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As it was built on a former state highway, the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail provides a wide, paved and flat pathway along its namesake waterway and the Great Dismal Swamp Refuge. Not only does this wetlands area provide scenic views and opportunities to glimpse many types of birds and other wildlife, it is also of historical significance: Parts were surveyed by George Washington's company, and it also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
From the trail's northern trailhead, a newer trail parallels George Washington Highway north to Deep Creek Park, which features four lighted baseball fields. South of the North Carolina state line, a trail of the same name likewise offers a scenic trek along the Dismal Swamp Canal.
To access ample parking at the northern trailhead, follow US 17 Business/George Washington Highway south from Chesapeake. An entrance to the parking area will be on the right, just before the road curves toward US 17's main alignment.
For parking near the southern endpoint, take US 17 south from the north trailhead and turn right onto Ballahack Road. Limited parking is available along the trail; a short stretch here is still open to vehicular traffic.
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