Hiking at Northwest River Park

Hiking TrailHiking along Northwest River Park's many trails brings nature up close. Venture down Otter Point, encounter a deer on the "Deer Island Trail," or stroll along any of the park's more than seven miles of winding trails. A portion of the Molly Mitchell trail has connecting sidewalks for accessibility.

Visit other trails in Chesapeake!

Northwest River Park Trail System Map (PNG)

Trail Descriptions

Indian Creek Trail - 2.50 Miles

This trail was named for the creek that borders the western edge of the park. The trail was purposely directed to lead under a picturesque arched hickory tree with resurrection fern. The resurrection fern curls up and turns brown when it is dry and turns green when it rains.

Molly Mitchell Trail - 2 Miles

Molly Mitchell Trail begins in the Molly Mitchell Meadow. These areas were named in honor of the former land owners who resided in the place where the park's group picnic shelter now stands.

Scenic Slough - A slough (pronounced slew) is a tributary of a creek that helps to absorb excess water in the swamp during periods of high water. This area is an ideal wildlife habitat for wood ducks, otters, squirrels, reptiles, and amphibians.

Blue Heron Bridge - This bridge was built by Boy Scouts as an Eagle Scout project.

Otter Point Trail - 1 Mile

This trail was named for a point of land referenced on old maps where Smith Creek empties into the Northwest River. Otters are sometimes observed here.

Large bald cypress tree - Although a water tolerant species, bald cypress need dry ground for its seed to germinate. This particular tree, several hundred years old, has a hollow base, which makes an ideal home for swamp mammals. The charred bark inside the base indicates a fire occurred sometime ago.

Plow marks and furrows - During the Prohibition Era and the Great Depression of the 1930s this area was under cultivation. Once the farming ceased, the land reverted back to mixed pine/hardwood forest.

Shuttle Trail - 1.25 Miles

This hike or bike trail runs parallel to the Northwest River Park's lake and connects the park's entrance at the Northern Terminal to the Southern Terminal on the bank of the Northwest River. All of the hiking trails in Northwest River Park connect to the shuttle trail. A dock and picnic tables are located at the Southern Terminal.

Deer Island Trail - 0.75 Miles

This hike or bike trail runs from the campground road through deer island and connects with the shuttle trail. The Deer Island Trail passes by the Primitive Camping Area which is available to youth service groups.

Contact Us

For more information, call Northwest River Park at 757-421-7151 or 757-421-3145.