Noland Trail in Newport News, an urban oasis

IT WAS GREEN. It was hot. It was the perfect walk in the woods.

And it will always be that way on the Noland Trail, especially on crisp fall days when trees have put on their fancy clothes and turned all shades of autumn.

That’s just around the corner, so dust off the walking shoes.

We reached The Mariners’ Museum parking lot and the Noland Trail at about 11 a.m. after a short drive from Virginia Beach.

We dashed inside the museum for a trail map so we could trace our route through this oasis in the city. We set off and were met at the trail head with a row of porta-potties – no, thank you – and a water fountain for humans with a dog bowl beside it. A pretty hospitable touch, we thought.

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Powhatan Creek Trail Opens in James City County

Construction crews have put the finishing touches on the Powhatan Creek multi- use trail. A new asphalt now connects the Virginia Capital Trail to, The Greensprings Interpretive Trail , the neighborhoods of Pointe At Jamestowne, St Georges Hundred, Chancos Grant, and Clara Byrd Elementary.

The trailhead begins and parking is available behind Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School, 3131 Ironbound Road. Users can walk, ride or run on the paved 2-mile, 8-foot wide multiuse trail which connects to nearby neighborhoods as well as the Greensprings Interpretive Trail, the historic site known as Church on the Main, Mainland Farm (considered to be the oldest continuously cultivated farm in America’s first English settlement) and the Virginia Capital Trail.

This segment of trail utilized several previously constructed trail segments for interconnection and is partially funded by a matching grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The trail crosses the main stem of Powhatan Creek and has been designed to replace a deteriorating sewer bridge and will support an existing sewer main between the Chanco’s Grant Subdivision and St. George’s Hundred Subdivision.

 

 060Construction of the Powhatan Creek Trail is part James City Greenways Master Plan.  The goal of the Greenways plan is to link, neighborhoods, parks and schools together in a network of trails allowing residents to traverse the area without having to ride on the roadway.

History of the Greenways Master Plan in James City County

061Greenways were first introduced to JCC in the 1991 Comprehensive Plan and subsequently in the 1997 Comprehensive Plan. 

In March of 1997, a conceptual greenway plan was produced and approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.The County’s pilot greenway project, the Greensprings Greenway, located behind Jamestown High School  was completed in June 2001.

The benefits associated with greenways are overwhelmingly positive. Communities investing substantial resources to this effort enjoy widespread citizen support and the realization of healthier lifestyles, a more diverse economy, a beautiful environment, and a more enjoyable quality of life.

Initial trail projects in 2003-2007 were located primarily on existing parks because they are already in public ownership.

Future trail projects in 2012-2020 will provide connections between parks through primary/secondary/regional trail corridors and loop trail systems.

 

Download a trail map here

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Hiking Trails

TRAILS

Yorktown Battlefield | Historic Attractions in Yorktown Virginia

See where American independence was won at the Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service as part of the Colonial National Historical Park. Here on October 19, 1781, British forces under Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the combined American and French armies led by General George Washington, concluding the battle that signaled the beginning of the end of the fight for American independence.
Start at the Visitor Center and see the orientation film and museum exhibits, including the field tents used by General Washington during the battle. Join a Park Ranger for a guided walking tour of the battlefield and 18th-century town. Drive through the battlefield and see the numerous fortifications and cannons; the Moore House, scene of surrender negotiations; and Surrender Field, among other sites. Stroll through the historic town and view the many historic sites in the Yorktown, including the Nelson House, home to Governor Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and the Yorktown Victory Monument.

Hours: Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. Extended seasonal hours.

Admission: $10 per adult, under age 16 admitted free. Includes admission to Historic Jamestowne for 7 consecutive days from date of purchase.

Location From Williamsburg take the Colonial Parkway 13 miles east to the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center.

Phone: 757-898-2410

Yorktown Battlefield Website

Matoaka Trails in Williamsburg

Matoaka Trails

With more than 10 miles of trails surrounding Lake Matoaka, the College Woods are a recreational and educational outlet for the community. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed a majority of the trails in the early 1930s.  If you can approach the run as an adventure and you have a flexible timeframe, then park at New Town and pick up the trail off Monticello or the entrance that’s just down from the William & Mary Athletic Center. Some sections are well maintained, others are not. This is by far the most challenging of the soft-surface runs in the area (imagine the twisting hill of Mill Neck Road, then add mud, roots, logs….). Parts of the trail are deeply rutted and you’ll pick your way across fallen logs if you loop around the lake, but the sections of the trail offer a great view of Lake Matoaka, so it’s worth a try. There are many places to access this trail, click to see a map.

Hiking at York River State Park

5526 Riverview Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

›› Google Map

More than 25 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails provide access to the parks beautiful and diverse natural areas.

Hiking Trails At York River State Park

Backbone Trail

The Backbone Trail is a wide 1.5 mile, moderate difficulty, multi-use trail that runs south from the Contact Station to the southern part of the park. The trail is open to hiking and biking for its entire length, however equestrians are permitted only south of Black Bear Run. The trail is accessible from the Contact Station, and from the Beaver, Woodstock Pond, Laurel Glen, Black Bear Run, Pumunkey, Powhatan Forks, Riverview, White-tail, and Me-Te-Kos trails. It passes through hardwood forest rich with wildlife and featuring numerous views of the park and surrounding areas.

Blaze Color: Gold

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 1.73
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Sandy Earth, Gravel
Beaver Trail

The Beaver Trail is a 0.5 mile, easy trail for hiking only, that connects the Backbone Trail to the Woodstock Pond Trail near its northern Mataponi Trail access. The trail closely follows the south side of Woodstock Pond through wooded and marsh areas. Several boardwalks aid hikers in the wetter areas.

Blaze Color: Silver

Usage:

Hiking

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.5
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Surface: Earth
Dogwood Lane Trail

The Dogwood Lane Trail is a .8 mile, easy multi-use trail that is accessible in two places from the White Tail Trail. It makes a semi-circle as it passes through the woods, coming out at another point on the White Tail Trail. The path here is narrower than on the neighboring trail and is somewhat more scenic.

Blaze Color: Bronze

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.76
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Surface: Earth
Majestic Oak Trail

The Majestic Oak Trail is a .74 mile, moderate difficulty multi-use trail that is accessible from the Spurr Trail and the Powhatan Fork Trail. The trail passes through the woodland environment that typifies the park. It is named because, near its end, the trail passes an ancient oak tree that is estimated to be between 200 and 400 years old and is believed to be the oldest oak in the park. Past this giant tree, and toward the river, the trail is no longer suitable for horses, riders will need to return to the Spur Trail. Near the York River the trail winds down a steep bank where a bridge crosses the marsh. From the bridge, the trail winds up the bank and becomes the north fork of the Powhatan Fork Trail.

Blaze Color: White

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth
Mattaponi Trail

The Mattaponi Trail is a .85 mile, easy hiking trail that is accessible in two places from the Woodstock Pond Trail and provides access to the fossil beach, where shark teeth and other fossilized material may be found. Named for the Indians who once inhabited the area, the trail passes along wooded cliffs and across marshes all offering good views of the York River. South of the fossil beach access, the trial becomes wider and the area becomes grassier. A long bridge spans the marsh at one place and on either side of it the trail is fairly steep.

Blaze Color: Lt. Blue

Usage:

Hiking

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.85
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Surface: Boardwalks, Earth
Powhatan Fork Trail

The Powhatan Fork Trail is a 1.6 mile, moderate difficulty multi-use trail, that is accessible from the Backbone, Majestic Oak, Spurr, and Riverside Trails. A wide, gently downhill sloping trail it passes mainly through wooded areas and has two forks. The east fork takes users towards the river where there is a bench at the top of the cliff with panoramic views of the surrounding area. The north fork takes users into the salt marshes. The portion of the trail that connects to the Majestic Oak Trail is not suitable for horses, as it winds down into the marsh and crosses a footbridge where it joins the other trail.

Blaze Color: Beige

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 1.6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth
Pumunkey Trail

The Pumunkey Trail is a 0.9 mile, moderate difficulty multi-use trail, that is accessible from both the Backbone Trail and the Spur Trail. Named for another tribe of Indians who once inhabited the region, this trail takes users from the Backbone or Spurr Trails downhill to an observation tower that overlooks the York River. Bikers should use caution as portions of the trail are steep and sandy. The trail passes through the forested areas that are typical of this park.

Blaze Color: Yellow

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.9
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth
Riverview Trail

The Riverview Trail is a 1.44 mile, moderate difficulty multi-use trail that leads from the Backbone Trail to the southernmost access to the York River. The trail is also accessible via a short connector to the Powhatan Forks Trail. It passes through a wooded area and, not far from the river, is blocked by a fence with a pass-thru for hikers only. Bicycle and horseback riders must proceed on foot from this point. The remote location of this trail makes it especially suited for observing wildlife. Near the beach the trail becomes sandy and observant hikers will often spot evidence of the abundant wildlife that inhabit this area. At the end of the trail there is a seating area where one can relax before returning to the trail head.

Blaze Color: Dark Blue

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 1.44
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth
 

The Spur Trail is a short, easy, connecting trail between the Powhatan Forks, Majestic Oak, and Pumunkey Trails. Near its southern end a 1940s era house once stood. Before it was torn down some believed that the abandoned home was haunted. Check out the popular Ghost Hike program if you are dying to find out more about this story.

Blaze Color: Black

Usage:

HikingMountain BikingHorseback Riding

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Surface: Earth
Taskinas Trail

The Taskinas Creek Trail is a 1.5 mile hiking loop that is accessible near the horse trailer parking just south of the Visitor Center. It can also be accessed near the northernmost Meh-Te-Kow Challenge Loop access point. The trail passes through a variety of habitats ranging from field to forest. At the halfway point the trail takes hikers along Taskinas Creek Marsh Area where they may see ospreys and great blue herons from the four observation decks that have been built by local Eagle Scouts. This is a trail loop with numerous changes in elevation.

Blaze Color: Red

Usage:

Hiking

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 1.5
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth, Boardwalks, Steps
White-tail Trail

The White-Tail Trail is a .76 mile, moderate difficulty multi-use trail that is accessible from the Backbone Trail and provides subsequent access in two places to the Dogwood Lane Trail. The trail passes through the woods bringing users to an area where the trail ends and users must turn around. When combined with the Dogwood Trail this trail makes an interesting loop through shaded forest. Near the end of the trail, seasonal views of the river may be had through he trees.

Blaze Color: Brown

Usage:

HikingHorseback RidingMountain Biking

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

yorkriver

  • Length: 0.8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Surface: Earth
Woodstock Pond Trail

The Woodstock Pond Trail is a 1.5 mile easy trail for hikers and bikers. It is accessible near shelter 3, from the Backbone Trail, as well as from the Beaver Trail. The trail provides access to the Mataponi Trail. This wide dirt and fine gravel trail takes users from the Visitor Center over the dam and around Woodstock Pond, returning to the Backbone Trail. On this trail you will go near the sites where the Woods House (1930) and the Henderson House (pre-1817) once stood. The trail features fitness stations with chin up bars, monkey bars, and platforms for doing push-ups and sit-ups.

Blaze Color: Gray

Usage:

HikingMountain Biking

View Video Tour | Download Trail Map

Greensprings Interpretive Trail

Greensprings Greenway Trails

Wander along this 3.5-mile nature trail that loops through a landscape of beaver ponds, wetlands and forests Popular with residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, Greensprings Greenway is equally inviting to after-work joggers and out-of-town history buffs. Interpretive signs highlight the ecosystem that English colonists found here and the centuries of agrarian heritage they established, as well as the Revolutionary War Battle of Green Springs. Aside perhaps from the auspiciously named Jamestown High, the suburban surroundings of Greensprings Greenway belie the area’s historic significance. The trail encircles a beaver pond where snowy egrets and red-headed woodpeckers nest. Virginia’s earliest English colonists might have happened upon similar sights when first venturing beyond their haven at Jamestown Island, 2 miles to the south. In exploring the woodlands north of the James River, the colonists had agrarian ambitions foremost in mind. Their charge was to produce crops for export (they soon settled on tobacco). Bordering the trail to the south is Mainland Farm, the oldest continuously cultivated farm in America.

Over 200 species of birds have been documented on this site and it is part of the Virginia Birding Trail.

3751 JOHN TYLER HIGHWAY

WILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185

Greensprings Interpretive Trail Map

Park Hours:
The trail is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Greensprings Greenway Trails

Great City Walks

GREAT CITY WALKS
The City of Williamsburg offers the urban hiker trails of historic and cultural distinction. Williamsburg is known worldwide for “Colonial Williamsburg,” the beautiful and
expansive restoration of Virginia’s 18th century capital; and for the nation’s second oldest university, the “College of William and Mary.” These treasures exist not in isolation, but along side the modern day city with diverse points of interest of its own. The City Council invites you to explore and experience Williamsburg in the best way possible – on foot.

Download the map/ booklet here