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First Landing State Park

 

First Landing State Park is a sprawling 2,888-acre park in Virginia Beach that’s absolutely bursting with adventures thanks to miles of hiking and biking trails, a boat launch, and 1.5 miles of sandy beach on the Chesapeake Bay. Get ready to kick off your flip-flops and sink your toes into the warm sand the moment you arrive. A spacious campground with RV and tent sites, cabins and yurts is steps from the beach, allowing adventurous visitors to drift off to sleep to the sounds of gently lapping waves.

 

First Landing is a year-round treasure trove of fun, so it’s no wonder it’s the most visited state park in Virginia. This popular park wows nature-lovers with a variety of natural habitats, including shallow tidal marshes, bald cypress swamps, sand dunes, and lush maritime forests. Here’s what to know about the all-season paradise that we call First Landing State Park.

Park Amenities & Things to Do

 

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Hiking

 

First Landing State Park Hiking

Lace up your walking shoes to embark on an adventure across nearly 19 miles of easy-to-moderate hiking trails at First Landing State Park. For a magical journey through an enchanting bald cypress swamp, make a beeline for the family-friendly Bald Cypress Trail. Kids will giggle at the sight of the “knobby knees” on this fully shaded hike that crosses sections of wooden boardwalk and features comfy benches and scenic overlooks. Swing by the Trail Center for the scoop on ranger-led programs, such as guided hikes and marsh walks. 

 

Biking

 

man and woman biking on a path in the woods overlooking freshwater

Grab your bike and pedal on the Cape Henry Trail. This 6.1-mile trail (one-way) weaves across the park from the main entrance on Shore Drive to the 64th Street entrance, then continues on to the parking lot near the boat launch at the Narrows, a stretch between Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay. It’s a scenic ride that promises good times.

 

This bike ride is truly a feast for the eyes, wowing riders with views across dense forest, mysterious cypress swamps, salt marshes and a freshwater lake.

 

If you have more time, pedal on the Live Oak Trail, a short trail that runs across Shore Drive, linking the swimming beach and campground with the cabins and hiking trails.

 

Just a heads up: Bring your own wheels, as the park does not offer bike rentals. There are plenty of places to rent a bike in Virginia Beach, such as Cherie’s Bike & Blade Rentals.

 

Camping & Cabins

 

Camping & Cabins- First Landing State Park

Gear up for the ultimate s’mores-filled camp-out at First Landing State Park. More than 200 camp sites are available, accommodating both tents and RVs, and they’re all a hop, skip and a jump from an inviting swimming beach. That’s not to mention the four fantastic yurts at the campground.

But wait, there’s more – like a camp store, laundry facilities, seven bathhouses and, of course, a playground where the kids can run wild. For those who fancy a little extra comfort, 20 cozy cabins sit tucked away on the opposite side of Shore Drive.

 

When you’re ready to book an unforgettable outdoor adventure, reserve your camp site, cabin, or yurt online. The campground opens the first Friday in March and shuts down on the first Monday in December. Cabin rentals are available year-round.

 

 

Fishing & Crabbing

 

Outdoors - Parks - First Landing State Park - 090002e cdm 0028 The Narrows 8x10print.jpg


It’s all about the thrill of the catch. So, when you’re eager to cast a line, or maybe drop in a chicken neck, First Landing is ready for you. For those itching to reel in the big one, make sure you’ve got a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license. Crabbing enthusiasts, dive right in, no license is needed. Now, where to try your luck. The go-to spot is the Narrows, which is between Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay and can be accessed by way of the park’s 64th Street entrance. Let the fishing and crabbing begin!

 

Kayaking & Boating

 

two people in kayak in shallow water

Motorboats are allowed at First Landing State Park. Launch into your adventure at the 64th Street section of the park.

 

This is also a great spot to create unforgettable memories on the water and splash in with kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes. First Landing does not rent watercraft, but you can make some waves by booking a super-fun guided kayak or stand-up paddleboard tour at the Narrows with Chesapean Outdoors.

Swimming

 

people swimming and playing in natural park

Dive into warm-weather fun for the whole family at the swimming beach on the Chesapeake Bay, which is located on the north side of Shore Drive. Gentle waves make it an ideal beach for families with small children, too. The Narrows may be tempting for a swim, but we suggest sticking to the swimming beach due to strong currents at The Narrows. Let’s all keep it safe and keep it fun.

Visitor Center & Concessions

 

Virginia Beach's First Landing State Park Trail Center

The Bay Store has a variety of groceries, snacks, camping supplies, firewood and outdoor recreation supplies. Concessions operate daily with the following schedule: Mid-April to Memorial Day, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Memorial

Next to the swimming beach is the visitor center and a camp store, which is your go-to destination for all the playtime necessities, such as firewood, snacks and ice, as well as fishing and crabbing gear. You’ll also find souvenirs when you want to take home a piece of the adventure.

 

Hungry? An on-site grill offers hot dogs, burgers, fries and cheesy nachos. Mark your calendars: The camp store opens daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The camp store closes in January and February. Check the park’s website for updated hours at other times of year.

 

Swing by the visitor center to grab brochures or a Junior Ranger activity booklet that may turn your kiddos into bona fide nature experts. There’s even a Junior Ranger summer camp for children aged 6-12.

 

But wait, there’s more inside. Get up-close-and-personal with turtles and horseshoe crabs in the Chesapeake Bay Center. A small science lab and historic exhibits add to the fun. It’s a blast for explorers of all ages.

 

Accessibility
 

Camping & Cabins- First Landing State Park

At the campground, there are four accessible bathhouses and a universally accessible playground for everyone to enjoy.

 

Want to hit the hiking trails? The Cape Henry Trail is smooth sailing for all explorers. At the swimming beach, mats make it a cinch to access the sandy dunes. There is a beach wheelchair you may borrow. The park website has you covered with the accessible features to help your visit go off without a hitch.

 

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