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Planning

Regional Trails Planning

Several recreation trails pass through Hampton Roads at the national, state, and regional levels. The HRPDC has participated in several planning committees in order to encourage regional interconnectedness between the trails. These trails bring diverse recreational experiences to the region for hikers/walkers, bicyclers, boaters, and history buffs.

Follow the links below to learn more about each trail.

National/Interstate

As the first national water trail, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail follows the historic routes of John Smith’s travels based on his map and journals. It encompasses Smith’s two main voyages on the Chesapeake Bay in 1608 and also his excursions on the York, James, and other rivers between 1607 and 1609. The trail includes approximately 3,000 miles in parts of present-day Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. HRPDC staff has participated in focus groups for the John Smith Trail’s James River segment.

The Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail is a new interstate blueway connecting coastal Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The planning process for the Trail has been underway since 2010. The National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), has facilitated the process in conjunction with a planning partner in each state. The result will be the identification of a “main corridor” for a blueway along the Atlantic Coast. The Trail will connect with the highly successful and well-known Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail and the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail on the Chesapeake Bay. The HRPDC participated in the planning of the Virginia section of the trail.

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Statewide

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Regional

The Southside Hampton Roads Trail aims to link 41 miles from downtown Suffolk to Virginia Beach through several mixed facility types including trails, bike lanes, shoulders, and the Elizabeth River Ferry. Of primary interest to bicyclists, certain trail segments are also walking/running friendly. This trail mainly takes advantage of existing facilities. Some components already exist while others are still under development (Suffolk) or in planning stages (Virginia Beach). Another goal is to tie the SHRT to the national East Coast Greenway project as well as other state trail initiatives. The HRPDC participates on the steering committee.

  • SHR Trail

    Dismal Swamp Canal Connector Trail (proposed)

Both Virginia and North Carolina have multi-use trails along the Dismal Swamp canal however, neither trail extends to the state border. There are planning efforts currently underway to close the 4-mile gap between the trails, creating a continuous path between Deep Creek in Chesapeake, VA and South Mills in Camden County, NC. Parties from both sides of the state line, including the HRPDC, are meeting regularly to plan this connector trail.

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Contact Planning

Phone:
757.420.8300

Fax:
757.523.4881

Hours:
8:00am to 4:30pm Monday - Friday

The Regional Building
723 Woodlake Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23320