As autumn weather sets in, it is great to hop on a bicycle and go for a ride. The Peninsula has several great bike paths to do so.
The Waterwalk in Hampton is both a walking and biking asphalt with a white concrete trail that crosses marsh areas, said Philippe Fenouill, project manager with the city of Hampton.
Located off Mercury Boulevard and LaSalle Avenue, Waterwalk is somewhat new to the area. It is just over two miles long. The trail crosses Lake Hampton and New Market Creek.
“It is really serene and very peaceful,” Fenouill said.
Along the way, there are various birds, plants and fiddler crabs to see. The city is creating signs to show where to spot them. Those are expected to be erected early next year, he added.
While the trail does cross two streets, Fenouill said the crossings are safe.
The best place to park is Air Power Park. Prior to heading on the trail, Fenouill said stop and take a look at the historic planes and rockets at the park.
New Quarter Park
The nearly 10-year-old bike path is just over seven miles, according to Michael Wilcox, outdoor recreation supervisor at the park.
York County receives maintenance help from Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association, which helped to build and expand it over the past 10 years. Wilcox said they also help when the trail becomes washed out or a tree falls in the way.
“They are usually here in 48 hours in situations like that. We couldn’t have the trail without their help,” he said.
The trail has signs that lead off the main trail that show sections were there are challenging technical features such as jumps, logs and berms, he said.
This allows for those with advanced skill levels to have more of a challenge, Wilcox added.
The trail is also open to walkers. Wilcox said for safety, hikers must walk counter clockwise while bikers travel clockwise.
With the onset of COVID-19, Wilcox said more people are coming to the park, which is welcomed.
Newport News Park
Bike the natural surface of the more than five miles at Newport News Park. The path is so wide a fire truck can fit, said Kristi Barber, park facilities coordinator.
The fully wooded trail is nicely shaded and bikers can see a variety of waterfowl at the water’s edge. There are also deer and foxes to see in the early morning when the park opens at sunrise or closes at sunset.
The bike trail passes what was once George Washington’s headquarters.
In April 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. John Magruder ordered a dam built here to block the progress of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Union Army toward Richmond. The conflict became known as the Battle of Dam No. 1.If driving your bike to the park, Barber said to park at the campground. Children under age 14 are required to wear a helmet, she added.