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Loop 1



0.6 mile 1.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 78' 24 m
Descent: -64' -19 m
High: 103' 31 m
Low: 38' 12 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)


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Trail shared by Ethan Cason


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Short loop trail through hardwood forest that follows the edge of a cypress swamp.

Ethan Cason

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Short hike, wide, easily navigable and trail signs and directions are abundant.

Need to Know

Once you drive over the 'causeway' the trailhead is on your right with the parking lot on your left.The parking lot has 12 parking spaces, 1 ADA, and two pull-thru parking spots for trailers; there is an ADA accessible canoe/kayak launch at this site too where you can access Stumpy Lake. There is also a port-a-john on site. At the trailhead there is a pet-waste station with doggie bags, a trash-can and a map of the two trails in the Natural Area.


This short 0.6 mile loop is relatively flat with some roots along the path. The loop is frequently visited by people in the birding community for its abundance in bird species including woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, owls and migratory waterfowl.

The trail begins by hiking over a small wooden foot-bridge. The loop begins and ends here so you can go left or right. By taking a right you begin by hiking along the swamps of Stumpy Lake. There is an abundance of cypress trees. Waterfowl, egrets and herons are seen along this section of the trail. About 0.2 miles into the trail you'll encounter a footbridge built by boy scouts. After the footbridge the low lying areas of the swamp to your right begin to disappear as you enter into more hardwood forest.

Halfway through the loop turn left to stay on Loop 1 (Loop 2 continues straight). Stay on Loop 1 until you reach another intersection. Take a right for Loop 2. Take a left to stay on Loop 1. You'll go through a few large groves of Paw-Paw trees. The trail continues back to the trailhead. This trail is wide and mulched in some areas. Along the trail there is an abundance of roots so watch your footing.

This is trail is adopted by the Urban Trail Blazers and managed by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation.

Flora & Fauna

Trees - Cypress, Paw-Paw, Sweet-gum, Maple, Pine & Tulip Poplar.
Shrubs - Wild Blueberry, Wax Myrtle, Cardinal Flower, American Holly, Ferns & more.

You are almost assured to see squirrels and many birds on this trail. Over 95 species of birds have been recorded at Stumpy Lake.

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