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Find the top rated atv trails in Chesapeake, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Little Neck Road Trail is nothing like the cover photo. It’s nice and shady, but not scenic. If you ride from Home Depot and head North, you will ride parallel to a 4-lane 45mph road for 2 miles. The last 1.5 miles will be through a quiet, residential area.
Although the trail description does describe this as 4.5 mile asphalt trail, the comments provide some very misleading information that might be helped by some broader clarification in the main trail description.
When accessing this Dismal Swamp Canal Trail (NC), you come in contact with a network of recreational park resources that are adjacent to, but have nothing to do with, the Canal Trail to which this entry refers.
1. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail (NC), is as described is a paved section of trail from a south-end trailhead parking area at the intersection of Route 17 and NC Highway 343 N going north to the NC Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center. (Note that the trail and Welcome Center are on the east side of the canal, between the canal and Route 17). The actual trail length is about 3.4 miles. I don't know how the 4.5 mile distance in description is calculated. The following description is taken from the Welcome Center website (https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/hiking/).
"Dismal Swamp Canal Trail
This three mile paved trail begins at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center/Dismal Swamp State Park off US Hwy 17 and meanders through a wooded area between the historic waterway and the historic highway, ending at NC Hwy 343. A 5 foot wide extension provides access for the trail to the Village of South Mills. This trail is beautifully maintained by Camden County Parks & Recreation."
I checked with the visitor desk at this welcome center and with the State Park Welcome Center (see below) and they both assured me that this was the only paved section of trail along the NC part of the Dismal Canal.
Note that this section of trail is maintained by Camden County Parks & Recreation.
Also note that the Welcome Center is home to a 150’ face dock along the Dismal Canal that provides a rest stop to nearly 2,000 boaters yearly. See https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/boating/
2. There is a swing bridge across the Dismal Canal, accessed from the Camden County Welcome Center parking lot on the EAST side, that leads to the NC Dismal Swamp State Park on the WEST side of the Canal.
See both https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/state-park/ and https://www.ncparks.gov/dismal-swamp-state-park.
Note that the Welcome Center and the State Park are entirely separate organizationally, and although they cooperate, they are run entirely separately.
The State Park has a system of "trails", although from the perspective of Rail-to-Trail and TrailLink.com users I think the designation of "trails" is a bit generous. The State Park bikeable trails are, for most of the mileage, nothing more than old logging roads, which are quite rough (large gravel, largely ungroomed, sections with tree roots making the trail quite rough, some sections not much more than a grassy overgrown path).
See the map at https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DISW_mappad15.pdf
Most of the State Park trails (roads) run straight as an arrow in a grid pattern through the swamp. The main rectangle of the grid, which makes up the largest part of the trail mileage is bounded by Kim Saunders Road, Forest Line Road, Corapeake Road and Martha Washington Trail. It's a somewhat uninspiring ride. Gravel Bikers or MTBers may be more inclined to like this ride, but for the typical Rail-to-Trail rider, this isn't an expected experience.
The confusion in this TrailLink entry on "Dismal Swamp Canal Trail (NC)" is that there are comments referring to stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail (NC). One comment refers to starting your ride up in "Chessie" (address is 1200 Dismal Swamp Canal). This is way up in Virginia! The Virgina part of the trail is, from what I've read, entirely different than the NC section. Another comment refers to the State Park trails, which again, have nothing to do with the Canal Trail. The State Park trails largely run perpendicular to and away from the Canal. (Comment that refers to State Park trails... "The trails are very well maintained. Despite all the previous rain, I had an awesome 23 mile ride and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The park Staff are very knowledgeable and friendly.")
If you are expecting a Canal Towpath (trail following the old towpath right along the canal) type experience which is more typical of other preserved canal trails in the Mid-Atlantic and NE canals, you will be sorely disappointed.
The State Park trails are what they are, and serve a purpose, although different than what the typical Rail-to-Trail user expects. I'm simply suggesting that this trial description needs to be clarified to make clear to what it does, and does not, refer.
This is just a wide concrete sidewalk next to a busy noisy 6 lane street.
If you only have a few days/limited ride time - here are my suggestions, based on 2 days of riding and driving the entire trail (yes - it runs RIGHT BESIDE Hwy 5 for most of its length) Which is why I rate it a 4 instead of a 5.
Background: Trail surface is smooth. I was on the bike at sunrise and finished by 10AM or so - both days (weekdays) I saw fewer than 10 bikers my entire ride, even though this was the week of Spring break (April 4th, 2022) for the local schools. Both trail heads I parked at appeared safe - there were no cars there when I started and only a few when I finished.
Ride 1: Park at Chickahominy Riverfront Park MM 7, ride East to Jamestown. Jamestown Island has a 5+ mile road that is one way, with a low speed limit. Less than 1 mile from the Jamestown TH is the Powhatan Creek Trail - a nice 2+ mile out and back trail (hilly ride, winding, lots of rough pavement from tree roots, but repairs are in the works). You can also ride several miles of unpaved paths off of the Powhatan Creek Trail. And of course, ride over the Chickahominy Creek bridge to finish your ride. I was able to get in 35 miles on this route. This entire ride is safe for all riders. Also - Colonial Parkway from Jamestown to Colonial Williamsburg is a safe ride with no commercial traffic allowed, but it is a rough surface. The bike route separates from Colonial Parkway - best to follow it rather than stay on Colonial where there is a tunnel that prohibits bicycles.
Ride 2: Park at Four Mile Creek Park MM 40 (a nice drive on a winding Hwy 5 with minimal traffic from Jamestown), ride West to Richmond. The Great Shiplock Park and Canal Walk are interesting. This is a much hillier ride than the Jamestown end, with several traffic light road crossings. Safe - but not ideal for all riders. With a ride through Dorey Park in Varina, I was able to get in 29 miles.
Overall a nice trail, very smooth surface, with some sections more appealing than others. Jamestown Island was the highlight.
Love this trail can’t wait to go back
We love biking rail trails so when we had a wedding in Richmond we decided to bike the VA Capital trail. We broke up the trip at a bnb in Charles City. We stayed at the Edgewood BnB which was right on the trail but in the middle of nowhere. We arrived hot and tired so the pool was refreshing but the nearest restaurant was 8 miles away - that would add 16 miles to our tired legs so the inn keeper was kind enough to drive us to the restaurant. Inn was clean and historic. The next night we stayed at the wedmore winery in Williamsburg. Which was very nice as well but being on bikes we were far from any kind of night life. The trail wasn’t very scenic as is was along a highway with very little areas to stop for food or bathroom s no shade so we did not want my to bike back. We ended up staying at the winery another night and taking the train back to Richmond. highwayThere was no shade and very few places to stop along the way.
…and we rode the trail back to Jamestown. This was in late October of 2021 and we were looking for fall foliage. We were a couple of weeks early. A great ride overall, though, and the trail was in great shape.
Nice Walking Path just be careful On hot days for (SNAKES) if you have Kids make sure they stay on the pavement & watch where you walk. Copperheads andKing Snakes
The only reason to not give it 5 stars is that it is very busy but it is scenic with lots of restaurants nearby. Smooth, well kept surface.
Parts of the trail are rough with stones and tree roots. Some sections are okay but the trail is better for hiking than biking.
Easy, enjoyable ride.
This is a nice little trail, but certainly not like a normal rail trail. The first 1/2 is nice gravel like fire road, but it then changes to narrow single track with more than its share of roots. While it’s probably a beginner level mountain bike trail, this isn’t a trail for someone on a hybrid bike or a casual cyclist. You won’t like the constant bump of the roots and certainly not the two good size muddy holes that would surely be tough for hybrid size tires.
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