200+ Miles of Local Trails to Explore

Barbara Bishop, member of the Bikeways and Trails Advisory Committee (BTAC)

When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
How old were you when you learned to ride?
Remember how it made you smile and laugh? The freedom you felt?
Did you stop riding? Why?

With May being National Bike Month, it’s a great time to (re)discover the fun and joy of riding at some of our area’s most scenic spots. Here's a few of my favorites.

1. Oceanfront Boardwalk: Cruise the boardwalk at the oceanfront and stop for a bite to eat or watch the surfers down on 1st Street while you listen to the waves or look for dolphins. This is a great place to start because there is a designated bike path that allows you to avoid traffic and cars.

2. First Landing State Park: Park at the back of Cape Henry Shopping Center and follow the fire road into the park. Alternately, you can begin at the 64th street entrance, or even better, ride your bike into the park to avoid the park fee! Who doesn’t love something free? Either way, the Cape Henry Trail is easily accessible and is designated for biking and hiking, plus it’s safe and family-friendly! Bonus - there's even a bike repair station in case you need to inflate your tires or tighten a bolt. 

3. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge/False Cape State Park (Sandbridge): Keep in mind that you will probably need some knobby tires for this route. There is an entry fee associated with this park so remember to bring a few bucks with you, and make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. There is an abundance of wildlife and scenic views, and if you get lucky, you might even see a few wild ponies!

4. Bayville Farms Park / Lesner Bridge: Begin this scenic route at Bayville Farms Park and take the bike path along Shore Drive, over the new and beautiful Lesner Bride. Follow this along to the fire road into First Landing Park.

5. Pungo area: Some other locations and rides to consider include the Pungo area where there is a designated bike route of 25 and 50 miles, commuting to work, or signing up for a charity ride.

Join a Cycling Group
For those who like a challenge and connecting with like and 'bike-minded' people, there are loads of cycling groups throughout the area. Contact your local bicycle shop or go to check out Hampton Roads Cyclist on Facebook for details.

Safety First - Rules of the Ride:
  • Protect your melon! Always wear a helmet.
  • Stay as far right as possible on the road and ride with traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signals as if you were driving in your car.
  • Drivers should give people on bike a 3-foot buffer when passing.
  • Bikes are allowed on roads except where prohibited, such as on highways.
  • Virginia state law states that it’s OK to ride two abreast except when impeding traffic.
  • Know where you're going - review the Virginia Beach Bikeways & Trails maps and resources before you head out. 
The moral of the story is, you do not need to go anywhere special to ride. Ride in your neighborhood. Ride to your favorite local eatery. Get social on your bicycle. Whatever you choose, just ride!
Have fun!