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Posted on: January 9, 2024

Staying Active in Chesapeake

Staying Active in Chesapeake Graphic

Are you looking for fun ways to stay active and entertained in 2024? Chesapeake is here for all your outdoor and indoor active lifestyle needs! Visit a community center to work out or get involved with sports and classes, enjoy a walk or bike ride on one of Chesapeake’s many wooded park trails, bring your pup to socialize at a dog park, and much more.

Community Centers, Facilities, and 55 and Better

For those hoping to get their body moving this year, Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s community centers and facilities are here to enhance your health and wellness. Play sports like basketball in the gymnasium, take advantage of the health and fitness room, connect with friends in the game room, or discover a new hobby by taking a class. Enjoy all these activities and more when you sign up for a Chesapeake Community Center Membership in person at any community center. Find a full list of community centers and community center rental information on the Centers and Facilities page. A low-cost membership provides access to any one of the City's eight community centers. Below are the membership fees:

Community Center Membership Fees

  • Youth (Ages 8 to 17):
    • Resident: $10 per year
    • Non-resident: $20 per year
  • Youth Health Room (Ages 15 to 17):
    (Eligible to use health room with a parent or guardian who has a center membership)
    • Resident: $10 per year
    • Non-Resident: $28 per year
  • Adult (Ages 18 to 54):
    • Resident: $35 per year
    • Non-Resident: $50 per year
  • Senior Citizens (Ages 55 and older):
    • Resident: Free
    • Non-Resident: $50 per year
  • Replacement Cards:
    • Adult: $5
    • Senior/Youth: $3
  • Other:
    • Guest Pass: $5 per day (all)
    • Courtesy Pass (For current members who may not have their cards with them): $1 per day.

55 and Better

Are you an active adult who is 55+ and looking for something fun to do with a great group of people? Check out Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s 55 and Better program! They host events all throughout the year and activities fill up fast. Learn more about the program and view the activity guide on their 55 and Better page. For senior events, you can register online using the program number or in person at any Chesapeake community center or the Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Administrative Office and Visitor Center at 1224 Progressive Drive. Checks must be made out to the Chesapeake Treasurer.

Outdoor Fitness Centers, Park Trails, and Biking

Does walking or biking in nature heighten your overall enjoyment? Visit Chesapeake’s many park trails! A nature walk is the perfect way to appreciate the beauty around us while getting our bodies moving. Want to move even more? Bells Mill Park, City Park, Deep Creek Lock Park, Elizabeth River Park, and Oak Grove Lake Park all have outdoor fitness centers! Move from station to station at your own pace, completing the exercises at each stop. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset all year. Parks with established foot or bike trails include:

  • Battlefield Park: Enjoy the scenic marsh overlook and a 1.3-mile trail through a pine forest. This is a leisurely walk along the Intracoastal Waterway. 
  • Bells Mill Park: 3.1 miles of mowed grass path offers scenic views of the Elizabeth River. It’s a great place for a cross-country run or a quiet morning birdwatching. Keep your eyes on the sky as eagles frequent the park!
  • Chesapeake Arboretum: Enjoy more than 51 acres of various themed gardens with 2.7 miles of wooded trails. 
  • Deep Creek Lock Park: About 1 mile of trail meandering through a wooded area with scenic overlooks, with views of the historic locks and Deep Creek. 
  • Deep Creek Park: This park features a great pacer track and additional neighborhood connections and connections to the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. The park's 1-mile pacer trail circles around the park starting and finishing next to the restrooms. 
  • Elizabeth River Park: Watch the watermen work in the Elizabeth River from .75 miles of intertwining sidewalks. View the tidal marsh, shore birds, and the shipyard all in one walk and cross the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge on foot if you're interested in lengthening your walk! 
  • Indian River Park: This park offers terrain changes and great riding and includes a small section of the Virginia Tree Trail where trees are labeled for educational purposes. These nearly 6 miles of trail are open to walkers, bikers, natures enthusiasts, and more! 
  • Northwest River Park: Over 9 miles of hiking, biking, and/or equestrian trails for the adventurous. Journey through mature hardwoods, swamps, and immature forest as well! This is a great place for nature watching. Be sure to wear your boots! Looking for even more fun? Rent a canoe, paddleboat, kayak, bike, shelter, or even a cabin! The park is also open to fishing, mini-golf, and frisbee golf. Learn more from the Northwest River Park and Campground Brochure and Map
  • Oak Grove Lake Park: This 1.5-mile circular packed stone dust trail takes you around an over 65-acre lake. Stop at one of the six platforms to fish or watch the waterfowl. Want to burn some calories? Try our fitness stations located along the trail! 
  • Western Branch Park: 2.25 miles of hiking trails wander past two playgrounds, a tidal marsh, and the ball fields.


Are you specifically interested in bike riding? Learn how to voluntarily register your bicycle with the Treasurer’s Office to increase your chances of reuniting with a stolen or lost bike, learn bicycle safety tips, and discover the most bike-friendly park trails in Chesapeake.


Interested in Chesapeake’s wildlife? Learn more about specific species on the Wildlife in the Parks page, or visit the resources found on the official Wildlife page.


Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using global positioning service (GPS)-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, near waterways, or on the side of a City street. There are many geocaches hidden at Northwest River Park and throughout the City's other park systems. For more information, you can visit the Geocaching Hampton Roads Facebook page. After signing up on, check out their Geocaching 101 page. To learn more, watch the City's Geocaching video!

Dog Parks

Chesapeake boasts several dog parks! For dog owners, these parks mean a healthier lifestyle for their furry friends. Such parks provide a place to exercise and socialize, which means happy, well-behaved canines. They also provide pet owners with a place to share information about vets, boarding, training, and simply the joys of pet ownership. Find dog park guidelines on the Dog Park Guidelines and Membership Information PDF. Dog park membership prices are only $10 per dog per year, $5 for a visitor pass, or $3 for replacement tags. Find a dog park at the locations below:

Find in-depth details for each dog park on the official Dog Park page.

Snout and About

Don’t have your own dog, but love pups, walks, and fun field trips? Participate in the Snout and About Program! This is a great way for you and a shelter dog to get exercise and socialize all year round. A volunteer matches you with a shelter dog, provides you with supplies, and sends you out on a field trip. A leashed stroll in the park, a delicious lunch at a dog friendly restaurant (treat your pooch to a small pup cup or shaved ice – yum!), or a relaxing drive around town are just some ideas for those wishing to take a shelter dog Snout and About. Learn more on the City’s Snout and About page and register today! Upcoming Snout and About event dates will be posted on the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Facebook page.

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