Explore the beautiful nature Chesapeake has to offer, including a leisurely hike, boating, and exploring the wonders along the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail.
Make a beeline for the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, a marvelous place to reconnect with nature. With more than 111,200 acres of seasonally flooded wetland forest and the 3,100 acre Lake Drummond at its center, the refuge contains some of the most important wildlife habitat in the mid-Atlantic region. Autumn colors peak late October through November. Large flocks of robins and blackbirds gather to roost in the swamp. Wild fruits such as pawpaw, blackgum, devil’s walking stick and wild grapes are abundant. Visitors to the refuge may participate in a variety of activities including hiking, biking, nature photography, wildlife observation, hunting, fishing and boating. Most trails are open for hiking and biking only, from sunrise to sunset. The best times for observing wildlife are ealy morning and late afternoon.
End your day with dinner at Kelly’s Tavern. Known for humongous burgers, outdoor dining and excellent casual fare, they are proud to have won a variety of community awards, such as, Best Burger in Coastal Virginia - Hampton Roads region for 13 consecutive years, Best Locals place and Best Casual dinning. Choose from nationally-known hotels for your stay.
Stock up on protein and carbohydrates at breakfast because you will need them today as you explore the other side of the Great Dismal Swamp with the Canal Trail. These 8.5 miles are safe and paved. A multipurpose-linear nature trail that threads through some of the most uniquely historical and ecologically-significant habitats in the United States make it the only one of its kind in the nation. Open to walkers, hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, the trail can provide a 17-mile bike loop or a leisurely 2-mile up-and-back nature walk and picnic with the family. Spend the day or a couple of hours, and then recharge with dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Outback is known for outstanding service and a commitment to quality. The menu features steaks, grilled chicken, shrimp and fish, soups, salads and desserts using the freshest ingredients.
Your final outdoor adventure will land you at Northwest River Park, 763 acres of pristine wetland and forest habitat bordering the Northwest River, one of the last undeveloped river corridors on the East Coast. The Park offers a variety of activities to satisfy your hunger for the great outdoors. Paddle a canoe or kayak, hike or bike the nature trails, or wet a line from boat to shore to catch the evening meal. It's the quintessential quiet, country atmosphere one would expect of Southern Chesapeake. End your evening with dinner at Amory’s Seafood Restaurant, a landmark of the Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach communities for over 35 years, specializing in reasonably priced, delicious seafood, steaks, chicken, soups and pasta.
This fall getaway was submitted by Chesapeake Conventions & Tourism.
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