Southeastern Virginia, the peninsula, the Eastern Shore and northern North Carolina have a wide variety of outdoor things to do. Some of the best natural trails and paths can take you miles from home or just around the neighborhood. Here’s a few you can for free or not much cash.
- Hiking and biking are great cardio options for the heart and circulation. They’re great lower body workouts, too. Clear your mind and gawk at some of the best natural spaces in Chesapeake, Suffolk or North Carolina. Spring is just emerging in the Dismal Swamp, and there aren’t all the mosquitos and big bugs you’ll encounter in the summer months. No matter the direction you approach from, there’s plenty get some fitness in and around the Swamp. DETAILS HERE.
- Test your agility and quickness in Norfolk on the city loop bike path through Ghent and the new 35th Street corridor. Norfolk recently created a bicycle corridor that loops from Olney Road near the northern tip of The Hague, up Llewellyn Ave., across 35th street and down Colley Avenue to complete the square. Find the map here.
- How about a nature hike in the city? Follow the Elizabeth River Trail that stretches through downtown Norfolk, West Ghent, ODU and terminates near Larchmont. This is a great multiple hour hike or less than a 2-hour bike ride, end to end. Stop for some birdwatching at the Weyanoke Sanctuary in west Ghent, just off the ERT path.
- The Hillier Ignite Fitness Park at 36th Street on the Virginia Beach oceanfront has been open less than a year, but already it’s a staple destination for fitness buffs. Highbars, balance beams, and overhead rings are just some of the equipment that’s free and open to the public. Check out the video from their July 2016 opening here.
- Get your upper body workout and some peaceful nature watching as you canoe or kayak around Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach. Use the Stumpy Lake golf course entrance near the end of South Independence, at Indian River Road. More info here:
- Want to really amp up your hiking? Check out these five additional Hampton Roads options for serious hikers, starting with The Noland Trail in Newport News.
Jan Cline is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer based in Norfolk. Visit him online at www.JanClineFitness.com