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Dismal Swamp Canal Trail
NOTICE: The Boat Ramp is currently CLOSED. The Trail is Open.
"NORFOLK, Va. -- Officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have announced that the Dismal Swamp Canal will be closed indefinitely. The canal, which was closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October, requires dredging, debris and tree removal, and an investigation into reports of shoaling at various locations in the canal."
The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is a former section of Virginia State Rt. 17, now a multi-use trail open to bicycling, walking, running/hiking, horseback riding, and boating. The north trail head is located at the intersection of Dominion Blvd. and Old Rt. 17 in Chesapeake, VA, and runs south 8.3 miles, adjacent to the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is an historic, environmental and outdoor recreation delight.
Click photo to enlarge.
The Canal is the site of the popular event "Paddle for the Border," which takes place in the spring. The event attracts paddlers from Maryland to Georgia, ages eight to eighty, fitness-buffs to historians, nature enthusiasts to families looking for a pleasant day's adventure.
- 11-Mile Paved Multiuse Trail that connects to Deep Creek Park
- Boat, Canoe or Kayak Ramp
- 2 Restroom Buildings
- Picnic Areas
- Horse Trails
The Great Dismal Swamp Refuge is home to myriad species of wildlife; parts of the Refuge were surveyed by George Washington's company; the Swamp is nationally recognized as a stop on the "Underground Railroad"; the GDS Refuge is also a resting spot for thousands of migratory birds in the fall and spring. The trail is linear and flat; perfect for people of all ages to bike or walk and horse owners to ride. The Ballahack Rd./Great Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp provides easy access to launch your boat, canoe or kayak.
Directions and Maps
When spending time along the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, you will be able to see many different types of native wildlife. Next time you are planning an outing, print out a copy of these handy wildlife checklists, to see how many different types of animals you spot.