensure social distancing on the trails.

Onancock Native Plant Nature Trail

Located behind Historic Onancock School, this scenic trail takes you around the edges of Onancock Creek and leads directly to a playground. Standing on the overlook, it’s common to see herons wading through the marsh. Information on the native floral and fauna is outlined along the path. Bring a picnic to eat on the creek, bring a soccer ball for a quick game on the ground’s fields, or bring some friends for a quick round of disc golf also located on the school’s grounds. The Onancock Native Plant Natural Trail is just the beginning of Onancock’s awesome outdoor amenities.

Learn more about the Onancock Native Plant nature trail.

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Mutton Hunk Fen State Natural Area Preserve

This 516-acre natural area preserve is one the Shore’s best kept secrets. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean’s Gargathy Bay on the east and Whites Creek to the north, this preserve is a globally rare sea-level fen community (one of only four in the state of Virginia!) According to the Virginia Department of Conservation, a sea-level fen is an open, freshwater wetland located between uplands and oceanside marshes. Take the trail along White’s Creek or make your way through the cleared grasses and head to the marshes of Gargathy Bay.

Learn more about Mutton Hunk Fen.

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The Wildlife Loop at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

The Wildlife Loop at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a 3.25 mile loop that takes you around a marshy area called Snow Goose Pool. Perfect for biking, photography, bird watching, or just enjoying the beauty of the area, this trail is paved. Many trails break off of the loop including Swan Cove Trail that will take you the Assateague Island’s beach and Marsh Trail that brings you just off the path to a scenic overlook of Snow Goose Pool.

Learn more about the Wildlife Loop.

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The Woodland Trail at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Walk along the island’s pine forest to Assateague Point on the Woodland Trail. Make it to the end of the trail to an overlook for a view of the wild Chincoteague Ponies or take a leisurely pace and look for woodpeckers among the trees. This paved trail forks off into another trail, the Bivalve Trail, that is only open to foot traffic. The Bivalve Trail will bring you through maritime forests to an area perfect for clamming. Both trails offer a unique view of the nation’s only pony island.

Learn more about the Woodland Trail.

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