Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail

Virginia

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Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail Facts

States: Virginia
Counties: Northampton
Length: 2.6 miles
Trail end points: Capeville Rd. btwn US 13 & Sliding Rd. and Eastern Shore of VA NWR Visitor Center
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017651
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail Description

The Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail runs parallel to the approach for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for a total of 5 miles at the southern end of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Although never more than a stone's throw from busy US 13, the trail offers a sense of seclusion as it winds through forest and adjacent agricultural fields.

The trail connects the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Widlife Refuge with Kiptopeke State Park, so flora and fauna are always in abundance. Hikers and bikers can also sneak glimpses of the Chesapeake Bay along their trek, provided they are not too busy reading the interpretive signs dotting the trail's route.

The paved trail, which was built on the bed of the Old Cape Charles Railroad, is just the beginning of a longer proposed rail-trail extending north from Cedar Grove Drive. At present, the trail reaches Capeville Drive. 

Parking and Trail Access

The Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail can easily be accessed by car just off of US 13 at either of the trail's endpoints (Cedar Grove Drive/County Road 645 or Seaside Road). Parking is available at both of these endpoints. The Eastern Shore Visitor Center also has restrooms.

Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail Reviews

I give a four based upon the overall experience of biking out there (more to come on this). The trail itself is pleasant enough if lacking a little in scenery. One passes potato farms (I almost got sucked into the dirt dust of a potato truck as I was riding the trail, b/c it parallels one farm in particular - for a short bit - where the farm's dirt road is right next to the trail). It is mostly in shade and mostly shielded from Route 13 by trees; just a few, short spots of exposure in both regards. The wildlife refuge offers a couple of trails one can bike as well, so that's a nice bonus. Also a nifty bonus is that Kiptopeke State Park is at the Capeville Rd. end of the trail. One does have to cross 13, but it's short and then one bikes down route 704 to the entrance to the park where there are several bikable trails. The trails are not for Major Mountain Bikers, if you are curious. I rode my hybrid on the sand-packed soil and was fine. The trails are flat. So the overall package available to a cyclist is actually quite nice if one takes advantage of rail-trail, the refuge and the state park.

You may also ride on quiet roads from the Wildlife Center down to walking trails which lead to a an old cannon barrel installation from WWII as well as riding down to a boat launch site with nice views of marshland and tidal areas-this added another 3.5 miles to our trip.Although we did not cross Rte 13 there is a State Park which may be accessed for additional miles as well.

NH kayaker They have added another 2 miles to this trail. You can now start just south of the pottery store on route 13. Small gravel parking lot. You do ride along route 13 but most of the time there are trees blocking the road but you hear the traffic. You pass a lot of farm land. Ends at wildlife refuge center which wasn’t open the day we were there. Only open weekends till summer. Porta potty at wildlife center parking lot. So total trail was now 4.9 miles. Nicely paved. Great trip

Accordion

We had the opportunity to ride the trail while on our way to Kiptopeke State Park. I had read about the trail in the guide book "Virginia Rail Trails" by Joe Tennis.
The trail is paved, flat and short (2.5 miles) but can be combined with the many bike friendly trails at Kiptopeke State Park for a longer experience.
There is good access to parking at both ends.
While not a destination trail on its own it's certainly worth doing if in the area.
Hopefully it will be extended North in the future as proposed.

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